Social VR is in it’s infancy, and one of the main players in the space is the venerable Altspace VR, a cartoon-like universe where users can hang out, play simple games and more importantly interact with other VR users. It can be a little confronting at first, but a simple UI, plenty of customization options and a fun and engaging core mechanic makes for an enjoyable if not limited VR experience.
On it’s face, Altspace VR isn’t going to win any awards for visual fidelity. In almost every way, simplicity has been chosen over high quality visuals, and it shows. The benefits of this approach are easy to see – Altspace have been able to produce clients for even the most low-end devices such as Gear VR while still providing an enjoyable experience on high end PC’s using the Rift or the Vive.
In almost every way, simplicity has been chosen over high quality visuals, and it shows.
Even PC users can reap the benefits of this approach, allowing lower end systems to utilize super sampling to reduce aliasing (jaggies), which improves the overall look and feel significantly over other titles that stress graphics cards.
The environments provided in Altspace VR are simple but functional. If, like most people, your first experience in Altspace VR is in the most popular room – The Campfire – the stylistic choices of the designers will be obvious. Avatar faces are simple but sufficient for the experience. Unlike other touch-enabled experiences, hands are not ‘linked’ to the body, instead hovering around the avatar while providing 1-to-1 mapping to the users’ actual hand movements.