As seen at VRLA Spring Expo: Tender Claws' Virtual Virtual Reality made me want to believe in Google Daydream.
During VRLA 2017 Spring Expo I ran into Jonathan Krusell, former Executive Producer at Mindshow and now Producer for Google Daydream. Last year Jonathan helped me skip the line to check out Mindshow so I appreciate talking to him any chance I get. I told Jonathan that the Google Daydream booth at GDC kind of bored me and I was not impressed by Ubisofts Rabbids VR game demo. I basically said that if this was my first time using Daydream it was not the best impression I would want.
Jonathan took this in stride and vouched for the development team and explained somethings that made me want to take a second look at the Rabbids game in the future. I was then informed by him about a really rad Daydream experience that I missed at GDC and was tucked away at VRLA. That game happened to be Virtual Virtual Realty and blew me away as the best game on Daydream and one of my favorite VR experiences thus far.
Virtual Virtual Realty made me question what is my purpose? The best way to describe Virtual Virtual Reality is a Half Life 2 cinematic developed into its own experience with a dash of Twin Peaks mystery and Portal 2 aesthetic. The game mechanics keep you engaged with a narrative that is built with those fun interactive mechanics in mind as part of the whole.
In Virtual Virtual Realty you put on VR headsets in a VRinception sort of way in order escape your manager and explore deeper realities of your purpose. This two hour game provides a great value at $8.99 with an excellent art style and game play that will put an immediate smile on your face and then follow up with a sense of real uncertainty.
Virtual Virtual Reality in a tongue in cheek way questions the very pedestal people like myself place on VR in showing both the beauty and bleakness of the escapism VR evangelists seek to make the current VR movement seem real.
A game about VR, AI, and our collective Sci-Fi hallucinations the developer Tender Claws has made a must play game that truly showcases VR for its immersive potential. Excellent voice work, beautiful settings, and once again 2 HOURS of gameplay make this a must experience VR experience. Since I have access to multiple VR devices I did not want to invest in a Pixel phone yet, however after playing a short demo at VRLA showcasing the modular nature of the game I ran to find someone with a Google Daydream so I could sit down and continue the immersive fever dream that is Virtual Virtual Reality.
So for me V-VR is the killer app for Daydream and one of my favorite VR experiences. I want to thank Jonathan for introducing me to the rad Tender Claws team, a team that truly highlights the level of creativity and passion coming out of the L.A. VR community. I do hope Tender Claws build on what they did with VVR and takes their charm, game mechanics, and overall love of VR to other platforms but for now they have helped to win me over to give Daydream a chance.
The V-VR Story: In the near future, most jobs have been automated. What is the purpose of humanity? Activitude, the Virtual Labor System, is here to help. Your artisanal human companionship is still highly sought by our A.I. clients.
The Dev Team: 10 years ago, media artists Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman began collaborating on projects as diverse as webart of a medieval manuscript to virtual reality poetry. Recognized by the MacDowell Colony, they were given a residency to rethink how story and tech could meaningfully merge. This time spent in a cabin in the woods would eventually become PRY. Tender Claws has grown in size to take on new challenges and commissions, while remaining true to its origins in creating hybrid, interactive experiences. Tender Claws' first release PRY (http://prynovella.com) was named by Apple as one of the top apps of 2015 and was a finalist for the "Excellence in Narrative" IGF Award and "The Future of Storytelling Prize" before touring film festivals including the New York Film Festival and Slamdance.