Back in August we reported that HTC was holding its first very Viveport Developer Awards to recognize VR content on its own digital storefront. Six months on, we finally have the first batch of winners.
A total of five categories featured in the awards. They’re mostly named after the types of experiences their nominees offer, including Explore, Create, Connect, and Experience, along with a user-voted Community Choice Award. The first four categories each offer a grand prize of $50,000 and an HTC Vive, while second and third places get $30,000 and $15,000 and a Vive respectively. Two runners up in each also get a Vive, and the Community Choice Award is granted $10,000. Awards were selected by an unannounced jury.
The Explore category features apps that took us to amazing places. First place went to Immersive VR Education’s Apollo 11 VR, which depicts man’s historic trip to the moon, while Realities and The Body VR won second and third respectively. Runner ups were A Chair in a Room: Greenwater, and Mars Odyssey.
Create is a category focused on apps that let users make things, be they objects, music, or something else entirely. Northway Games’ excellent puzzle game, Fantastic Contraption [Review: 8/10] walked away with first place, while Soundstage and Paintlab followed in that order. Kodon and Arcade Artist scored runner up positions.
Connect includes social VR apps, be they multiplayer modes in games or hangout spaces. Cloudlands: VR Minigolf from Futuretown was the first prize winner here, and AltspaceVR and Engage followed on. World of Diving and Surreal VR were the runner ups.
Experience is a broad term, but based on the winners, offered us fantastical and emotional entertainment. Allumette, the brilliant VR short from Penrose Studios, was the winner here, while Pearl and Firebird – La Peri were in second and third. TheBlu and The Night Cafe scored the runner up prizes.
Finally there’s the Community Choice Award, which went to Wolf & Wood’s chilling psychological horror, A Chair in a Room: Greenwater [Review: 8/10].
It’s definitely refreshing to see a list of VR apps that don’t feature the usual suspects like Batman: Arkham VR or Rez Infinite. These aren’t the only awards being dish out today, though; the 2017 DICE Awards will also be announced later this evening.