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Entry #1

VR is the future of gaming... If they don't ruin it

2017-07-17 05:31:09 by Wrongfire

I remember when the Kinect was announced and thinking "Hey, that's pretty neat." when they showed off some of it's applications in games. I remember thinking how cool it might be as an added ingredient in major games like RPGs, where you could maybe wave your hand to cast a spell or something. A new way to engage the player...

Then they made the dreaded announcement... "No controller required! YOU are the controller"
Instantly my opinion of their new technology was jaded.
They took something potentially interesting and applied an absurd limitation on it dooming it to being a gimmicky novelty with no shelf life, something that would wind up gathering dust.

I never understood the desire to move away from controllers. It's like these companies are run by your grandfather who picks up your controller, looks at the tv, and goes "WHAT IN TARNATION!???" and throws your controller in the trash in anger that he can't instantly win a video game the first time trying one out.
'people hate controllers!' or something. I really don't understand.

When a game has nice fluid movement, combat controls, and physics, the controller always feels like an extension of myself. I can immerse myself in the game far more than a keyboard and mouse (not sure if I'm in the minority there).
I really do enjoy console gaming, even if it demands more money out of me.

I recently got to try out the Vive, using VR, at a nearby 'vr arcade'. And it instantly felt natural. I was really impressed by how easy it was to adapt to the headset, and even the controllers. When I was next to a wall I felt like I should have been able to reach out and touch it... Things felt real, even despite the slightly blurry resolution and cartoony graphics most of these games had. The steam labs archery was shockingly fun, with haptic feedback in the controllers that reacted to nocking your arrows.

I immediately thought how amazing it would be to play a game like Morrowind using VR, remembering how everything in the game world was dynamic and interactable. Not as big a fan of Skyrim, but I am excited to check it out when they release the VR version.

My worry goes back to the Kinect. And some of these early games are already finding ways to pretend controllers don't exist. 
The fact that most games had me 'teleporting' rather than walking using the touchpad was so backasswards to me.
There's literally nothing wrong with having the left touchpad control walking, it takes away the need to have huge rooms to play VR games while still creating immersive enviroments.
I can't imagine the teleportation was done out of necessity either. As it was FAR more jarring then just using a joystick to move in any traditional game. A solution that I hope works out is the 360 degree treadmills... We'll see.

Everything about my experience was what I was hoping it would be : Natural.
It just felt 'right' and looking around, and the 1:1 motion of the controllers was very impressive.
Reaching out and grabbing objects, throwing them around, rotating them... It worked perfectly.
I can already imagine how much more realistic games will be when you can reach out and touch them.
Grab a sword, throw a magic spell, block an attack...

I just hope they don't ruin it by trying to be 'different'.


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2017-07-17 07:01:39

I think so too.