Stacks is a prototype VR experience in the works by the creators of Convrge. Still in its basic early stages, but somehow mesmerizing, Stacks allow you to craft a tiny Lego-like creation out of cubes as a gigantic mirror version appears in the sky around you, after the push of a button, it all comes tumbling down with convincing physics. The latest version brings a host of new features including multiplayer and new blocks for more advanced construction.
Convrge creators Hayden Lee and Shawn Whiting appear to be taking the rapid development approach—’release early and often’—with Stacks. Having just introduced us to the prototype VR experience earlier this month, the 2.0 release adds multiplayer and a list of other improvements as the duo try to nail down the magic behind seeing your creations come toppling down with slow motion physics:
- Snap to grid building
- Textured blocks
- New meshes (trees, foliage, columns, ramps)
- First person exploration
- Ability to save and share worlds (very excited about this, let us know when you create something cool!)
- Multiplayer and collaborative building
- Voice chat
- New start screen – WITH EXPLOSIONS
- Regular monitor (2D) support
Anyone who has tried the Convrge social VR world will note strong similarities between it and Stacks, from the polygonal art style to the avatars and positional voice chat. Indeed, the developers say they have “integrated a lot of Convrge into Stacks to create a crazy multiplayer building experience,” though it remains to be seen whether they are building Stacks as one of many activities that will be possible within Convrge, or if Stacks represents an entirely new direction for Convrge.
Jumping into Stacks, you’ll find that the construction experience, which consists of using a mouse cursor and clicking for object placement, is just begging for natural motion input. Thankfully, the developers have their hands on the HTC Vive development kit and say they plan to implement support for the system and its motion controllers in the near future, which ought to significantly enhance both the ease and precision of construction in Stacks.