We put out a simple question: tell us what VR world you’d love to explore, and you could win a HTC Vive Comsos headset. Naturally, you all had some wild ideas.
Firstly, I’d like to thank all you again as always. One of the best parts of this job has always been making outlets for your outstanding creativity. Sometimes that’s just been reliving your incredible gaming memories, and sometimes it’s been marvelling at your remarkable MS Paint skills.
But this time around, I asked you to describe your favourite VR or gaming world that you’d love to explore in VR. So this wasn’t exclusively limited to games that already had VR support, or even just games: whatever you would have loved to see in VR qualified. We had two HTC Vive Cosmos VR headsets to give away, and you all duly responded with some brilliant entries.
This isn’t a complete list of all the incredible entries, of course, but I thought everyone might enjoy some of the Kotaku Australia readership’s collective creativity.
Mortal Kombat VR
Stab wounds on corpses and flesh torn to ribbons
Gruesome scenes of violence where FATALITY is written
Hacked up appendages now hanging by a string
Mortal Kombat VR is one of my favourite things
Badly crushed enemies all covered with my doodles
Impalements and decapitations with intestine like noodles
Button mashers that die with a loss right where it stings
Mortal Kombat VR is one my favourite things
Girls in tight outfits with colour coded sashes
But after a round, all covered with red splashes
Buffed up chads with hammers that swing
These are a few of my favourite things
When Baraka bites, when D’Vorah stings
Whenever I’m feeling mad
I remember I’m playing Mortal Kombat VR
And then I don’t feel so bad!
Always love a good poem, although I think the prospect of seeing just a single X-Ray in VR might be enough to make me vomit. But love your creativity, Corey.
Toss a VR coin to your Witcher
Joel’s not the only one who wouldn’t mind a bit of VR Bathtub Geralt. (Joel didn’t specifically mention the bathtub scene, but hey, we’re all thinking it.)
“Toss a coin to your Witcher
With a flick of the thumbstick
A flick of the thumbstick”
You gesture in the air, tracing the well-known shape with a closed grip. Flames shoot from your wrist, a steady jet of fire. The guards cry out in surprise and one in pain as they turn to ash. A world with magic? Who could ask for more?
You are still surrounded though, there is surely no escape.
Clenching your sword tighter with your forefinger, as though pressing a hidden button, the world slows around you as you slip through the gap in the ring of steel and head for the door. Choice is important and sometimes a direct fight is not the best idea.
You hurry out into the street, whistling for your horse, but she is nowhere to be seen. The townsfolk outside hurry to get out of your way, cursing and crying as you run on. As it turns out, you are not the centre of this world and the reality is that not everyone appreciates adventurers charging through the streets.
You manage to get ahead of the soldiers and decide to take a stealthier approach. Reaching behind your head, you gently grip your hood and pull it over your head. Squatting down next to a wall, you keep your head low as the guards hurry by. You walk back to the tavern, spotting your horse standing on top of the roof.
Some things don’t change in any reality…
This is the kind of entry that I really love because it really brings the experience to life. But Joel was up against some stiff competition, as you’ll read shortly.
Eliza’s Celtic world
Hellblade wasn’t specifically called out here, but it’s a good image to help get you in the right frame of mind for what Eliza’s thinking.
A moonlit Celtic world, where the sky is like squid ink, periodically eclipsing the moon and the world is plunged into darkness. The world is populated by Celtic characters (not the usual TV cliche crap) from a land where magic was part of life and the people lived for the coming of the Light. Lives are ruled by the Moon and Sun, and people live truly in tune with the seasons and the natural world around them, respecting Nature. Religion is based on Nature.
A world of Stonehenge, possibilities and less cynicism. I think this era is too often portrayed as either too magical or too earthy (ignoring the magical). Yet a belief in wonder and magic and the beauty and importance of the natural world is what the Celtic Life was founded on. The days we celebrate today often have their basis in Pagan culture.
