I am again a spectator at today’s third week of the regular HoverDerby tournament, hosted again by Jasmine, Galen, and Drax! I am watching the games from the separate HoverDerby Lounge experience, which has a screen with a livestream feed by Drax:
One of the new features I really like, is that Galen can now highlight individual players in the overhead camera view of the playing field, which makes it easier to see who the commentators are talking about. Very nice feature!
(Zafia Vesta has also released some cool sci-fi outfits for HoverDerby players. These wonderful bio-armour outfits are not official HoverDerby items, but Zafia does have the necessary permissions to use the HoverDerby logo and brand. Check them out too.)
Today’s winners of HoverDerby are SaintOfMirren and WILD. Congratulations!
The weekly prizes are US$50 total, split into $30 for first prize and $20 for second prize. Winners are paid via Paypal, as there’s currently no way to pay avatars directly in Sansar. (But that’s coming!)
There is a stipulation before you can compete. Galen, the scripter behind the game, says:
Remember that everyone who has attended at least one practice and logged at least one game is eligible to compete today.
Practices and training sessions are held Mondays through Fridays at 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time. Make friends and start crafting your own HoverDerby teams!
Tournaments are held every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time at the HoverDerby experience. Spectators can watch the game from the new HoverDerby Lounge experience.
See you there! Or, if you prefer, you can watch Drax’s livestream of the event on YouTube! Here’s the link.
But the main focus of the article is the HoverDerby experience that Galen, Jasmine and Drax have been building and promoting over the past several weeks. Charlie writes:
When [Linden Lab CEO Ebbe] Altberg showed me the new user-generated multiplayer game, Hoverderby, I realized immediately this is what I had been looking for in Sansar all along:a place where people would gather and collaborate or simply watch in a group. As I have said repeatedly in this column: People are the killer app.
One of the reasons AltSpaceVR struggles and Rec Room is succeeding is because in VR you need to know who you are, where you are, and what you are supposed to be doing. HoverDerby addresses that. It might or might not work for all sorts of reasons, scale being one, but it’s the right idea.
The article also addresses the continuing need for interactivity in Sansar, which needs more than just beautiful experiences to visit:
Draxtor sums up the challenge Linden Lab faces. “The passive consumption of beautiful worlds will always be secondary to social engagement.” Altberg agrees, “Sansar, like Second Life, is at its best when it’s social.” Drax says there is more social action cooking. “We have some more social games coming. Circling around 114 Harvest starting in late May we are giving away houses to rent and will do daily community hangouts with board games and scavenger hunts and book clubs.” Personally, I’d love to see more action sports like Hoverderby.
I want to rent one of the houses on Harvest Street! Please get me on that list, Drax!
And I was surprised to find I was also mentioned in Charlie Fink’s article, taking a direct quote from this blogpost in which I briefly describe the rules of HoverDerby. Thanks, Charlie! It will be interesting to see if I get any resulting uptick in traffic to the blog. (I also recently received a complimentary shout-out from Strawberry Singh, thank you so much Strawberry!)
All in all, this is quite the positive public relations coup for Linden Lab. Congratulations to Ebbe and his team!
A common complaint I hear about Sansar is that it’s pretty, but there isn’t a lot to do yet. Experiences like HoverDerby (put together by Galen, Jasmine, and Drax) are going a long way to counteract the suggestion that there isn’t anything to do in Sansar! It’s the first competitive team sport in Sansar (well, if you don’t count the 5-A-Side Soccer Stadium) and it’s great fun to play, or even to watch!
HoverDerby is still in beta; Galen and Jasmine are still working on it, but it is already playable. The game is pretty simple. Step on one of the red or blue teleporter pads to join a team (red or blue) and get onto the playing field.
You hover around the field, using the triggers on your hand controllers to fire at the other team members (if you’re in desktop mode, press the Spacebar or the F key to fire). If you hit your opponents, they can no longer fire at you or anybody else, and they have to get back to their circle of safety before they can fire again. The navigation takes a little getting used to, but you quickly get the hang of it.
Matches last five minutes. The team that has captured the most opponents wins (in case of a tie, the next capture decides who is the winner).
Note that you do not need to have a VR headset to play HoverDerby; can also play in desktop mode as well as in VR. Full instructions are on the board next to the blue and red teleporters.
Every weekday morning at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time, a group gathers at HoverDerby to practice their game. Drax sometimes livestreams the games too. Hope to see you there soon! As I said, it’s great fun!