VR Arcade Interview: Wilco Vos, Co-Founder, VR Arcade and Marketing Team, VR Arcade
November 9, 2018 – Excellent Interview by VR Arcade. Interview by Wilco Vos, Co-Founder, VR Arcade and Marketing Team, VR Arcade. Today, they talks to us today about his work on VR Arcade.
VR Arcade offers a unique experience in Virtual Reality gaming. Founded in 2016 by game developer Wilco Vos, professional piano player Sander Bos and golf professional Sebastiaan de Jonge, VR Arcade offers a unique free roam environment. Armed with a backpack, VR goggles and a weapon it’s up to you and your team to work together to defeat zombies and aliens. All our games are played in free roam environments so no cables or strings holding you back.
// From Wilco Vos, Co-Founder, VR Arcade
Could you discuss the use of location-based virtual reality (LBVR) system?
The system we built allows us to have players roam free in a virtual environment. This is where we see the true potential of LBVR. We want to offer players an experience that cannot be found in home VR sets. The one massive limitation of consumer VR is that you will run into real-world barriers. These could be because of a small living room, limitations of the hardware or simply the effort that would be required to configure a large VR space.
When players come to one of our locations, they can experience a much larger virtual world than they will have ever seen. That is the point of an LBVR.
What is the VR/AR future in Gaming?
VR and AR are both fascinating possibilities for the future of gaming. With our own experiences we can already see how amazing it is to actually move and interact in virtual environments in a natural and believable way. There’s no ‘translation’ of the actions you do behind a PC into the game world, there’s no fighting interface, you are just there. And this is with relatively simple software. Future versions of our platform will give players an ever increasing ability to be in a game.
The difference between AR and VR is simply the added challenge that AR brings; with AR, the technology needs to project over the physical world, where VR simply hides that world. We are excited to see where AR will go, but right now it’s easier to develop with VR.
Share something about Vicon’s Origin and Evoke software? How it’s helpful for that?
The primary thing that Origin gives us is simply more accurate tracking of our players. It is an amazing system that is showing great results already, even though we are still finalizing our Origin setup in Delfgauw. But besides the tracking, it also gives us a system that is built to be self-sustaining.
Because of the way the system is designed, we can automate, simplify and verify routine operations and present our staff with easy-to-use software. This is precisely what we were looking for now that we are expanding our presence with our new locations.
What are the requirements for VR Arcade Games?
Our games require powerful PC’s to make sure that we can give players a smooth experience while still delivering a visually appealing game for them to play. Besides that, we of course require gun peripherals that match our in-game weapons as best as possible, a low-latency WiFi network and a tracking system to allow players to move in the game.
Could you tell me a little about VR Arcade LBVR games like Zombie Apocalypse, Alien Defense? What about the future VR Games?
Our current games are designed around the idea of placing players under threat. We wanted to see how players react to the enemies we have given them. We started with zombies because they were a good starting point, especially because they were easier to develop a believable AI for. After “Apocalypse,” we wanted to use what we learned during its development and push our graphics and artificial opponents, which resulted in “Alien Defense.”
Now that we have enough gameplay in this Player versus Environment setting, we want to experiment with more immersive experiences and more competitive games, to allow players to have more focused and enjoyable experiences. We have seen a clear demand for both types of content and we want to provide our players with experiences that will give them exactly what they want.
What’s the most challenging part in creating VR Games? How was the testing done in VR Games?
Precisely what you mention; the testing turned out to be the most challenging part of our development process. Although we can test a lot of things with a keyboard and mouse behind a PC, there are just as many things you need to put on a VR headset for. In our case we even had to do extensive testing with five players in VR in our arena to make sure all systems are working with each other. Just to name an example, it was only after testing “Alien Defense” in our arena that we noticed performance issues when we went to five players simultaneously. This turned out to be network related, but that is precisely what we would have missed if we just tested in our office with VR headsets on.
Besides testing, the next big thing is simply getting all our systems running as expected. Although it’s relatively easy to create an experience like “Apocalypse,” it turns into a massive undertaking to make that same experience behave exactly the same every time a group of players want to play your game. In fact, it’s something we are still working on to this day.
Any upcoming projects of VR Arcade or other details you can share?
As a company, we are currently focused on improving our platform and expanding our presence. After this push, we want to improve and expand our content. As mentioned earlier, the first things our players will see is new experiences that will focus on the wishes and feedback they left us.
// From Marketing Team, VR Arcade
VR Arcade offers a new virtual world and gaming experience. Could you share something about that?
We offer a unique VR gaming experience where teams up to five players can play a game in free-roam. All team members are equipped with a backpack, VR goggles and a weapon. As a team they have to fight against zombies or aliens, depending on the game they choose. All the games that we offer are made in house by our game development team.
What are the locations available in VR Arcade?
As of this moment we have one location open in Amsterdam that has been running since march 2017. On the November 17 we will open our second location in Delft, in the Netherlands. Helmond and Groningen will follow soon after that. We plan on expanding more within the Netherlands. Eventually we also want to take the VR Arcade abroad.
Many thanks to VR Arcade Team for sharing with us his experiences. We are eagerly awaiting the next one.
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