As you’d expect, a lot of people pitched a lot of gaming worlds or existing games that already have some kind of VR hook. Beth went for something different entirely, and helped shell out parts of her VR world.
It’s a neat pitch, and hey — maybe Hellblade could go down this road one day. I love that visual contrast between the darkness of the squid ink and the moonlight, and wondering how religion would pan out in this VR world is fascinating to think of as well. Religion and video games doesn’t crop up all that often, but it’s fascinating to think about.
Imagine Kamurocho in VR
The Yakuza series is already one of the best virtual gaming environments to explore, because of how well it echoes the spirit of the Tokyo streets. But in VR? Well, that’s what Lucas wants to see.
I would love to see the world of Yakuza 0 recreated in VR. I can imagine walking through the streets of 1980’s Tokyo and Osaka taking in the absolute abundance of neon lights and nightlife. Moreover, I feel being able to go into all many different shops and stores like you can in the original game would add to the immersion. It would be able to take you to many different environments, from the loud and exciting Sega arcades to a dimly lit bar found in an abandoned alley and everywhere in between.
In these areas you would be able to partake in the activities as if you were actually there such as singing karaoke to a crowded bar or playing an intense game of Mahjong against a wise old man. Being able to fight the thugs and gangs of streets would make for a interesting combat experience as you dodge your opponents blows and strike them as the groups of eager onlookers form a circle around the action. Being able meet all of the different bizarre characters in first person would also be fun as you develop close relationships with them learning more about their personalities as you complete various tasks for them. Seeing the 80’s bubble era Japan found in Yakuza 0 remodeled in such a way would make for such a unique and immersive VR experience.
Oh man. VR Mahjong? Sold.
Donkey VR Kong
I would love to explore the world of my favorite game series ever, Donkey Kong Country (SNES), in virtual reality. Something that’s never been done: a first-person Donkey Kong game! Maybe even change the genre! (murder-mystery puzzler with Detective Kong, anyone?) Looking at every detail in Cranky Kong’s messy shack, riding shotgun in Funky’s flight barrel and participating in Swanky’s Bonanza Quiz for starters! Next thing you know you are sitting on top of Rambi Rhino smashing through enemies or fearing for your life as you hang on to Squawks the Parrot (don’t look down!).
Just imagine seeing the Kremlins, bosses and King K Rool up close and personal – large with scaly skin and sharp teeth, they would be really intimidating! It would be amazing to be completely immersed in levels like Bramble Scramble. Sure, being shot out of barrels might be disorientating at first, but VR is there to push new boundaries! Imagine seeing the heat coming from Volcano levels, the spooky mists in the Gloomy Gulch area Marshlands or all the architecture of K Rool’s Keep! I think all the stages would be amazing in both scale and detail.
VR controllers would allow for increased interactivity; maybe giving us more secret areas or bonus levels! Call me nostalgic but I think the semi-realistic art style of the DKC world, the scale of the levels, and the personalities of the enemies and animal buddies would really be enhanced with VR. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply … bananas!
I don’t know if I could handle DK platforming in first person, but holy hell I’d love to see it done.
Leaning to see past Charizard’s ass
Wait, I can play with my boy Psyduck in VR?
Well, lots of other people have the same idea. Not Psyduck, but … well, you get the picture. Michael had this cracker of an entry.
Pokemon! We’re more likely to see Pikachus genetically engineered in reality before Pokemon VR comes to pass, but you told me to dream big. Gimme a BOTW-style open world with all 900 of the critters. I wanna wander different biomes throwing balls at garbage bags and electric sheep, bat Zubats out of my hair in caves, and surf around on the back of a to-scale Wailmer in first person.
I wanna turn around and pat my little Spoink on the head as it follows me around town. I wanna chase down Entei running on a VR treadmill. I wanna physically shake trees to knock down berries. I wanna look up to see a Corviknight swooping down at me.
