As the editor of VRFocus I’m privy to a lot of virtual reality (VR) experiences that may never become anything more than a tech demo of experiment. Many people involved in the VR community know that I’ve been impressed by the simple effectiveness of Matt Carrell’s Stompz and I’ve recently been spending a lot of time discussing Tim Aidley’s work-in-progress The Crypt (more on that coming soon!). However, I haven’t always been working in this sector. My introduction to modern VR was the same as many other journalists’: an early build of the videogame now championed by many, EVE Valkyrie.
Following EVE Fanfest 2014 earlier this month VRFocus is in a position to bring you plenty of EVE Valkyrie coverage. However, it’s in this edition of the weekly Losing My VRginity series that I’m going to take the time to look back at my first time with the videogame, and also with an Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD):
To set the scene: Gamescom 2013. Hungover. Meeting cancelled. I stumble to the booth housing CI Games as my next appointment resides with them, though I arrive considerably early as I am aware that they have seats and food/drinks available to guests. A clever journalist never misses a trick, even after a hefty night on the town. Upon arriving I spot a friend within the booth. CCP Games are also located here for the week, and she’s handling their PR throughout the event. She tells me all about her time at the show and the fact that EVE Valkyrie is on display here. Though I’m not booked-in to cover them I am interested in the prospect, having heard much about the videogame prior to this point. She kindly offers me the opportunity to jump in the next wave of players, and though my hangover is screaming ‘no’ my adventurous nature compels me to do so.
I entered the enclosed space reserved for EVE Valkyrie demos alone and was offered some tuition on not only how to play the videogame, but also how to correctly wear and adjust the Oculus Rift HMD. For many this may seem like a pretty patronising situation, but the Oculus Rift was not commonplace at trade shows or press events at this point. There were many journalists who hadn’t yet sampled the device or modern VR at all.
Once having been given the opportunity to jump in the experience itself was immediately accessible. It was a space combat videogame, and a recognisable one at that. The fact that it was in VR didn’t change the need for sense of direction of aggressively dictating gameplay. Shoot first or be shot. EVE Valkyrie was then a videogame of confrontation just as it is now.
In the months that followed this first experience with EVE Valkyrie I became vastly more involved with VR as both a profession and a hobby, and as such have played many different iterations of the videogame since. You can find out much more about EVE Valkyrie in the coming weeks – from both a playable perspective and that of the developers – and rest assured VRFocus will be present at every event previewing the progress of the videogame.
Kevin Joyce is the editor-in-chief of VRFocus, and is passionate about the opportunities VR presents to both in-home entertainment and industry. Having started his career in journalism in 2003 he moved into VR in 2013, and is now fully committed to bringing all of the latest and greatest VR entertainment news and product coverage to a consumer audience.