The release of the Vive Trackers for the HTC Vive system to consumers opens up the possibility of full-body tracking in virtual reality (VR), thus fulfilling the dream of VR as depicted in popular fiction such as Ready Player One. One of the pioneers of this, CloudGate Studios, has been demonstrating how its tracking system will work.
CloudGate Studio released its dinosaur hunting title Island 359 on to Steam Early Access in Summer 2016. The development team have been keen on introducing frequent updates, including an update which added Oculus Rift support. Since the Vive Trackers were made available to developers, CloudGate developers began work on incorporating the extended motion tracking capability into Island 359, which would allow users to not only shoot dinosaurs as is usual but also to kick or punch velociraptors or even T-Rexes.
The demonstration video released by CloudGate Studio shows various configurations of Vive Trackers, which can be strapped to a user’s hips, or feet to provide for accurate body tracking. With Vive Trackers attached to user’s feet, which allows CloudGate’s VirtualSelf system to create an accurate virtual avatar which can allow users to move the avatar in time with the real life movements of the player. The video indicates that the best results could be obtained by using three Vive Trackers, working in concert.
The development team are also working on another feature to add to Island 359, and potentially other VR titles in future. The ‘Spectator Mode’ allows for a third-person view, a feature which has potential to be useful for Twitch streamers, YouTubers and Esports, allowing audiences to get a better view on the actions of a player in the videogame.
It isn’t currently known when CloudGate Studio plans to introduce the VirtualSelf feature into Island 359. Island 359 is currently available on Steam Early Access for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, priced at £14.99 (GBP). Further information and updates can be found on the Steam Store page.
The demonstration video is available to view below.
VRFocus will bring you further news on Island 359 and VirtualSelf as it becomes available.