On Feburary 24th, 2017, me and the baby team went to Akihabara(秋葉原), the world famous anime and manga culture center in Tokyo, to exhibit the latest project of the baby team. Our team departed from our Sensei’s lab at 5 am in the morning and arrived at the exhibition hall around 9 am.
During the exhibition I was able to enjoy many different VR experiences as I was only a support member of the team and not an essential team member. Although the exhibition was only a hobbyist exhibition there exists many works of high caliber. One such high quality work is Shodo (書道)VR simulator that lets players paint beautiful calligraphy using pressure sensitive brushes. One can paint one’s own names and even draw pictures with this program.
One other VR project that impresses me a lot is a rescue the princess game which has the player fending off a grim reaper like creature while carrying the princess in his/her arms. The creature will fire various projectiles at the player and after successfully dodging a certain number of bullets the princess will bestow a magical sword upon the players so as to kill the creature with it. While the gaming concept is hardly unique and doesn’t deserve much attention from the sounds of it what amazes me the most is that although this game has no written instructions to it, the game play and in game options available to the players is easily understandable even for someone like me with limited Japanese language ability. The dodging mechanic and hit box of the player is also very well done, creating a challenging and yet very believable and beatable game experience. Nowhere during the game will you feel like you are not in control of the situation and should you get hit by the projectiles you know it is entirely your fault for not dodging well. What’s more, although the VR experience takes place is a very confined place, neither me nor any player I saw ever bumped into the walls, indicating the level of planning the developer has putted into this game.
At the end of the day I played roughly 7 or more VR games and had a lot of fun. The baby team gets visited by more than 50 players by the end of the day despite of a slow start and having a rather unattractive booth they have compare to other booths. One thing I believe that will help out the team getting more audiences is to set up a monitor of some sort showcasing the actual gameplay to visitors. Currently only those (1 or 2 players) playing the game gets to see the gameplay so it’s rather hard to get people’s attention who doesn’t know the level of fun they can have with this project.