The library for the upcoming Oculus Quest standalone headset is mostly games- but National Geographic Explore VR is an exception.
The experience takes you on a “dramatic trip” through Antarctica with the ultimate goal of finding a lost penguin colony. Users will ride on a kayak through ice filled waters, then climb an ice cliff and tackle a snow storm.
Nat Geo partnered with dutch developer Force Field to develop the experience. Force Field has developed games such as Landfall, Coaster Combat, and Pet Lab.
While the experience can be a passive experience if you want, more experienced users have the option of interactivity. Users will be able to use their Touch controllers to set up camp, build a wind barricade, and zip up their survival tents. “We’ve built these activities with an option to be physically active or passive, so they’re enjoyable for the entire family,” National Geographic said.
While National Geographic has released 360 videos in the past, this is their first realtime positional tracked experience. This form of documentary is new, and while it doesn’t give a real world view, the fidelity and ability to move around in and interact with the environment proves compelling in experiences like Everest VR.
This experience will last roughly 30 minutes, but National Geographic aren’t stopping here. Future updates will add more parts of the world, such as “archaeological expeditions packed with cultural heritage.”
It’s not currently planned to come to Rift or any other VR platforms, but we’ll keep you updated if that changes.