At Rezzed I got the chance to meet the lovely people behind ROTO again, as well as test out a slightly improved version of their Motorised Virtual Reality Platform. This time they had Alien: Isolation set up again but with the Alien on the prowl, which I suggested to them back at the Loading Bar, as well as adjusting the speed of the ROTO slightly.
If you haven’t read my previous article on the ROTO check here: https://invisioncommunity.co.uk/2015/03/02/roto-look-virtual-reality-platform/
With the inclusion of the Alien in the simulation I felt the ROTO was at its peak, combining the horror elements you would normally find whilst playing the game but improved even more with the Oculus for your eyes and your legs being one of the main means of getting away. I felt a lot more in danger with the Alien prowling around as I had to actually move my legs to turn away from it, immersing myself even deeper into the VR Experience.
I had to re-center my vision a few times with the Oculus to actually be able to see the motion Detector in game, which wasn’t too bad but meant I took a bit longer to get into the game. Once I started moving about in the safe zone I quickly grasped how to use the ROTO, being the second time I had sat in it, the ROTO as a whole is a device like a Bicycle, you never forget how to use it.
The ROTO again had the computer in the base of the platform, with wires and Bluetooth being used for the game to be played and controller with the Xbox Controller and headsets. The ROTO had 3 speeds to choose from, but the middle setting was more than enough for the game itself, with only needing to tilt the footpad to the far edges to turn away from the Alien.
I witnessed the Alien a total of 4 times, trying different approaches to see how the ROTO would react and work in the environment. Starting off I moved around the safe area picking up items on the floor and boxes, after that I proceeded to the “Door of Doom” as I like to call it.
First off I let the Alien kill me straight away, my body jerked a bit and instinctively I move my legs to turn away, the second I ran as fast as I could, turning slightly only to get killed from behind.
The third time I faced the Alien with the flamethrower I had, only shooing it off for a while I decided to explore the environment a bit, I felt as if my leg movements had become a bit erratic after the experience of the Alien and being in that dangerous experience, which I think the people behind ROTO were hoping for, I died this time by the Alien dropping on me.
The Fourth and Final time I faced the Alien I decided I would play it how I would at home, I went for the kill, shooing the Alien off into a ventilation shaft, then made a hectic run to another side of the base, turning drastically to get around corners, as soon as I heard the Alien I would tilt and the chair would rotate in kind for me to get another shot on the Alien. Sadly I couldn’t defeat the foe and after I ran out of Ammo it grabbed me and let the second mouth pierce my face.
This is what the ROTO is for, and its potential definitely showed itself here, as with most VR you are advised to stand up or are combined with other devices that require too much exertion with deters from the original gaming experience. With the ROTO I could just sit there, play a VR game and rotated myself with ease, while stilling being able to jump out of my skin from the comfort of my own chair and not feel afraid that I would damage anything in my room or fall over.
I can’t wait to try out the platform again as I think it is my favourite in the ways of technology and immersion for VR. Getting players back into their chairs is a good move and one I welcome greatly, even more so for Horror games that can make you jump so hard you might damage something. General exploration in the ROTO is smooth and immersive as well, moving your legs in the direction you want to turn feels so natural.
Check out their Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rotovr/roto-taking-virtual-reality-to-the-next-level
Check out the Video below of me using the ROTO to see how it works a bit better.