Earlier in the week VRFocus reported on a tease from cloud rendering company OTOY that Mark Hamill may reprise his celebrated role as The Joker in the upcoming Batman: The Animated Series virtual reality (VR) experience. While it’s exciting to hear that Hamill may once again join the voice behind Batman himself, Kevin Conroy, and series writer Paul Dini, details about the experience itself are sparse. A full reveal of the title is still to come, but OTOY has provided VRFocus with a better insight into what fans can expect.
Company CEO and founder Jules Urbach went into more detail about the Batman VR experience in an interview that will be published in full later this week. Urbach confirmed that the piece will be based on a short story by Dini himself, with users cast as an unrevealed character throughout. The majority of the title will be set inside Batman’s iconic Batcave, although fans will also get to see ‘some’ of Gotham city in VR. Urbach notes that the city itself looks ‘beautiful’.
As those that have followed the project will know, OTOY will release on the Gear VR smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD) first. The developer plans to finish production in April 2015, hopefully releasing it later on in the month, though this decision is ultimately made by Warner Bros. This first launch won’t allow players to walk around the environments with a gamepad, though will allow them to look around using the device’s head-tracking technology.
Following the Gear VR release, OTOY will continue to work on a PC version with ‘room-scale position tracking’, which suggests the title could also be coming to Valve and HTC’s Vive HMD alongside the Oculus Rift. The company expects the later release to be ‘very different’, with volumetric light fields put to full use and an expansion of the ‘navigable volume’ of the Batcave. A release window for this version of the title is yet to be provided.
Urbach has plenty more to say about the Batman: The Animated Series VR experience. Check back with VRFocus later in the week for the full interview.