In battle, I want to point and yell commands for my Charmander to follow. I want it to be slightly harder to see over its head when it evolves into Charmeleon. And I want to have to physically lean to the side to see past its big burning butt by the time it’s a Charizard.
I want to see the dopey look of disbelief on the faces of the Team Whatever grunts as my psychic crayfish beats their sentient gas cloud. I want to look up into the crowd when I’m facing the Elite Four. And after I’m crowned champion, I want to pick up a camera, wait in a tree and take snaps of Clefairy emerging from the forest at sunset.
The idea of having to physically lean to see past Charizard’s ass might actually be one of the funniest thoughts I’ve had all week.
Magic: The Gathering meets VR meets an RTS
VR and Magic: The Gathering alone would definitely be a neat spin on the classic card game. But Collin has a brilliant idea to take the series well beyond card games.
A real-time strategy type VR game of Magic The Gathering, not a card game. I think having a game like this in VR would greatly increase the immersion and interaction possible. In this game you would play the role of a Planeswalker and start the game with 100 mana and 100 health points. With this you can invest your mana in research, summon creatures or spells. Investing in research may increase your minute mana production, unlock and improve spells, mana recovery rate from dead summons, mana spoils from killed enemy summons, improve summoned creatures strengths and skills etc. Using your mana to summon creatures, you can place them on one of six lanes to your enemy Planeswalker.
The creatures then can be commanded to advance or stay and defend their lane. Each summoned creature will have different strength, defence, attack speed, movement speed, skills, mana cost etc. Alternatively, after having researched them, you could use spells on yourself, your creatures, the enemy or their creatures, depending on the spell type. The goal of the game to win the duel is to lower your opponent Planeswalker’s health points from 100 to zero, whether through creatures attacking or spells.
What would make this game fun is the sheer number of strategies available, and the variety of creatures that can be summoned. Even certain Planeswalkers may give different boosts or access to certain skills, spells or creatures. The immersion and visuals would make this a stunning VR gaming experience.
Remember the game Sacrifice from the early ’00s? what Collin describes is giving me echoes of that, with a bit of MOBA simplicity via the lanes.
It’s something I’d actually love to see pitched to Wizards of the Coast, because with the right visual styling it could definitely be a ton of fun. And it wouldn’t just have to be in VR either.
A few people got real creative with their VR worlds, which we love to see. Adam had this intriguing blend of mixing VR with augmented reality to provide a Matrix-esque overlay of the real world.
Ok this might sound a bit weird but I would love a Matrix overlay of our current world. Would need the most expensive computer and the ultimate rendered software but imagine being able to put on your HTC VR Cosmos headset, and then walk (or fly) out of your house. I’m talking about a VR real life SIM game with augmented reality. Our lands already have some beautiful land marks but imagine also adding texture skins to the land like Avatar or Mad Max.
Adventures could still be had around familiar places. Lightsaber fight on the top of Harbour Bridge, Hover board race through the CBD, or to explore and interact in a way that has more oompf than google street view. If I had to overlay a gaming world into our city scape I’d choose Halo. Make it look like we’re on a Halo ring. There’s cool vehicles and weapons to choose from and fun enemies. But yeah, would be mad if it could be orchestrated around our city in the same layout. Imagine physically going to places and telling friends of the battles you had. ‘See up the top of Opera House? I took out some Jackal snipers.’ ‘Oh remember when those Hunters had us backed up at George St, Cinemas?!’ ‘Or that time we chased those grunts through the mouth of Luna Park haha!’ Would be a mad concept! What do you think?
I think you’re right: that would be sick as hell.
So we’ve had some remarkable entries, but it’s time to announce the winners. There’s two headsets to give away, and for the winners there were just two entries we couldn’t go past.
Yes, someone suggested: Naruto in VR.
