Exploring the finest in VR that Europe has to offer, VR Days, spanning across 3 action packed days in Amsterdam has seen speakers from giants including The Guardian, BBC, Google and Samsung to the more localised companies including Holodeck, Force Field and The Mill.
Each individual had something new to add to the conversation on how VR & AR will affect our ever growing digital driven lives but in this feature we’re going to explore:
- The effect that VR is going to have on our entertainment consumption
- How it will change the way games are made
- Why AR is the latest trend for games
Exploring the “Church of VR”
Speaking with Nikki van Sprundel, head of VR Days content curation for the “Church of VR” (A collection of great content in VR) we explored what it was like putting together this year’s lineup of experiences:
“It’s been a very fun time having over 200 applications for the church of VR. There were a few things that I looked at, mainly the way they use the medium, the way they tell a story and it was key to have a lot of variation.”
Nikki also went on to mention “It’s still a big trend to focus on the empathy within VR, and to get people in a space where people wouldn’t normally be. syfy too is being published alot along with smaller trends that explore VR within VR, which is a great way to get to explore the medium.”
A wave of change
Diving deeper, (quite literally) into how VR is changing the way we experience our games and media, Marijke Sjollema from the Dolphin Swim club went on to explain why their unique concept of including both physical elements (in this case a swimming pool) and VR changes the game.
“Our brains believe that VR is reality and our body physically reacts to that making it a powerful medium. Your skin is one of your biggest organs meaning there is a lot of sensitivity there. Adding water to that experience makes it even more immersive.”
With so many talented developers and creatives exhibiting on the show floor, they too had much to add when we speak about the way in which they now need to approach making a game.
Terence Mosca who works for Tequila Works who earlier this year released the puzzle adventure game ‘Rime‘ spoke to us about their new VR game ‘The Invisible hours” which utilizes time mechanics and the explorative power to create an experience.
When Terence spoke more about this it was very easy to understand the ways in which game developers are overcoming the learning curve for VR.
“Theres the creative questions, the production question and the market question. Firstly moving to motion capture, allowed us to capture real life emotions and shorten our production timeline”
Terence then went onto speak about how their movement mechanics adapted as well, “for some users that are not used to VR, we utilised a sticky mode where you can connect yourself to a character and follow them along”
The new buzz word for games…
AR too has been a big topic of buzz at this years VR Days, whether it is just speculation hype from the recent news of Apple’s AR Kit or Google’s AR Core for android, it is unknown.
However one thing’s for certain AR is going to make its way into our lives just as much as VR.
Small Netherlands based AR company, Playmax who have been working closely with the new generation of Asus AR phone technology spoke to us about why AR is beginning to be so important for your average consumer and business.
AR is becoming more mainstream now, because it is much more accessible for much more people and this is mainly down the having AR on your phone
When looking at this side of the story it really starts to make sense with the number of smartphone users forecasted to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019.
With so many people having the ability to use this technology people are starting to notice.
When looking into the AR gaming aspect of things, Ruben also mentioned how the rise in location based games could be making a big impact in the coming years.
“AR enables location based games to allow multiple people to share experiences all together, things are moving really fast and proper experiences will be here within a year.”
With more people able to play together in the same space things are instantly made more sociable for people.
When you take a closer look, human beings are incredibly social creatures which makes interactions with technology in the physical world much more appealing to general consumers at the moment.
Where will we be in just 5 years?
As the day starts to wrap up at the 2017 VR Days the spirit and collaboration between a constantly evolving community of creators will continue to grow and see a new movement of games, experience and projects in both Virtual Reality and Augmented reality.
Are you a developer or creative in the games industry? How has the impact of VR & AR affected your views of the future of yours or others games? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or email [email protected]