Scariest Thing at Comic-Con: American Horror Story VRamerican-horror-story-vr-comic-con5 Lay back and enter the nightmare world of American Horror Story in virtual reality. Among the highly anticipated VR experiences making their debut at San Diego Comic-Con this year like Mr. Robot and Suicide Squad, we still had one more at the top of our list we needed to check off before the four-day convention came to an end. Debuting publicly for the first time just outside the convention center at the Hilton Bayfront Park, FX built an immersive American Horror Story VR experience for fans inside a dark ominous looking silo. american-horror-story-vr-comic-con6 This was not an experience for the faint of heart. After a staff member opens a door to let you enter and immediately slams it behind you, you find yourself standing inside a white silo dome room with creepy looking black platforms positioned in the center. These platforms, or wood daybeds, are where you’re asked to lay down by a helpful staff member dressed in black hospital scrubs and lab coat. FXhibition At San Diego Comic-Con 2016 Once reclined on the platform, a hospital sheet is draped over your body — a HTC Vive headset and headphones are placed on your head. All the VR hardware has a minimal footprint, with Vive headset cables running into the platform where the PCs powering the system are hidden away. A few lighthouses are painted white and installed on the walls, making them look more like security cameras and adding to the whole asylum set. american-horror-story-vr-comic-con10 Then the VR experience begins and you’re transported onto a hospital gurney where you begin the terrifying horror show. Without giving away any spoilers, the entire VR experience runs roughly 5-minutes and leverages past iconic moments from the series, taking you on a journey to face some of the creepiest characters from earlier episodes. The trip is a tense one, where you’ll experience everything from fear, vertigo, panic and a lot of claustrophobia. american-horror-story-vr-comic-con The entire VR experience was created to excite fans for the upcoming season and introduce new audiences to an immersive sample of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series. What’s being called AHS Fearless VR, the activation was built in collaboration with FX, experience design agency North Kingdom and Groove Jones. american-horror-story-vr-comic-con8 By combining cutting edge VR-technology with classic theater trickery and group psychology tactics, the team created an immersive experience allowing fans to become one with the iconic show, bringing a more intimate experience that blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Unique full body 3D scanning technology was used to also capture a few memorable American Horror Story icons, adding to the realism of the experience. “American Horror Story is a show where narrative and aesthetics are perfected season after season,” commented Daniel Ilic, Executive Creative Director and Partner of North Kingdom. “With that in mind, we wanted to absorb the audience in an experience reflecting everything the show represents. In order to blur the lines between reality and fiction, it was important to create something with an authentic look and feel to give the audience an even more intimate experience.” american-horror-story-vr-comic-con7 If you wanted to check out the experience at Comic-Con, you would have had to make a reservation in advance — spots filled up quickly for all four-days. Still no word yet for those who missed out on the VR experience at Comic-Con if it will ever be made available to the public again, but when it does, you might want to keep the lights on for this one. You can view a teaser for the VR experience below, which also has a slight tease for Season 6, the theme of which won’t be revealed until it’s premiere on 9/14.
Oculus Announces Social VR Features
Facebook owns Oculus, so it should come as no surprise that social may become a big aspect of VR.
Starting tomorrow, users on the Gear VR platform will be able to create their user profiles and search for friends by username and then interact with them in the VR space.
The company announced in a blog post an effort called Social Trivia, which will allow the user to hang out with buddies’ avatars in a social space and compete in trivia battles. Users will also be able to create VR chatrooms of sorts with Oculus Social where they can watch videos together from Vimeo or Twitch.
If all this sounds familiar, it is. Just check out what AltspaceVR does.
Just a few weeks ago CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the work that the company was putting forth on social VR
…pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there right there in person,
In addition to the social room features. Oculus announced a new multiplayer game that makes use of some of the new social features.
Herobound: Gladiators, the multiplayer adventure game, is now available on the Oculus Store. Band together with up to four people to conquer goblins and demons in arena battlefields. Use integrated voice chat to talk and strategize in real time for co-op action.
Currently talked about for the Gear VR but you can fully expect this feature to land on the Oculus Rift as well.
For developers who wish to write social features later this month, Oculus will be releasing developer tools to “make it even easier to create more incredible social VR games and apps.”