Guest Post: VR shooter from company VIRTUACTIONS on the Oculus Quest 2
VR shooter from VIRTUACTIONS on the Oculus Quest 2 Headset
Business in free-roam VR captivates people from all over the world. The company VIRTUACTIONS has launched its tenth VR arena in the CIS countries, with a tracking location set up in the Republic of Belarus. The demand for LBE (location-based entertainment) games and quests is growing every day, as this format is challenging and exciting for users.
Analytical agencies state that during the period from 2021 to 2025, there will be a stable sustained growth and an increase of investments from large companies in this field. Several factors contribute to this: a switch to standalone devices, the development of 5G networks that provide adequate upload/download speed, price reductions on the Oculus Quest, new specialties in VR and personal monetization, and accessibility of development for many new segments of population.
One of the most exciting developments is the free-roam arena, with potential subsequent integrations into a tactile sensation-equipped personal simulator. The possibility to be in a "VR society"—to move, play and interact with the surrounding virtual world—is a dream of many VR fans. Facebook has already announced its new virtual world Horizon, that could become the new place to be for millions of people.
How does Cyberaction Arena operate?
Virtual arena is a designed multiplayer shooter with free roam integrated into a prepared room. The game is uploaded through connection to headsets via a remote server. Each arena has its own address, and powerful routers are installed in the room to ensure connectivity never waivers.
Additionally, the perimeter of the arena is equipped with tracking strips, providing the initial basis for the device. Before launching the arena, the headsets are calibrated by operators and they read the entire perimeter through their external cameras. The placement of a standard arena can vary from 60 to 400 m2, which allows 4- 10 players to participate at a time.
While choosing and testing various headsets, the natural choices were the untethered autonomous devices from Facebook – Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2. The movement in the autonomous VR headsets allows users to sit, run, take short strides and crawl.
The arena is managed through a mobile app, allowing operators to monitor and launch the arena via a tablet or a phone, facilitating the displaying images on a monitor on the arena for participants and team fans.
The rules for arena participants:
Before the start of the game the operator sets the battle mode:
3) Random shooter
The participants split into two teams at the point of collection. Within the headset, users immediately see the arena and all the elements in the level. Popular weapons from various games can be found hanging on the side board. Participants can choose from several weapons, selecting weapons that give distinct advantages while storming a building. Reloading the magazine is done using the pouch hanging on a user's belt.
A team competition can be won when either side which kills all the opponents during the session. Dropped out participants can wait for them on the point of collection in the form of “dead souls” with translucent illumination.
The second option for battle is laser tag with respawns at the collection point. There is an automatic score recording.
The specialists of the company regularly modernize every part of the gameplay. At the beginning of 2020, a special planner module was designed allowing the owners of the arena to design the levels independently—without the participation of the company’s engineers. At the moment the arena has 10 basic levels with various tasks and difficulty levels.
The planner module will help the club owners to create their own “ideal level”, which will help the arena stand out and be unique.
The use of new Oculus Quest 2
At first, the arena was designed for Steam VR with its own control system and player interaction system; the game resembled Pavlov VR, but after the release of the Oculus Quest headsets the company changed its strategy, and in two months reformatted the business into a free-roam arena. A number of tests were carried out, and the result was phenomenal. At present, the platform connects to the game server and the device, receiving coordinates and tracking all of the devices on the map.
This has become the key in choosing to develop the game and modernize it into the arena format. While testing the Oculus Quest on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 base, it was necessary to optimize the original game data for specifications of the headsets, reducing the image quality to ensure the game without lag.
With the release of the second version of headsets Oculus Quest 2, the company’s engineers are considering the return to the original game parameters, with the high image quality. The complete transition of the arenas to Quest 2 is planned to take place in 2021-2022 year, with adaptations and updates to the arena.
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