Virtual reality can help with training, where people can gain new skills without endangering the lives of others. Learning new experiences becomes more vivid and memorable as users can interact with a virtual world, beyond books and web pages. There are mutiple experiences which help people learn in virtual reality.
The Oculus Quest’s free-roaming capabilities could be a game-changer for the at-home VR industry by allowing users to immerse themselves in larger, more complex immersive experiences; similar to that of various location-based VR experiences offered at an ever-growing lineup of immersive arcades.If you need proof of the standalone headsets viability as a location-based VR platform, take a look at the work being done by Reality Rebels, a small team currently in development of a local multiplayer house-scale VR experience which automatically generates custom levels based on the layout of your home, office, or any other location you choose to play in.The team, composed of one developer and four playtesters, has documented their efforts in a series of videos uploaded to their personal YouTube channel. These updates showcase new improvements and additions to the prototype experience, such as a VR elevator that transports users between procedurally-generated levels, randomized windows and obstructions, and artificial intelligence that reacts to the user’s presence as well as their environment.
All Generations Love It. While some critics view virtual reality as something only young people like, it turns out that even previous generations largely approve of the technology. Currently, millennials are the generation most likely to embrace virtual reality, but apparently older generations are also getting on the bandwagon. One study found that a majority of baby boomers have a favorable perspective of virtual reality. A big reason behind the popularity is the versatility of many virtual reality systems.
We had a chance to chat with Reality Rebels and learn a little bit more about the exciting possibilities surrounding their ongoing prototype experience, and what we were told paints a very exciting picture of the future:
VRSCOUT: How did the project initially come to life?
REALITY REBELS: “Imagine walking around your house in virtual reality. Except instead of your house, you are walking around a spaceship, or defending a bunker from zombies with your friends. Unfortunately, you can only find this type of experience at commercial attractions. They are few and far between, tickets are expensive, and the experiences are short.
However, with all-in-one virtual reality headsets, we thought it might be possible to create similar experiences in your own home. So our team, one developer (me) and four play-testers, has been working non-stop to make it happen.
The positive response to our progress has been overwhelming. Behind the scenes we are discussing partnerships, licensing, and more with other companies. We can’t wait to share more details about what is coming.”
VRSCOUT: What were some of the biggest challenges in developing these procedurally-generated house-scale levels?
Virtual Reality is expected to reach $34 billion by 2023 according to Markets and Markets and a combined total of $94 Billion including augmented reality by 2023.
REALITY REBELS: “Other companies have posted prototypes online showing players walking around levels mapped to their space, but those prototypes only work in those specific spaces. You could not play them in your own home.
We wanted to create an experience that adapts to the unique layout of any space. This is difficult from both a technical and artistic perspective. We don’t know what your space looks like. Our system has to figure out how to put together a level that both fits your unique space and fits the theme of the game.
In December, Brown took his mobile virtual reality unit to Solstice Senior Living in Fairhaven. Brown says seniors have also enjoyed a hang-gliding experience and art simulations, such as the painting program “ Tilt Brush .” Virtual reality lets seniors stretch their minds – and their bodies, as well.
We are also experimenting with ways to reuse your space. For example, you can enter an elevator which will seamlessly bring you to a new level based on the same layout.”
VRSCOUT: You’ve stated in a previous post that you plan on eventually turning this prototype into a full game. Are there any specific concepts you’ve been considering? The post goes on to suggest “walking around a spaceship, defending your house from zombies.”
REALITY REBELS: “We are considering many ideas. They range from individual experiences to a metaverse platform that would act as a hub for these experiences. However, it’s too early to announce anything as we’re still focused on building the core technology that makes everything work.”
The Biggest Concerns. Despite the positives, there are some concerns about virtual reality. For example, some critics point out health and safety issues. If the technology is not used properly, users might suffer from health issues like seizures and other major discomfort. Some people could also trip and fall. There are also major privacy concerns with virtual reality. Some people fear that the headsets could lead to government surveillance, although there is no proof of that as of yet.
VRSCOUT: Clearly, the experience is still in its early alpha stage. Are there any plans for a sideloadable demo in the future? I’m sure many users would enjoy simply walking around their homes in VR.
REALITY REBELS: “Once the experience is more polished and user-friendly we would love to put out a demo.”
VRSCOUT: The local multiplayer is a fantastic addition to the experience. What are the possibilities of online multiplayer?
REALITY REBELS:“Online multiplayer poses a lot of interesting challenges. Our main focus is on local multiplayer. However, online multiplayer is something we are interested in exploring further.”
For more information on the project check out Reality Rebel’s YouTube channel and be sure to visit virtualrealityrebels.com.
Featured Image Credit: Reality Rebels