When thinking about why there is such a big craze for virtual reality and why so many developers, artists and enthusiast are uncompromising of their excitement for this next-level media interface, it can only be described in an analogy for those who have yet to try out virtual reality. Currently, when we watch television or work on our computer it can be thought of as looking through a window to the digital world, while VR is the actual doorway.
This brings me to a innovative and skillful group of people that falls under the studio name of Survios. Before they where Survios, they were already inventing a cost effective DIY way of telepresence, which would allow a person to control an avatar in virtually different location, dubbed Project Holodeck. Project Holodeck backed by University of Southern California, was centered around solutions for positional movement, virtual avatar embodiment and virtual world creations.
Since then, Nathan Burba and James Iliff founded Survios. Survios is a two part word, with English prefix “sur” meaning “above, beyond” and Greek ‘βίος’ meaning “life, reality.” As you can guess, the dedicated team at Survios set out to create experiences beyond reality. Which is exactly where the future is heading.
One of their first projects, “Wild Skies,” put players on a nuclear-powered airship, with the objective of protecting their virtual family from disastrous weather, ruthless governments and pirates. For those who love some zombie-shooting aciton, Zombies on the Holodeck maybe the game to pique your interest. You are transported to 1940’s Chicago at ground-zero of the undead outbreak, where you’ll have to forget about your flight response and use a arsenal of weapons to fight to the end.
Through these projects, they’ve created “Raw Data,” a game that everyone should surely love and that every HTC Vive owner should already have on their VR to-do list. Raw Data is a virtual reality multiplayer game, placing the player within the confines of an corrupt tech research & development corporation, by the name of Eden Corp. Surrounded by waves of single-minded androids, you are tasked with the duty of stealing a geopbyte of data to expose the Corps corrupt deeds.
The mechanics of the game are fairly intuitive as you utilize Vive controllers to play as Bishop (gunslinger), Saija (cyber ninja), Street Mercenary (brawler) or Rogue Hunter (bowman). To allow players to traverse the action-packed arena, they employed an dash mechanic. This allows players to perform strategic maneuvers and keep oriented, while providing the solution for those who experience the unforgiving nauseating VR experience.
Raw Data is currently available on Steam VR as an early access, with the option of being Bishop or Saija as you slice, dice, shoot and blast through unrelenting robots. The full-game is expected to be available by end of 2016. In an interview with RoadToVR, James Iliff commented on whether Raw Data will be available for Oculus Rift with “We’re a platform agnostic studio, so we want to support them in the future, but currently our focus is on Vive.”
To keep up to date on current Survios plans, go ahead and check out their blog or follow them on twitter @Survios.