This Video Does a Great Job of Showing What It’s like to Be Inside Virtual Reality


You’ll hear the mantra time and again “you have to use virtual reality to understand what it’s like.” And for the most part that’s true. VR is so new and different that using old media like text, photos, or videos to explain it is extremely challenging. That said, this mixed reality video from Fantastic Contraption might yet be the best non-VR example of what it’s like to be inside virtual reality.

Point-of-view VR videos make sense to people who have used virtual reality, but for those who haven’t, it just looks like any old video of a player using a controller to look around. It doesn’t really ‘click’ until you can somehow show how the VR user steps into the virtual world entirely.

This mixed reality video, which combines real footage with virtual footage, shows exactly how the virtual world encompasses the player and better yet, how the player interacts inside VR. This is the best video I’ve yet seen to show what it’s like to be in virtual reality using a headset with tracked controllers like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

See Also: Overlaid Videos Show Just how Accurate Oculus Touch Controls Are

In the video we see the world of Fantastic Contraption. This is the world of the player wearing the headset. He sees all the green ground and the blue sky around him. He also sees all of the objects he’s creating and interacting with, as though they’re right in front of him in his actual space. The guys on the couch, as they don’t have headsets, don’t see this world. They’re sitting in the same room, watching on a TV screen. They can see what’s happening, but they don’t feel like they’re inside Fantastic Contraption.

So what are they actually doing? The goal of Fantastic Contraption, developed by Radial Games and Northway Games, is to move the pink ball into the pink goal area. As the goal is too far away from the player, they’ll have to construct some sort of… contraption… to get it there. The tools are basic—rods and powered wheels mostly—but with a little imagination and ingenuity, you can conquer some pretty challenging puzzles.

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Fantastic Contraption is being developed for the HTC Vive. Developer Colin Northway does these mixed reality streams of the game on his Twitch channel.

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  • Jean Thompson

    HTC Vive of Oculus Rift????? You meant, HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

    • Chaoss

      The headset used would be irrelevant within reason, both the Oculus Rift and Vive achieve the same effect,

      • Jean Thompson

        Yes, the vive or the rift. It was a comment not a question. Basically what he meant was vive AND/OR rift. He said OF and that must have been a typo. “headset with tracked controllers like the HTC Vive [or] Oculus Rift.” Is correct. I design games for rift. I know they have the same effect as vive. :)

        • benz145

          You’re right, thanks for pointing this out, fixed it!

    • towblerone

      The Vive is now located inside of the Oculus Rift, like a kidney.

  • Kody Garner

    Wonder what the first FPS game will be like for VR