This week the Orlando VR group had its first of the year meetup, where developers, hobbyists, and enthusiasts came together to catch up on the state of AR and VR in the industry and to try out one of the community’s very own VR projects: Virtual Battlegrounds. We at Chronosapien, in partnership with Intel’s Innovator group, were given the opportunity to support the event with catered lunch for all the attendees. The event was hosted at the Orlando Game Space, a collaborative coworking space in downtown Orlando built specifically for independent game dev studios. The event saw people from all ages and talent levels exchanging news about current trends, upcoming products, and experiences, and brought everyone together to try out the next battle royale shooter made for VR.
The event opened with Rick Terrell, the co-organizer for the group, leading the discussion on the current happenings in the AR/VR world. Since the group’s last meetup, the industry had “released” a dev kit for the mysterious Magic Leap device, seen cool and new virtual interactions from Leap Motion with its monstrous prototype HMD, opened a Star Wars themed VR experiential venue here in Orlando, and released numerous new titles on all major VR platforms. Everyone in attendance shared in the excitement and enthusiasm revolving around the momentum of the industry, and conversations quickly evolved into open discussions about what everyone had been doing individually with the tech, and what they expected to happen with it in 2018.
After the AR/VR state of the union, the presentation switched to Sean Pinnock and his upcoming game Virtual Battlegrounds. He discussed the project’s current state, how it got started, and his marketing strategy for the game which saw over 3,000 alpha tester signups and over two million impressions on social media and news outlets. Along with the group, he also talked about some of the game’s current and planned mechanics, referencing games like Onward (and of course PUBG) as inspiration. Locomotion was a hot point of discussion, with some lobbying for integration of treadmill-like tech like the Omni, as well as other physical gun peripherals, to add to the game’s immersiveness. It was a reminder of just how nascent medium really is.
Once the group finished with the presentation and discussion around Virtual Battlegrounds, it was time for the main event of the day: the Virtual Battlegrounds demo! The group crowded around two stations for a chance to skydive into the under-development VR battle royale game, some of which had never tried VR before. While the demos weren’t without a few bugs, everyone had the chance to jump from a plane and rush toward the nearest gun before getting blasted by AI bots.
Outside of the demos, everyone also had the chance to catch up with each other and talk about what they were working on in VR.
Overall the event was a great success and saw over 50 people from the community come together to exchange on the future of AR and VR, catch up with each other on their projects, and demo Virtual Battlegrounds. Everyone in attendance extends a big THANK YOU to Intel for their support of the event!
For more information about the groups mentioned above, check out these links:
Orlando VR Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Orlando-Virtual-Reality/
Orlando Game Space: http://orlandogamespace.com/
Virtual Battlegrounds Sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/2ZIql50UZXhFd6zM2
Chronosapien Interactive: http://www.chronosapien.com/
Intel Software Innovators: https://software.intel.com/en-us/intel-software-innovators