Justine ‘iJustine’ Ezarik met with the minds behind Project Holodeck, a VR platform that offers full avatar embodiment, to check out the latest work done by the team.

Earlier this year I got to step into Project Holodeck, a virtual reality platform with full avatar embodiment that’s development by a team of students from the University of Southern California. Project Holodeck has recently evolved into a new company called Survios. There’s little information thus far about what the company intends to do with the VR platform, but we do know that they were recently at NASA with an interesting looking prototype of their system:

survios project holodeck nasa

On the latest episode of AOL’s HardWired, iJustine met with Project Holodeck’s Director and Producer, James Iliff and Nathan Burb, and got a chance to check out the system for herself.

Much appears to have changed since I was last in the Holodeck. For one, the team has upgraded from their own ‘Socket’ HMD to the Oculus Rift. The very early alpha of Wild Skies that I saw has now been fleshed out into a much more developed game, not to mention that Zombies on the Holodeck is now, well… on the Holodeck. We’ve got our eye on Survios and are keen to find out where they intend to take their system.

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  • Mageoftheyear

    The gameplay sections are insanely choppy, I’m not sure why that is (I doubt it was like that while they were playing) but it makes the experience look incredibly bad to someone who is unfamiliar with VR.

    • James Iliff

      Yes this is true. We recorded the video with FRAPS and gave it to their editors, but for some reason Wild Skies looks insanely laggy and Zombies looks ok in their edit. On our own videos we are always very careful with framerate to make sure its top notch. But this is a good lesson to always be directly involved with an editing team whenever you have a crew filming footage about your VR games. It’s important to give audiences the best impression possible for this new technology!

      • Mageoftheyear

        It was surprising to me because this is something I knew Justine wouldn’t pass over half-baked considering her background is youtube – and that video editing is a way of life for youtubers.
        Hopefully this keeps Wild Skies on their toes.
        Thanks for the clarification James.

  • kevin williams

    Agree -there is a lot of concern that television companies are not prepared to try and seriously capture the real-time graphics of any game on screen, or in this case in the helmet. A factor why when ever the public’s video is run on television it usually has a overly fake red rectangle and flashing ‘REC’ in the lower corner, as if to underline this was done by a amateur, as some kind of separation from the danger of the perception by the viewing public that “…hey this is as good as what we see on the news!”.

    Regarding VR and simulation, the television production houses who collect this coverage have two reasons to down-play the quality:

    -First, it takes some skill to connect a B-MAX camera to a resolution display, and as many of those filming are freelance labor on day-rate are not interested in wasting more time than necessary to get a good shot.
    -Secondly, the production houses don’t get the technology and rather than revealing their ignorance just grab what they can and focus on the ‘narrative’ – why most coverage includes a shouting presenter (Gadget Show, AOL Live, WIRED.TV, etc.)

    • Mageoftheyear

      Thanks for the background info on that Kevin, it explains a lot.