Has at-home location-based entertainment finally arrived?
One of the most attractive aspects of the Oculus Quest is the ability to access VR anywhere at any time without the need of a bulky gaming PC or external sensors. With a large enough space, the Oculus Quest can effectively map spaces up to 4,000 feet; larger if you turn off the Guardian completely using the developer setting.
As a result, the Quest has quickly become the device of choice among location-based VR developers looking to crack the at-home LBVR market. One such developer is already offering an alpha build of his own location-based Oculus Quest project, and while the experience is rough, it’s also some of the most fun I’ve had in a Quest headset to date.
Available for sideloading now on Oculus Quest, Triton VR is a local multiplayer VR experience that allows up to four players to occupy the same VR space and do battle with a variety of weapons, both ranged and melee in real-time. Unlike other multiplayer shooters, players in Triton VR navigate the in-game world by physically walking around their real-world environment. For example, let’s say you’re taking fire from an enemy across the map? Instead of teleporting to safety like in most VR experiences, you’ll need to physically move to cover, whether it be a mad dash past a barrage of bullets, or a slow, methodical crawl.
Trying the experience out for ourselves, we were pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to get a local multiplayer game up and going. Following the on-screen instructions, each of us established a guardian boundary system and calibrated our real-world positions by standing in the center of the gamespace. Once calibrated, each player moved to their designated starting place within the play area, at which point a close-quarters arena automatically generated around us. Using an assortment of powerful weaponry, from assault rifles to shotguns, we then went about hunting one another throughout the maze-like battlefield.
Me in the white shirt struggling to stay afloat / Image Credit: VRScout
While the visuals may be simple (many of the 3D assets are far from finished), the free-roam multiplayer experience offered some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my Quest headset; simply being able to physically run and duck behind cover adds an unprecedented amount of immersion to battles. While it’s true I’ve been fortunate enough to try out far more advanced location-based VR experiences in the past—Avengers: Damage Control, Ralph Breaks VR—the fact that I was able to access free-roam VR using my own personal headset left me with a feeling of excitement and hopefulness that’s difficult to properly express. There are even several different game modes and maps to choose from, offering the perfect free-roam experience for any moderately-large space.
Of course, Triton VR is still in its alpha stage, so there’s plenty of hiccups to look out for.
One such issue is the calibration process. Despite allotting a generous 10ft x 10ft of space for play and taking the time to carefully calibrate our real-world positions, we often found our player starting positions outside the guardian boundary, making it nearly impossible to start a game. The developer has stated, however, that a boundary visualizer will be added to the game in the near future, which should make it easier to identify the overall size of the in-game environment. And while the developer claims that the alpha release supports up to four players at once, we were only able to access 1v1 matches.
Regardless, Triton VR serves as a perfect example of the Oculus Quests growing potential as a location-based VR device. With several free-roam VR experiences currently in the works for the Quest, such as I-Illusions Space Pirate Arena and Thrust Vector’s untitled local multiplayer co-op experience, it appears as though at-home LBE will soon be a reality.
Triton VR is available to sideload free on Oculus Quest right now. Simply download the necessary files and install them on your Quest headset via Sidequest. To stay up-to-date on new improvements and updates, be sure to keep your eye on the official Tetra Studios subreddit.