After the disastrous year that has been 2020, I’d like nothing more than to escape from reality. I am a huge fan of anime and Naruto is one of my all-time favourites that I grew up watching. To this very day I am still motivated and inspired by Naruto to be the best person I can be and to treasure the bonds I have with my family and friends. When I set myself goals, I call them ninja missions and I do everything in my power to complete them –because that’s my ninja way!
I would love to experience Naruto’s world in VR in an open world style game, to explore Konoha and the other hidden villages, take part in the Chuunin exams, go on S rank missions and of course get up to mischief with my fellow ninja! I’d want to learn new jutsu’s, make new friends, fight rival ninjas and try to unmask Kakashi sensei!
It would be awesome if there were storylines/arcs that could be triggered as you explore that followed along with events that occurred in the anime, and it would be fun to create your own avatar/character and be able to choose which team you want to be a part of (Team 7 all the way for me!)
I really hope they come out with this game, as now that you’ve made me write about it – I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!!!
Now that’s one headset given away. Congratulations Rachel! You won’t be doing the Chuunin exams in VR any time soon, but hopefully (provided there’s no shipping nightmares), you will get to live out some VR experiences come Christmas.
Now, that’s one VR headset given away. So who won the other one?
Let’s go back to the ’90s. To a world made by a studio you definitely know — but not for this game.
That time Lucasarts made a God game
Afterlife was that one time LucasArts made a god game that I guess you could describe as part Sim City, part Populous. It’s a wild, wild title, and Danny thought it’d make a great VR experience.
Afterlife: LucasArts’ mid-90’s demiurge simulator.
Consider the possibilities in virtual space as master of the souls of the world – purveyor of the very infrastructure to kingdom come! With your capable (and now seemingly-corporeal) advisors Jasper and Aria, reach out over the great beyond with but a gesture, crafting the duality of salvation and punishment in towering omnitheistic metropoles. Look down upon creation at the EMBO’s humble world – an almost insignificant marble spinning in your hand – and yet the essential microcosm filling the planar Oreo of reality itself.
Once the forces of darkness and light are cued to their respective municipal zonings of vice and virtue, and gates to the hereafter have been adequately staffed for the influx of mortality, you could descend among your subjects to revel alongside in their joy and despair (akin to the shamans of Populous).
Behold heavenly wonders from the streets of gold (or loiter ominously above hellishly congested acid trenches). Greet souls of the recently departed under the gates (no longer manifest as merely impersonal floating text panels). Join in the endless afternoons of [enthusiastic flailing] play with those rewarded for lives well lived, or take pleasure in [accurately motion-tracked] torment of the damned.
Experience the simulated pinnacles of elation, or plumb visceral sadistic depths. Finally you will come to know true horror, as inevitable failure sees you bear witness to the coming of the four surfer dudes… bearing down upon you… harbingers of Armagmageddon (great for streamer reactions!).
Competitions like this are great because people have all sorts of experiences and ideas from left field. I actually low-key expected someone to mention a LucasArts classic, but I was thinking someone might go for Grim Fandango in VR, or insult fights in Secret of Monkey Island.
But the wild, vibrant underworld of Afterlife is such a massive curveball, and it’s one that Danny has described so brilliantly. It’s not a world you can explore in VR, but I’m sure Danny will find something else to enjoy because a HTC Vive Cosmos VR headset is coming their way.
Once again — thank you so much for all your entries and all your effort. Your continued creativity and passion continues to blow me away, and it’s always an absolute treat to show people the incredible imagination and time you put into all your entries. The winners will be contacted by email later today, so keep an eye out for that!
To everyone who entered but missed out — I’m sorry we didn’t have more headsets to give away. However, there is a small consolation: our Christmas giveaways aren’t done yet. We’ve got another giveaway running on site right now, so go check that out.
And later this week, there’ll be an extra bonus. If you’ve just bought a new console, or need something nice and shiny to sit around while you wait for that PS5 / Xbox Series X to arrive, stay very tuned to the site later this week. I promise, it’ll be worth it.