Ever since I first got my Oculus Rift VR headset in January 2017, I have spent almost two years visiting just about every virtual reality experience imaginable—everything from games such as Obduction, to meditation apps such as Nature Treks VR, to social VR platforms such as Sansar. I have had some truly awe-inspiring (even spine-tingling!) moments in virtual reality, which have absolutely demonstrated the powerful creative potential of the technology. Many of them I have written about in my blog.
At yesterday’s well-attended FUTVRE LANDS Festival in High Fidelity, they had a Favorite Domain Contest. Seven HiFi domains (regions) were entered into the contest, and voters had to use the new Vote app on the user interface tablet to visit all seven domains before casting a vote for their favourite. All seven were interesting and fun to visit, but one stood out for me.
In fact, I will go so far as to make this statment: Beyond, which was the winning entry in the contest, is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in a VR headset. I was completely and utterly blown away by what Beyond’s creator, Noz’aj, had done within High Fidelity.
Yes, this is a rave review. It’s the best thing I have seen in VR all year (and I have seen a lot).
The only thing that even comes close to Noz’aj’s achievement in its epic and mysterious content, its monumental scale, and its use of atmosphere-enhancing soundscapes is Cyan’s puzzle game Obduction, which I absolutely adored playing. If you are a fan of Cyan and its games (Myst, Riven, etc.), you simply must drop what you’re doing, and come and experience Beyond. Seriously, it’s just that good.
I am so impressed, and I so much want you to experience this masterpiece for yourself, that I am not even going to post any pictures of Beyond! All I am going to do is point you to the very brief teaser trailer that Noz’aj has posted to YouTube, which gives a hint of the flavour of the experience:
The domains entered into the Favorite Domain Contest will only be available until November 25th, 2018, so I very strongly urge you to pay a visit to Beyond and fully explore this epic, monumental experience before it’s gone. You will not regret it!
UPDATE Nov. 19th: I have encountered a few problems trying to get back into Beyond in the past 24 hours (perhaps it’s just taking a very long time for the domain to load), but Noz’aj tells me:
Hi Ryan. Thank you for the kind words on your blog. As far as I can tell, my domain is still up. I host it on Digital Ocean. There is also an instance being hosted by High Fidelity which you can get to through the FUTVRE LANDS domain.
So it would appear that the link I have posted above is to a permanent version of Beyond, while the copy hosted directly by High Fidelity is the one which will be taken down on November 25th.
My original instance will be staying up and over time it will be expanded.
I have lots of ideas, I’m just not sure if there are enough hours in the day to get it done
I can’t wait to see what Noz’aj does next!
Also, a hint: if you follow the path all the way through to the very end, you will eventually land up back in the spaceship where you started. Set aside at least an hour to explore every nook and cranny of Beyond.