How The Latest Star Wars Game Will Change Multiplayer VR

When most gamers think about what the future of virtual reality, they might imagine immersion beyond the audio-visual-based VR games we currently have. Some think the next step is to incorporate touch. Others may say there will be physical environments that change along with the game itself. Those thinking a bit outside the box could also add that specific features that add to the role playing aspect of multiplayer games through the medium. Those lukewarm about VR most likely want less disorientation in motion.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire at Downtown Disney’s Anaheim, CA location does exactly all of those things. Through several generations, Star Wars and Disney bring technological innovation in entertainment to the masses.

The 4-player shooter adventure begins with suiting up in the VR helmet and a vest that tracks movement and vibrates when taking damage. Players take hold of blaster shaped controllers. Seamlessly, the four are transported from Downtown Disney to a galaxy far, far away. They instantly become Rebels in Stormtrooper uniforms. The mission: infiltrate the Empire’s volcanic base on Mustafar and retrieve their data.

Most cracks where reality shines through is cleanly patched up. It’s perfect synchronicity that the vest and helmet make Disney-goers feel like they’re wearing Stormtrooper armor. The motion tracking is on point. The vibration feature and raising of the room temperature when the lava starts flowing in the game make it hyperreal. Virtual reality will change greatly the word spreads about Secrets of the Empire.

Virtual Reality Will Be Used in Social Gaming

Virtual reality is a technology that has been around for many years. However, it is just starting to be used in the social gaming industry. There are some gaming companies that feel the potential of virtual reality is untapped. This is why they are investing a considerable amount of money to create games that utilize this type of technology. One of the companies that is progressing at a faster rate than their competitors is called Kite & Lightning. Their headquarters are in Los Angeles. The company had managed to convince several key investors to finance their virtual reality game development to the tune of $2.5 million. It remains to be seen what type of games they will try to develop. They have not commented on their plans in terms of the plot or characters that their games will include.

There have been previous attempts to create social gaming titles using virtual reality technology. However, none of them really caught on the way the companies that designed them were hoping. Probably the most notable of these games was called “Toybox” designed by Oculus. The concept of the game involved sharing a space with other players while all of you manipulate various toys that are located in the environment that surrounds you.

Two other companies that want to integrate virtual reality tech into the social gaming experience are Linden Lab and High Fidelity. Both of the projects they are currently working on are quite ambitious. Their goal is to create a vast universe that players can get lost in. Needless to say, projects of this size will be very expensive and take quite a few years to complete. However, both companies remain confident that the demand for outstanding virtual reality games will continue for years to come. It remains to be seen if this is true.

Social Gaming’s Future With Augmented and Virtual Reality

The term “social gaming” can be applied widely to a huge variety of online games that enable or require social experiences. It could apply to almost every type of digital game today, from a simple mobile app to a AAA blockbuster. Using in most cases either a smartphone or tablet computer, augmented reality (AR) adds to a user’s own reality with graphics, video, sound or other digital elements. In contrast, virtual reality (VR) immerses a user within a digital environment. Powered by these new platforms, the future of social gaming will undoubtedly be bright, as unique game ideas will emerge that challenge our concept of what gaming can be.

With the release of several products in 2016, AR and VR are set to leave the niche market and enter the mainstream. It was an amazing year for these new technologies, as several exciting products landed in stores. Facebook’s eagerly anticipated Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive VR headset made their debuts, and there are a number of well reviewed games for both systems. But due to the high price point of these products and the lack of killer-app games, experts predict that much of the growth in VR and AR over the next few years will be in the mobile market.

Seemingly out of nowhere, AR finally hit the mainstream this past summer with the release of the wildly popular Pokemon Go app. This AR game uses a smartphone’s camera, GPS locator, accelerometer, and compass to encourage users to walk about in their towns, and points beyond, in search of the various cartoon Pokemon that appear on their phone’s screen. Pokemon Go presents an intriguing glimpse of what a truly social AR or VR game could be.