Zombies on the Holodeck! New Game for Project Holodeck and Oculus Rift Plays with Film Conventions in Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is a young medium. Zombies on the Holodeck was started to explore virtual environments outside of strict realism.  Recreating a wholly photorealistic world is still a huge thing to explore in this emerging field. However, because Virtual Reality offers the opportunity to create alternate realities altogether – why be bound to the notion that the alternate reality must strive to behave like normal? In that case, how does Film relate to Virtual Reality?   The Idea – Living in a Movie Zombies on the Holodeck uses the modular Holodeck platform to immerse players in a survival horror environment.  Players use the ...

Three Fundamental Ways that Virtual Reality is Changing the Future of Game Design

Most games are designed with a computer screen or television in mind – but what happens when the screen is attached to your face?  What happens when your body is being tracked?  There’s a lot of things that go into making virtual reality systems work, and they all fundamentally change how games are experienced and designed. Peripheral Vision The most obvious change is peripheral vision.  With tech like the Oculus Rift, the optics actually bend a stereoscopic image around your eyes.  So you feel quite a bit more “present” in the game with VR goggles that you would with a television. Because ...

Speechless Protagonists, Spatial Storytelling, and Immersive Worlds: Half-Life Game Narrative Review at GDC 2012

The Game Narrative Summit is coming up next month in Austin, and features an all-star lineup of speakers talking transmedia, indie games, blockbusters, and everything in between.  Back in April I submitted a paper to the Summit on narrative architecture in games, using Half-Life as an iconic early example of spatial storytelling and immersive world building in the first person shooter.  I’m very honored to have been accepted as a gold-level winner, and in October I will be presenting a poster at the event to engage with narratologists of all disciplines. The first person shooter is the spiritual predecessar to virtual ...

Virtual Insanity: John Carmack, Michael Abrash, and Palmer Luckey on QuakeCon 2012 Panel

Just a quick update, here’s a fantastic panel from this past Friday at QuakeCon. Palmer really breaks down the fundamentals of the Oculus Rift HMD, along with Michael Abrash of Valve and John Carmack: Abrash posted on his blog back in April about his wearable computing VR project at Valve, which doubles as a recruitment pitch. Its a fascinating read! Now that the Rift has become that project, Valve can focus on integrating it with its current and upcoming titles, much like Carmack has with the Doom: BFG Edition. The Oculus Rift kickstarter is nearing the $1.5 million mark, and still has ...
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Project Holodeck

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All good game characters are wish fulfillment. They give the player a chance to be something they aren’t in the real world. I think the same is true about games in general. Games should make players feel something that they aren’t in the real world: powerful, smart, sneaky, successful, rich, bad, or heroic. — Scott Rogers, Level Up

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