Echo Screen Live #27: Virtual Insanity (8/7/13)

Chat with us live every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 9PM Eastern – you can even watch archived episodes!

Tonight’s topic: Virtual Insanity – the drive to realism in games. We can talk about some of the ideas brought up in the future of games panel at ConBravo regarding the role of virtual and augmented reality in video games and what we think it will look like.

All that and your questions on this episode of Echo Screen Live!


  • Markies
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    I can’t seem to get the video to work. Was it uploaded correctly? All I get is a blank screen as it tries to load and then it immediately finishes.

    I usually watch the archives, so I’m curious to know if I am the only one that can’t get it too work.


    • Markies
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

      Nevermind. Everything seems to be working. Just need to be more patient!

  • Knightcrawler
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    I’ve rarely heard anyone come up with a good AR game idea. Dre2Dee2 had a good idea in the chat about AR board games, but that’s not really a new game. That’s just making board games much more convenient. It could be used to augment other tabletop games like D&D, or assist with LARPing if you’re into that, but augmenting is really all it is in most cases. There are times in our everyday lives when your attention shouldn’t be split (like driving to work; why would you think it’s a good idea to play a video game with driving?) or for most workplace activities.

    Most workplace activities are so specific that there’s no way a good game could be developed for them that still allows you to work. And I don’t think there’s any amount of augmenting that could improve some tasks… and it’s possible that you wouldn’t really be playing in the first place. Let’s think about the idea of taking stock, for instance. In what way would you be playing this game? Its your job to pick up the cans and put them over on shelf A in such-and-such a pattern. The game wants you to put them on shelf A, B, C, and D in a different pattern to unlock a magic circle. Great, you gained a level in the game, but you were fired from work. Alternatively, you do the exact same thing you always would have done and effectively have a slightly responsive screensaver player over your eye. Great… fun.

    That’s not even taking into account that *good* AU technology is going to be based on good VR research. You can’t have good AU without VR, or at least it’ll take several times longer to develop.

    As far as VR, I don’t dig the whole “it won’t work well for Street Fighter or CoD, so of course it’ll be a total failure” argument, which frankly seemed to be what Commodore was primarily going for. And just because Street Fighter can’t work in VR doesn’t mean viewing the game in a VR environment couldn’t be nifty. And it certainly doesn’t mean a fighting game can’t work, it’d just have to be more along the lines of a sparring simulator. It’d be exhausting, sure, and you’d need a high-end headset that could be totally wireless, tough enough to take some bumps, very small and light, with realspace detection, but it’d probably be the best exercise game ever made for gamers.

    Some genres are pretty much ready for VR right now: driving games, adventure games, flight simulator games, slower FPS games, educational games/experiences, second life games (this might fall under the next category, though) etc.. Some genres will require more technologically advanced headsets, like fighting games, action adventure games (although this might fall under the first category), faster FPS games, etc.. Some will never work as VR games, but could work as games played in a VR environment, like current fighting games.

    VR could even be used to expand the realm of human experience, and some crazy technologies exist out there or are feasible that can bring immersion to a whole new level. No, gaming isn’t always about immersion, but it often is.

    Commodore, with that glass it looked like every drink you took was the last. It was really freaking me out!

  • Knightcrawler
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    As far as manipulating molecules in VR being unrealistic:


  • lucktacular lucktacular
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

    Guys, I think I found The Commodore…

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