Vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble

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Of course, noth­ing cre­ates queues at PAX quite like the VR games. There’s a cer­tain pleas­ant dis­so­nance to mo­men­tar­ily es­cap­ing a crowded pav­il­ion and dis­ap­pear­ing to vir­tual places, es­pe­cially if you don’t own a head­set your­self. I don’t, so I watched Let’s Plays of Vir­tu­ally Im­pos­si­ble in the mean­time. Com­bin­ing mul­ti­player kart rac­ing with plat­form driven mini-games, it does look en­joy­able to play. Peo­ple also look silly play­ing it, which is al­ways good for a laugh. De­signer Min Tat Tung tells us, “We’d like to show how fun VR can be and that it’s a lib­er­at­ing plat­form to play on.

“We wanted to ex­plore as many VR game­play me­chan­ics as pos­si­ble. We thought about the dif­fer­ent me­chan­ics, like gaze and lo­co­mo­tion, then built each minigame based on one. For gaze, which is track­ing the play­ers look di­rec­tion, we de­signed the Cheat Class­room mini-game, where play­ers have to look at a friend’s exam pa­per with­out get­ting caught. We ended up with ten.” Not all games are so sta­tion­ary, how­ever. Mini-games in­clude bot­tle flip­ping, catch­ing flies with chop­sticks, pour­ing drinks with pi­rate-hooks for hands and dodg­ing cows fall­ing from a UFO.

But isn’t this a kart rac­ing game? Tung says, “With the karts, the player who has trav­elled the far­thest wins. There are ob­sta­cles on the track that will slow your kart down, so even if you’ve beaten the most mini-games but are hor­ri­ble at driv­ing, you will still score lower. We think that brings more depth to the game in­stead of just beat­ing the most mini-games to win. Plus it makes it ac­tion packed from the mo­ment you press start.” So, if you’ve got the gear, Vir­tu­ally Im­pos­si­ble is fully re­leased now. If not, PAX is your chance to chal­lenge oth­ers to a range of ki­naes­thetic skills, in­clud­ing rac­ing.

Min tAt tung De­Signer

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