THE VIRTUAL DUTCH MEN’S ADVENTURES IN THE U.S.!
Review Game Developers Conference, the VOID and MMOne
Exploring ancient temples, fighting drones and making loops in midair. Just a regular week in the U.S. for The Virtual Dutch Men! This might sound a bit crazy, but it’s true – and very exciting too! We take a look back at our week in the U.S. where we had an amazing experience at the VOID in Salt Lake City, interesting meet ups at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and an intense game spectacle at MMOne’s showroom in Redwood City.
Tuesday – Bye bye Holland
The first day of our trip to the U.S., we flew to Salt Lake City, where we arrived in the afternoon.
Wednesday – Truly immersive experience at the VOID
We were geared up at the VOID with a vest that contains numerous haptic feedback points. Further, our ’VR gear’ contained a head mounted display that is powered by a ‘backtop’: a small form factor backpack pc, running on battery power. We were ready to be amazed! Our immersive adventure started, as we were dropped into an ancient temple. There was only one goal: finding the exit, while facing an array of challenges. Exploding doors, walking through spider webs and a wall that crumbled down, leaving us standing on the edge of a large canyon. We spent only 15 minutes or so playing this experience in the VOID, but it could easily have been half an hour for all we know!
Haptic feedback at its best
As you might have guessed, we were extremely impressed by this amazing immersive experience that seduces all the senses. The haptic feedback was great, especially the tingly and scary feeling of walking through the sticky spider webs. The crawling spiders on the wall really made the experience complete, as if we were completely covered by them. This immediately reminded us of that one scene in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The 4D effects such as an air conditioner and a wind blower made it into a total immersive experience, this was evident when we entered a cave and it suddenly got cold or stood on the edge of a cliff and felt the wind blowing in our face.
Small room, big adventure
We were surprised by the feeling of being in this gigantic world, while actually only walking around in a fairly limited amount of space. Once we found the exit of the temple, the walls came down and we were welcomed back into the real world. At the end of the day we were still amazed by the believable world we had entered, leaving us with a feeling of rapture. Our day ended in the airplane, leaving Salt Lake City for our next destination: San Francisco.
Thursday – Shooting drones at the GDC
Off to our first day at the Game Developers Conference! Here we demonstrated a full body immersive Virtual Reality experience at the Xsens booth. Making use of an Oculus Rift DK2, the Unity game engine, Manus VR gloves and an Xsens motion capture suit, we knew how to draw the attention at the booth. Especially when Bart started shooting around in the MoCap suit with his VR gun in front of the audience.
Mingling at GDC and Oculus
We took a quick visit to other booths as well, such as the booth of Sixense. Optoma visited us, and we had a nice conversation. It turned out to be an interesting day with neat conversations and interviews. We were pleased to see that the majority of the booths was about Virtual Reality – another confirmation of the importance and potential of Virtual Reality. We spent the evening visiting an Oculus Community event, where we got to play ‘EVE: Valkyrie’ together with the developers.
Friday – Demos, interviews and touristy magnets
The second and last day of the GDC. We held interviews and demonstrated our experiment until about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. We had some time to honor ‘The Virtual Dutch Men tradition’ by buying a fridge magnet of San Francisco for the office, to add to the collection. Afterwards we had some drinks and evaluated our week so far.
Saturday – All strapped up in the turning VR gaming chair
On Saturday we were invited to come over to Redwood City to visit MMOne’s showroom: a company that is developing world’s first interactive VR attraction, at which we experienced their three axis turning Virtual Reality Gaming Chair. We played ‘Track Mania’ to test it out for ourselves and it proved to be quite a unique experience. They were integrating one of our VR Rollercoaster experiences, which they gladly presented to us. It was fun to see how our content provided inspiration to others, using it in their organization.
Sunday – Flying home
Back in the plane, heading home after a very busy but amazing week!
As you may have noticed, it was quite a week! We really enjoyed being surrounded with innovative technology and catching up with new initiatives. We love to immersive ourselves in the world in VR! Just as we love to create Virtual Reality experiences. Do you want to see what VR can do for you? Feel free to contact us!