The Valve and HTC collaborative effort for virtual reality (VR), known as the HTC Vive, was revealed back in March of this year alongside a demo reel featuring a number of experiences designed to take advantage of the unique features of the hardware. Today however, Valve has revealed an internally developed demo that wasn’t included on that reel and has not yet been seen in the wild: a longbow demo.
Discussing developing for the HTC Vive at a speaker session at GDC Europe 2015, Cologne, today, Yasser Malaika, Designer and Developer at Valve, revealed the first details of an archery demo when discussing the ‘pulse trigger’ included with the HTC Vive controller’s touchpad. He openly stated that the degree or force feedback could be adjusted, and while this doesn’t yet constitute haptic feedback it’s a good stepping stone.
The pulse triggers have a variety of settings, and in this longbow demo the rate of vibration would increase as the player drew back on the bow and increased the tension on the string. Earlier in the talk Malaika discussed the application of Fitt’s Law in VR, which predicts the time required for an individual to move to a target at various distances. He offered an example of targets, and that distant targets moving closer would require less rapid movement on behalf of the user than larger targets moving the same distance, due to the comparative ratios of their surface area. Though this wasn’t directly related to the newly revealed longbow demo, it would be quite easy to assume that such an experience would be created simply to examine the principles of Fitt’s Law in VR.
It’s unlikely that this longbow demo will become part of the pre-launch demo reel for the HTC Vive, considering that this is the first mention of it from the company. However, it remains possible that we could see it in some form in the future when the device is available to purchase. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with any further information on Valve’s longbow demo and other experiences coming to the HTC Vive.