One of my favorite events last year was the first ever Consumer Virtual Reality convention in Vancouver, BC. I’m a little discouraged by all the conventions I miss out on in LA and San Francisco, so I was overjoyed to be able to attend one in my own town (why are ‘virtual’ virtual reality conventions a thing yet). This year I bought tickets as soon as they appeared, but a year ago I never even imagined that I would be helping run a booth at the event with the Vancouver VR Community.
The Vancouver VR Community is a recent organization designed to connect and showcase the amazing work that’s being done by local developers. Since joining, I’ve been surprised to find out that some of my favorite VR games were made on Victoria island, or in leaky condos and basement rentals in town. It’s really cool to be able talk with all these passionate people that are shaping the future of so many industries.
When I wasn’t at the booth waving around a foam-board cut-out of our deer logo, I was on the floor looking for the latest software and tools. The event organizers did a great job in bringing a huge variety of experiences and applications to the show floor, but unsurprisingly I gravitated to the games.
I got to try out ‘Edge of Atlantis,’ which is a rogue-like/diablo style action RPG which is currently running a kickstarter campaign, as well as ‘Kung Fu Shadow Fist,’ which is a first person Streets of Rage game in which you are pretty much always punching distance from something if you so choose. I also got to be a Tiger and fight my friend (also a Tiger) in ‘Tooth and Claw’ and solve clever physics based puzzles in ‘Awaken’. I got to check out ‘Manastorm,’ which is a card-based combat game that satisfies the imagination of any MTG, Yugioh or Hearthstone player. To my surprise, ‘Chroma Lab’ and ‘Chocolate’ were on the floor being represented by TH-er, whom seem to have amazing plans to bring what is basically an art gallery of wondrous exhibits that would be impossible to experience in real life.
I’m sad I didn’t get to try out all the titles (‘Vindicta’ looks like a ton of fun) but the convention definitely put a ton of great work on my radar. It is so fulfilling to see these developers showcase their work, get feedback, and ultimately bring people into the worlds they have been crafting for months. I really enjoyed seeing all the children gush with enthusiasm about ‘LlamaZOO’s’ app on canine anatomy or about the staggering variety of creature mutations in ‘Mutato Match.’ Overall, this is the kind of thing the industry needs more of: putting the future into the hands of everyone, and enriching their lives with experiences they could not have in real life. Here’s looking forward to 2018!