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An editor for impossible spaces in Virtual Reality

Today marks a huge milestone. So prepare for some lengthy rambling. Grab some popcorn and here we go: So far, Out Or Dead has been a collection of by now 3 levels which I designed and it shows different ways of creating an extremely immersive experience for VR players. From all the feedback I see this seems to be something that players really love: the walking experience, not having to use rather artificial means like teleportation. Actually walking does something to your brain, making it believe the virtual world even more. When I started from scratch 9 months ago my initial goal was to create an awesome escape room using this technology. This is still the goal, but it has widened. I realized, that natural walking in VR is a really really hard technological challenge. And that worries me, as it means there will only be very few games like that in the future. And this is when I decided to open up my initial game idea and transform it into something bigger. I want to create a platform for natural walking experiences, allow everyone to contribute levels and be creative. Think RecRoom on Steroids if you want to have the short pitch version. I have a 28 year background of intense professional software development and I can pull this off technology-wise. What I am not, is a professional game designer, an artist, a sound expert etc. I do my best but my strengths lie elsewhere. But others are.

And this is why I put a lot of effort over the last 5 weeks into creating an editor. An editor to create natural walking experiences in impossible worlds. Free and easily accessible to everyone. And today I feel confident enough to share the first alpha release to try out. There is a Unity plugin to guide creators through the process and a PC-application to see the level on the screen. It is not possible to test your own level in VR yet but that will come soon. I am now working on extending the Out Or Dead Quest application to allow browsing through all available levels. Soon after there will be multi-player support to experience levels collaboratively and later also competitively.

I am super excited about the next steps right now and so happy to have reached this point. There were countless technical challenges and I was close to giving up multiple times. But now phase 2 can really start. Having laid the technical foundation I can concentrate on features, interactions, cool mechanisms and more. And I hope you all will follow me on this journey, try it, give feedback, maybe even create your own levels. It will be a chance to shine for aspiring level designers as this is a unique niche. There are only a handful of apps that can really bring natural walking on this level to VR. My goal is to make this here the gold standard. And to do so, it is finally time for a new name as well. Out Or Dead will remain as my brand which will reappear in the future to form a story-driven game based on levels I create once I am done with these. The name would not fit to host arbitrary levels created by everyone though. It is also biased towards a certain kind of experience where one has to find an exit and can also die. But there can be so many more experiences and players have been asking for these. So over the course of the next 2 months I will slowly do a re-branding campaign and transform what is today Out Or Dead into a new application. It will be called: traVRsal.

I have just opened up the SDK channel on Discord to everyone as well. Use it to discuss new features for the editor. If you want to try it yourself, I just uploaded a Getting Started video. This is also your chance to actually see and hear me, ohoh. In this early version you still need to have an affinity to text files and JSON but more visual editors will come over time. Here’s the video:

Getting Started

I want to encourage you to spread the word, please review Out Or Dead if you haven’t done so as that helps tremendously with the visibility, post on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook or YouTube. Let’s pool all our ideas. And let’s make this awesome together!

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