ChilloutVR: A Brief Introduction

Someone on the RyanSchultz.com Discord server alerted me to a new Unity-based social VR platform which also supports desktop users, called ChilloutVR. There’s not a lot of information about this platform on the website of the company behind it, Alpha Blend Interactive.

The company describes ChilloutVR as follows:

ChilloutVR is a sandbox metaverse game enabling players and content creators to create, share and explore content in a massive multiplayer metaverse alone, with friends, or in public instances. Meet new people and explore the world. Playable in VR & Desktop-mode.

The company goes on to say:

ChilloutVR is a sandbox game playable in VR & Desktop. Made originally to provide a secure and expandable environment for content creators and players we now aim to provide AAA grade social experiences for players around the world. ChilloutVR is made with the latest version of the Unity game engine and is updated, extended, fixed and taken care of frequently.

With our cutting edge technologies we can provide simple but modern game user interfaces and actions for every single player while still being able to keep a thought on performance. We can also assure your content is yours and will always be managable by you.

Play and create what you want – share and enjoy it with others – explore and enjoy endless worlds and follow a never ending story. This is ChilloutVR.

The description sounds a little generic to me, and is a bit sparse on technical details. According to their Steam page, they are planning to launch in March 2020. Here are a few in-world screen shots from the Steam page:

From what I can tell from these first shots, the content is more on the low-poly side.

According to their Steam page, ChilloutVR will support the Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

If you want more information, you can follow Alpha Blend Interactive on Twitter, or join their Discord server. I’ve requested an access key to get into the closed alpha and have a look around, and I will report back when I do! Yet another addition to my list of social VR/virtual worlds.

Thanks to Madman for the heads up!

Redpill VR: A Brief Introduction

Redpill VR is a social VR music experience platform, similar in concept to Wave (formerly known as TheWaveVR). According to their website:

Redpill VR recently closed its Series B funding in early 2019 through a private strategic investor. We are currently building an Unreal 4 VR development team for our Los Angeles studio and are hiring for the following positions:

  • Senior Gameplay Programmer
  • Senior Environment Artist
  • Technical Designer
  • Senior Artist
  • UI Artist
  • Character Animator
  • Senior Network Programmer
  • Audio Programmer
  • Character Artist
  • Technical Artist
  • Build Engineer

Hmmm…sounds to me like they still need to hire a whole lot of people to actually build the damn thing! There’s no indication on the website as to when they expect to launch this platform. However, Redpill VR is already giving early demos to a few people:

Frankly, I wanted to slap this guy for his behaviour (among other things, he makes a remark about sexual harassment in VR which I found rather crude and tasteless). But this video does give you at least an idea of what Redpill VR will be all about, and a few visuals of what it will look like.

Here’s a few more images from their website, which I assume are closer to concept art than screen captures taken from the actual product:

Yet another product to add to my ever-expanding list of social VR/virtual worlds!

Clemson University Research Study into Social VR

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Researchers at Clemson University are conducting a paid research study on social VR. According to a post made to the SocialVR subReddit:

Hello! We are a group of academic researchers who are conducting a research project about social VR. The project is about understanding why people use social VR, how they interact with one another in social VR, and how social VR supports their social needs, identity construction, and relationship building. If you have experienced any social VR platforms/applications/environments and are willing to be interviewed, please contact us and we will send you the information sheet, which provides more details about this research. You will be paid a $20 Amazon gift card after the interview is completed. 

If you are interested, you can contact the researcher, Dr. Guo Freeman, via email at guof@clemson.edu.

Quote of the Day: “An Hour in the Metaverse…”

Image created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

Dana Cowley, who is the senior marketing manager at Epic Games (the makers of the phenomenally successful Fortnite), made a great observation about the metaverse that I wanted to share with you:

She said (or perhaps quoted), as part of her notes on the recent SIGGRAPH presentation by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney:

An hour in the metaverse needs to be better than
– an hour on Facebook
– an hour on Instagram
– an hour on Twitter
– an hour on YouTube
– an hour on Netflix
– an hour in Fortnite
– an hour in anything we have now

In other words, the metaverse has to be so compelling—and offer something so different from what we have now—that people will inevitably flock to use it. It’s something to keep in mind as we look at the current landscape of social VR platforms and virtual worlds.