Game Selection, Part 1: Access beyond reality

We often get questions on how we select our games. Of course, what makes a game great is highly subjective and debatable. However, as we choose games, we tend to evaluate certain key areas, which we’ll cover across a few posts starting with this one.

Game topics

 Rec Room uses a wrist watch to access all game settings and selections.

Rec Room uses a wrist watch to access all game settings and selections.

Many games fit into existing game genres and concepts, but modify details in a particular way that suits them for VR. For example, a game that would typically use a heads-up display or a menu on a PC/console version might switch to a wristwatch in VR. We generally aren’t going to offer a game that hasn’t received any modification to become VR-appropriate (which is the case for several racing games - a common request we get).  

 

A great VR game should provide access beyond reality in one of 3 ways, and we do our best to balance these so that everyone can find something they’re interested in.

 VR Furballs: Demolition is a ridiculous, fantastical concept that's a lot of fun.

VR Furballs: Demolition is a ridiculous, fantastical concept that's a lot of fun.

Fantasy

Perhaps the most obvious way to access something beyond reality is to actually become part of a fantasy world - something that otherwise requires imagination and storytelling. Want some classic fantasy, like casting magic spells? Something silly, like launching little furballs to destroy giant towers? How about horror, such as blasting away zombies and monstrous creatures? All of these things can be created and experienced with VR.

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Based on Reality

VR can transport you into a real experience that you are unlikely to have otherwise.  This could be used to build empathy, as in the “I Am A Man” experience that we’re featuring tomorrow night at Seeing is Believing: An Immersive Media Festival. It’s based on portions of the Civil Rights Movement. It can be used for humor: people love getting into Drunkn Bar Fight with us, but hopefully most of them aren’t going out for real bar fights afterwards. Maybe you can’t afford a helicopter tour over NYC, or you just aren’t physically built like a quarterback. With VR, you can step into any of these experiences or many others.

Social

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Finally, VR has the power to put you right next to someone that could be hundreds or thousands of miles away. Sure, online gaming has allowed you to play with distant friends for years, but in VR you can stand right next to them. Some games mimic real life, but allow you to do it with an avatar that can high five or make facial expressions at other players. For example, in parts of Rec Room, you can play paintball, dodgeball, or laser tag. Sure, you can go out and play those things in real life, but not with your friend who lives across the country. Some games are also adding spectator modes, where everyone gets a front row seat to watch the action from a great vantage point after they are “out.”

Part 2 covers immersion and interactivity in VR games and Part 3 discusses how we decide if a game is arcade-ready.