Sakshi Gupta

Another dimension to reality : Playing Cosmic Warriors on Oculus

This was the very first VR game which I played and I tried it a couple of times before giving up because of my poor performance. I will talk about how my brain thought and heartfelt as I experienced the game initially.

The graphics of the game are good enough to be believable. As you enter the realm of a fantasy world, In this particular case outer galaxy to be specific, you get to explore an outer galaxy full of meteors, ships with a limited supply of ammunition. In the game, you have to shoot enemy ships and collect a total of 400 points to get through and win. As I opened the interface, after loading I saw myself on a spaceship taking off and being projected into space. You can not direct the spaceship’s direction but other controls like rotating and looking up, down, sideways can be done. The inside of the spaceship is blank and isn’t very exciting to someone who likes looking at details. But then you are projected into that 3D outer space or let’s say the field of action. When this happens graphics are such that you actually feel a little rush in your stomach. The same rush which you feel when rollercoaster or giant wheel goes down. That jiggly feeling comes when your brain associated this to a previous experience and you are now actually living the experience. But this lasts only for a game or two initially and tends to fade away as the body grows accustomed to the environment. And then you are given options to choose: level, about, quit game etc. At this point, you are excited and can’t wait to get hands dirty playing the game.

And now came the disappointing part, the pointer/ Cursor wasn’t working well. There was some problem with the pointer and so the interaction wasn’t nice. Initially game automatically exited because the cursor wouldn’t move away from the quit button. And then it isn’t clear what controls to use in the game as they are not specified. The storyline also didn’t sound fun to me. Somehow shooting games are in a boom in VR’s because they are quite simple to implement as of now and they don’t require tracking your movement just hand movement needs to be tracked which is easy to track because of the remote controller present. I was thinking because of the graphics it became heavy and track wasn’t happening properly. Or maybe the cursor position wasn’t getting updated very frequently.

Now comes the interesting part! After playing it 2-3 times I figured how to actually play the game. It was gaze based shooting game and didn’t require cursor at all. I felt so stupid and dumb! then after deciphering game secret, I could play 4 levels before being defeated in the game.

To summarize, I had fun playing the game, I lost each time I played initially. Maybe if I had figured out how to play the game I would have enjoyed more.  One definite suggestion is that shooting experience can be improved by adding a better recoil of missiles we are firing and another suggestion would be to view set of instructions. My experience was immersive and my roommate can vouch for it as she saw me doing weird stuff and hitting my head twice on the wall(very gently but still).

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