While people donned headsets on the floors of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and transported themselves into solo adventures, AltspaceVR showcased a demo on the HTC Vive that whisked visitors to a place they could VR together. Our team has been behind the scenes creating an interactive social experience with HTC Vive and its controllers. We were excited to share the swash-buckling experience in the Valve Demo Area on Friday.
It starts in a tavern…
In the demo, you find yourself in a medieval tavern warmed by the glow of a crackling fire. Another user is behind the counter holding a mug of grog. He chuckles a little as he tries to stay in character.
“What are you having?” He asks with a smile in his voice and slides you a mug. You pick it up with your Vive controller and clink glasses with him. Suddenly you hear the sound of metal hitting wood behind you.
You turn around. Before you is your friend clad in a robot avatar and holding a sword and shield. She slams the sword against the wood of her shield in a clear challenge. You pick up a sword on the counter and a shield from the floor. Suddenly you’re battling it out with your friend to the epic thunder crash of sword on sword and blocking near fatal attacks with your shield.
You duck and dodge and feel the tickle of a memory of playing make-believe as a kid. You finally concede in a final epic smack down and try to save face by challenging your friend to a game of pumpkin basketball. You aim your pumpkin for the barrel on the wall and neatly sink a basket. Another friend praises your skills and waves his magic wand under the basket, cheering you on.
Back in real life
Our play sword fighting experience seemed to send people back to a preschool state of mind. After visitors removed their headsets and blinked themselves into the real world, it’s all smiles and new friendships after the battle is over.