NASA, VR And A Melbourne Team Combined For A Journey In Space

I wasn’t sure how popular it would be on the show floor, but when I saw queues going around the corner for Opaque’s Earthlight project at PAX Australia it put a smile on my face.

Gamers, it seems, were pretty happy to try out VR experiences that broadened the scope of what a normal game could be. But a lot of people still have issues with VR, and floating around in space can exacerbate a lot of those.

Opaque Media Group, the developers behind Earthlight and other avant-garde projects, are pretty aware of the unpleasant aspects of virtual reality. They’ve been working with the technology for years, having won awards and plaudits for their Virtual Dementia Experience and The Forest Project experiences.

Opaque’s latest project is Earthlight, and the team wanted to make the experience as comfortable as possible. It’s a VR trip on the International Space Station, where you use the HTC Vive and touch controllers to climb out and around of the ISS. NASA also helped Opaque on the project to improve its authenticity — although, being a commercial venture, it’s not officially endorsed because that’s out of the agency’s remit.

I took some time to ask Norman Wang from Opaque about it all, and we spoke about what help NASA provided, VR, dealing with queues at PAX, blockbuster tie-in projects and more.

If you want to find out more about Earthlight, you can do so at the official website. Alternatively, you could also watch the cool 360 trailer again because that’s awesome as hell.

Earthlight is due out Q1 next year and will support the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and Steam VR headsets, as well as standard gamepads if you don’t have a VR rig at home.

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