Art is one of the many verticals that will be undoubtedly transformed by the virtual reality medium. The idea of an infinite and explorable canvas is incredibly enticing for artists and creatives. But with an infinite canvas users will still need a way to easily move through the artwork, especially when it is at room scale. Lucid Trips, a persistent universe of VR art where “every planet has a different gameplay mechanic and art style,” is looking to solve that problem with an interesting solution using hand tracked controllers.
The team has worked for the last two years developing a solution for locomotion that utilizes only the hand tracked controllers which seem to be the overall direction the industry is headed. Movement is controlled by using one’s virtual hands to push oneself through the environment. This method of crawling through virtual space allows the user to move while remaining in place in the real world. Furthermore, by using natural gestures, users are able to “seamlessly switch from walking to jumping, flying, climbing or swimming.” Lucid Trips‘ developers believe this locomotion concept will allow players to intuitively dive into the artwork without even thinking about the controls because “life is about experience and that is what the core idea behind Lucid Trips is.”
Speaking with the team, they are planning on making translating this locomotion method to both the Oculus Rift with the Oculus Touch controllers as well as the HTC Vive with their hand tracked controls. The experience is currently running at the team’s office using the PS Move controllers. Additionally, the team has been experimenting with a hanging setup that will suspend the user and add “air feedback” to more immersively simulate the motion within the experience, although this version will likely remain regulated to installations of the project at future events.
Beyond the interesting method of locomotion, Lucid Trips features the ability to create simple shapes in line with the planets’ cell shaded art style. The team says they are looking to add the ability for users in the community to create and upload their own planets for the virtual art universe.
Lucid Trips is looking to take their project, which up until now has been self funded, to Kickstarter to bring it more fully to life. The team says they intend to make a playable demo available with the arrival of consumer devices.
You can find out more about the project on their website. We will be sure to keep an eye on the project as it continues it’s development.