The Kickstarter funded Oculus Rift game Xing: The Land Beyond has continually showed promising progress since it successfully reached it’s target way back in April of last year. What’s more, the development team have been eager to share their experiences on the road to releasing the game. Their latest dev blog update is one that’ll likely inspire jealousy in VR enthusiasts everywhere.

Xing: The Land Beyond is a game whose visuals don’t give away the size of it’s development team. The three strong White Lotus Interactive have continually impressed with their progress. As a result, Xing has become a high profile title among the VR community and beyond. And it seems Oculus too have been taking note too.

As detailed in their latest dev blog, whilst in town for IndieCade in California, John Torkington from White Lotus swung by Oculus HQ in Irvine to meet, chat about the future of the game and to try their latest VR Headset Crescent Bay. The new feature prototype was first unveiled at Oculus inaugural, dedicated VR event Connect and wowed all who had an opportunity to try it out.

John Torkington, White Lotus’ audio aficionado, hadn’t joined the rest of the team at Oculus Connect last month so this was his first time the Crescent Bay. Perhaps predictably, he came away impressed:

It’s the first time I’ve felt like I don’t care about the hardware, and  I’m just focused on the experience. The rift is starting to feel less like a development kit and more like a final product.

See Also: 11 Reactions to the New Oculus Rift Crescent Bay Prototype (video)

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It’s an encouraging theme that seems to have emerged after Crescent Bay demos at Connect, that the hardware has reached the point at which it’s beginning to become invisible once immersed in the world it’s presenting to you. Crescent Bay adds LEDs on the rear of the headstrap enabling 360 degree positional tracking. It also includes a higher quality screen (resolution unconfirmed, but suspected 1440p), asymmetric lenses and integrated audio. All of these elements seem to have combined to give the best chance yet of a user achieving presence.

Dev Update and Estimated Release Date

White Lotus are honest and realistic about their past experience and are obviously well aware of the perils of promising release dates to eager VR fans. But they’ve bravely slated Q1 2015 as their target. The team are concentrating on quality rather than length, and to help illustrate the last year and a half of Xing’s development the team have produced a handy visual time line charting it’s progress (below). We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the final game next year.

XING Art Evolution

Newsletter graphic

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Portergatekeeper7

    I am very excited about VR and look forward to it’s future.
    One thing that concerns me is the harmful effects of blue light emitting from the displays if any on the eyes.
    Has the VR community done any studies about blue light and will the VR displays require a filter for blue light ?

    • Psuedonymous

      It can be safely stated that ‘blue light harm’ is a total non-issue for VR in particular,, and displays in general. The only reputable studies have been on non-human models (rodents and primates) at incredibly high intensities (100W pure blue light at a shorter wavelength than the SRGB primary) for a period of several hours. For comparison, the entire Rift uses under 2.5W (within USB2 power delivery spec), and not all of that will be converted to emitted light, of which only 1/3 will be blue, of which only a fraction will reach your eyes.
      No study has found any evidence for harm in humans and at the very low intensities that displays use.

      For that matter, the intensity of blue light from displays is well, WELL below the intensity of that same wavelength light in sunlight.