Great news for Project Holodeck – we are now officially sponsored by Razer! We’re absolutely enamored with the Razer Hydra. It gives us the speed and precision needed for the depth of gameplay we’re trying to create. With Hydra, we have much higher precision magnetic tracking of two points with 6-degrees of freedom, allowing us to explore realistic avatar embodiment in virtual reality like never before.
With support from Razer, we’ve been able to get our entire software development team up to speed and working with Hydras on a regular basis. Communication is a hundred times easier, and now we really have to freedom to explore, play, iterate, and expand on our interaction mechanics like never before. It’s a fantastic match, and we thank the entire Razer team from the bottom of our hearts! You guys are amazing!
Imagine being in the Oculus Rift head-mounted display, and looking down and seeing the virtual arms of your avatar move in tandem with your real body? This is exactly what we’re doing in Wild Skies, where players can move, jump, shoot, and otherwise interact in a complete 360-degree full-body virtual play space, all taking place on the deck of a nuclear powered steampunk-style airship. Here’s a video that goes into more detail about the Holodeck experience and what it’s like to play Wild Skies:
The Hydra adds an additional layer of presence to this experience. Players’ hands are actually interacting with virtual objects on the x, y, and z axes with complete pitch, yaw, and roll (6-DOF). For instance, in Wild Skies, the Hydra allows each player to interact with ship components in a profoundly realistic and natural way, such as the subtle motion of turning a helm, or aiming and firing a cannon, or adjusting a throttle to increase speed of transport.
This takes the Hydra far beyond typical sit-down PC gaming experience. Instead, players are standing up and moving around, and because the Hydra is attached to the players’ body it can update local position and orientation in-real time. In tandem with Oculus Rift, the Hydra’s previous limitations are lifted, and the powerful magnetic tracking capabilities really shine.
With Project Holodeck, the Razer Hydra technology is reaching its full potential. It’s almost as if this hardware was meant for VR all along!