Valve’s ‘Destinations’ VR App Gets Multiplayer and Avatars in Free Update

by Jamie Feltham • July 28th, 2016

It was nearly two months ago now that Valve released its VR world building app, Destinations Workshop Tools, for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. This week, it’s got a significant new update.

Valve has added multiplayer into the experience for the first time. This allows players to join their friends within their own worlds, named Destinations. It comes with voice chat support as well as a new Friends panel in the main menu so you can quickly find out who’s online. The developer has also introduced props into the experience, allowing those with motion controls to create, scale, and throw items. But the inclusion of multiplayer also necessitates another major addition: avatars.

Destinations 2

Players now appear as a floating head with a pair of hands when in front of other users, with their movements mirroring those they make in the real world thanks to position tracking. You can customize your appearance via an Avatar panel, too. As you can see in the screenshot above, avatars appear like to be almost like the virtual heads of snowmen, though it seems players can dictate what color they appear as along with the size of both their head and hands.

Destinations Workshop Tools remains a free app available through Steam’s Early Access service for now. Valve hasn’t revealed when it will leave beta testing and become a full experience, though it will continue to be available at no extra cost. If you want to check out more Valve-made VR software then there’s another free VR experience named The Lab available on Vive.

Valve appears to be having something of a VR software refresh this week. It’s already updated its ever-popular MOBA, DOTA 2, to include a surprise new spectator mode, and has also launched another update for SteamVR with a few fixes to both the system and the Vive itself. What we still haven’t seen, however, is a full, premium VR game from the company. Considering it’s the studio behind the likes of Half-Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead, that’s something we desperately want to see in the near future.

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