Today VRstudios, the team behind Time Zombies and the VRCade, announced the debut of its very first 100% wireless, multiplayer, VR game: Barking Irons. Until now, their games have either been single player experience, or required extra peripherals like wires, backpacks, cellphones, or something else to power the technology. Now, everything is included in the device for complete multiplayer action. The company will showcase the game for the first time at the International Consumer VR Exhibition and Conference on May 14 in the Vancouver Convention Centre.
As a point of clarity, it’s worth mentioning that VRstudios specializes in event-based VR. So, think of it like an attraction you’d have to physically go visit to enjoy, rather than something you can purchase and play at home.
A press release provided to UploadVR before this announcement describes Barking Irons as “the first VR game to feature multiplayer capabilities combined with the industry’s first wireless head-mounted display running on a high-powered gaming computer – all provided without the need for any wires, mobile phones or backpacks.”
No gameplay footage of the game was available at the time of publication, although I can speculate that it is likely similar to the Oculus Studios developed Dead and Buried coming soon for Oculus Touch, which is a saloon shootout type of experience. However, they did provide footage of people playing Time Zombies to give an idea of how the device would work. They said to imagine the same sort of experience, but with multiplayer support in Barking Irons.
“This is a revolutionary development for full-motion VR gameplay,” said Jamie Kelly of VRcade, which is VRstudios’ gaming and entertainment division. “Barking Irons is the first multiplayer game that our studio has developed, and it really highlights the benefits of a full-motion, untethered VR platform. The ability to physically move around a space with another player makes the experience feel much more natural and keeps you immersed in the game.”
With a game as competitive and action-packed as Barking Irons, I can definitely see the appeal for trade shows and large events. “Our games definitely draw crowds. Now with Barking Irons, your physical actions are matched perfectly by the game and your athleticism is a core element to your level of success in the game,” said Ivan Blaustein, director, product integration at VRstudios. “This also makes spectating a game much more like a sporting event than a video game. We are seeing a glimpse of the next wave of eSports.”
Earlier this month, VRstudios announced a global partnership with SmartLaunch to create large-scale VR entertainment facilities worldwide. We’ll continue to track the developments of VRstudios’ projects and Barking Irons as things progress.