At PAX last year, our Call of the Starseed booth was like a black market trade deal in a back room, the unreleased Vive headset a jar of myrrh, with people gathering around like it was the second coming himself. This time, at Consumer VR in Vancouver, we didn’t just have our game smack dab in the middle of the show floor for everyone and their mother to fondle, but four freakin’ booths.
Doors opened at 11:00am, and the lineup was already out the door of the Vancouver Convention Centre East—a volume of people only trumped by the masses of tourists arriving out of the three cruise ships next door. Have you ever seen 13 thousand people pouring out of a boat and into taxis and shuttles? The traffic cop will probably be having nightmares for years.
Entering Consumer VR that morning, we were greeted by a thin haze of smoke and lights billowing out of a booth in the corner. A laser show had been set up to make the building feel straight out of a cyberpunk movie, complete with futuristic headsets and a stream of neon lights. People were walking around wearing Gear VRs, and there were HMDs at every table. Idealens made the trip from China to show off its mobile VR headset, and VRstudios was up from Washington to demo its wireless VRcade experience. Our awesome friends at Future Town were there too, showing off their three Vive launch titles.
— Cloudhead Games (@CloudheadGames) May 14, 2016
The deputy mayor of Vancouver welcomed everyone to the event, and then Denny opened a full day of speakers with a talk on the importance of locomotion in virtual reality spaces. At a very basic level, if we screw up locomotion, you’ll be vomiting out of every orifice, and then you’ll hate us and leave a bad review on Steam and we’ll get an email notification telling us that we should probably just give up on our dreams and we’ll never get out of bed again. Nobody wants that—and so Blink was born!
Over at the demo booths, we had our own lineup, where 130 people had signed up to play Call of the Starseed within the first hour. At one point, CTV Vancouver came by to try the game, and then spoke with Denny (who hadn’t sat down for a minute) about the promise of virtual reality. CTV had so much fun with our game that they came back to do a report specifically on us to air next week on McLaughlin On Your Side.
Lots of people came out of our booth saying we were the coolest thing there, but the coolest thing to us was seeing thousands of people come out to the event to support a fledgling industry of sci-fi technology. The fact that Archiact was able to put on a full show as one of the first consumer-facing VR events, and then sell that show out to 2800 people, is a testament to how important Strapping a Screen to Your Face is to the tech sector and the people around it. It’s not an understatement to say that to adopt VR now is to be a part of a historic movement.
If you were at CVR, and stopped by our booth, share your pictures with us on Twitter and Facebook, or hit us up on Instagram. And while you’re there, make sure to thank Archiact Interactive for putting on Consumer VR and getting so many incredible projects in one room. #letsgetvirtual