On this week’s VR Moments we take a trip back in time with Virtual Umbrella’s Samantha Kingston, a time back to when dinosaurs ruled the earth – and also when virtual reality (VR) was beginning to create some memorable moments. She takes up her story below:
The last time I had a true moment of being taken away from the real world was when I tried out Crytek’s Back To Dinosaur Island 2 E3 Demo at last summer’s show. Yes, I have seen a huge amount of content, but this demo has always stuck in the back of my mind. It’s not often I feel the world around me slip away and I am completely engulfed in a VR experience.
When I was younger I used to watch the Walking With Dinosaurs documentaries that where aired. (If you didn’t watch them they are now available on Netflix– fun fact.) For me, Back To Dinosaur Island 2 was like stepping into those documentaries. The excitement of feeling like a child again and wanting to witness these creatures up close and personal. I was indeed living a childhood dream.
The majority of the demo was climbing up the side of a Cliffside. Which, of course, if you well versed with Crytek’s work is now a part of their experiences for The Climb. As you ventured up the side of this cliff, you could turn and witness a tropical environment and a forever falling waterfall just a glance away. This experience alone took my breath away. Looking down instantly made my stomach jump, even though I was fully aware I was sitting in a chair.
I have discussed this experience with many people, they have often asked how it felt knowing that my feet where on the ground while climbing the Cliffside, surely that would keep me aware of the outside world. Well I am rather short and the chair that I was sitting in allowed me to swing my feet, therefore removing the feeling of being grounded.
Although I had a demo guide the whole way through, I didn’t feel like this ruined the experience; I didn’t feel like I was concentrating on the outside world. “Who is looking at me, is someone behind me” it was almost like I had a pair of earphones in and my guide was chatting away in my ear like a tourist guide throughout my journey.
The audio and texture of the demo had a massive part to play. As one pterodactyl swooped down over my head and down the cliff, it was the shuffle of feathers and movement that encouraged me to look up. Although I knew it would not hit me, I instantly threw my body backwards out of the way.
Even now nearly a year later, I can still remember seeing the speckles of dust float past my hand and face. The demo left me wanting a lot more.
I have yet to push aside my emails and try Crytek’s The Climb which has elements of the demo that I saw back at E3, but I am very excited to try it soon, however I do wish it would be available for the HTC Vive as from my experience of the demo the climb would go hand in hand with headset. (I can dream…)
Do you have a VR Moment you’d like to discuss? It could be your first experience with the technology or it could be a time, like the above, where you truly had a sense of true immersion. If there is, and you would be interested in sharing it on VRFocus, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. VR Moments will be back next week.