I remember watching Dota 2’s The International 6 (TI6) last year, and they revealed the Virtual Reality (VR) Hub feature for spectators which got my friends and I really impressed.
That’s how immersive a game can get!
Now, we’ll be able to personally experience the future of VR gaming too.
Today, 24 November 2017, will be the official opening of Zero Latency in Singapore – Southeast Asia’s first warehouse-scale, free-roaming VR gaming experience.
Players suit up with their custom-made gear that are designed for maximum immersion.
They then enter the world of the game and move around to complete the objectives of the game.
L4D In Virtual Reality
We had a taste of Zombie Survival, one out of the three games at Zero Latency.
If you’ve played, or are a fan of Left For Dead (L4D), the popular multiplayer first-person shooter game, Zombie Survival is like that.
Yes, it’s kind of like playing L4D in VR!
The game’s objective is to defend the fort from hoards of zombies and stay alive while waiting for help to arrive.
Before players begin, staff will lead you into a small briefing room and the game master will explain the rules of the game and safety precautions.
After putting on the gear and adjusting them to your comfort, players will be moved to the 200sqm game area where they’ll pick up their weapon.
200sqm might sound small, but Zero Latency reuses the space with nifty tricks they have developed so players can roam and explore the virtual world freely.
The game begins after every player is standing in their own portal.
The crisp voice communication and 2K resolution graphics is powered by Razer, and the exciting gameplay coupled with the weighted model gun made the game twice as engaging!
We came out from the arena 15 minutes later, perspiring from the adrenaline and the thrill of shooting down those nasty undead.
The other two games offered are Singularity and Engineerium, which last for 30 minutes and 15 minutes respectively.
Singularity takes place in space where players’ survival depend on which of the four weapon modes they choose to use against the enemy.
Players have to take down killer robots and rogue drones and work together to complete the game.
In Engineerium, players have to connect the platforms to progress in the game.
It is essentially a puzzle game set in a fantasy alien world with flying whales and parrot rays. Teamwork is key in this family-friendly game.
Zeroing In On The Latency Of VR
Making virtual reality a reality has been considered a pipe dream for quite some time.
Sure, some forms of VR exist, in the forms of holograms and gaming consoles with motion sensors like the Wii and Kinect, but they have never been as immersive as what is being offered at Zero Latency.
Co-founder of Zero Latency, Tim Ruse, has described Zero Latency as the “ultimate virtual reality gaming experience”.
To put it succinctly in his own words:
“Your body becomes the controller.”
He further explained that reality, mobile, VR, and computer experiences will “merge into one seamless continuum as the gaming industry develops”.
VR will eventually fall into the same space and become a part of how we interact with each other, our devices and the content we love.
You could say that Tim Ruse and his fellow co-founders were the trendsetters in the VR gaming industry.
Their “revolutionary” idea came about in 2012, when Oculus started a Kickstarter campaign for the Rift and succeeded in producing the world’s first VR headset.
In 2013, they came up with a single-player prototype which was then demonstrated to the public in 2014.
Ruse said in an interview with Smart Company, “It was probably in mid-2014 we realised the business could be a real thing, and then it was about how we build that bridge from a hobby into a full-time business.”
Their crowdfunding campaign of US$32,000, was their “hardest money (Ruse) ever earned”.
Subsequently, they raised about US$10 million and opened their first outlet in 2015, in Melbourne, Australia where they are based at.
Now, Zero Latency is raking in US$12 million annually, with branches in cities in North America, Japan, Spain, and Melbourne.
Singapore is its 14th branch, brought in by Tomorrow Entertainment, the holding company responsible for trampoline park BOUNCE.
The Future Of Gaming Looks Something Like This
What comes out at the top of my mind when I think of entertainment for groups of people is karaoke. It’s an easy, interactive activity that is easily accessible.
In a few years down the road, VR gaming could evolve to become just like that. There might even be VR arenas – like a LAN shop, but for VR gaming!
Well, I’ll be waiting for the day I can cast Freezing Field as Rylai, the Crystal Maiden in VR.
Featured Image Credit: Zero Latency