Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Fantastic Contraption solves VR’s social problem in new update

Fantastic Contraption solves VR’s social problem in new update

Watching someone while they’re in VR is usually not that interesting. In some cases, you can view the entire 360-degree world they inhabit, but not being in there with them hinders the experience. The bystander is relegated to watching someone else being wowed by VR, rather than experiencing just what makes VR different than any other medium for themselves.

Fantastic Contraption, this year’s colorful sandbox building simulator, gained attention due to its use of mixed reality to solve this problem between player and spectator. By setting up a green screen, the interactivity of VR, coupled with its colorful surroundings, was on full display for spectators to ooh and awe at—alongside the person actually in VR. Just like that, Fantastic Contraption became one of the first widespread examples of socially-driven VR.

Now, in a new update for the game, the developers of Fantastic Contraption have created a way for all players to show off the mixed reality features of the game without even the use of green screen. This should make it more conducive for friends to watch, or to even livestream on Twitch. The video below explains it in full:

As you see in that video, at just the push of a button, the option to record or display mixed reality is offered to you. Technically, you don’t even need a VR headset to play—you could view yourself on your PC monitor as the game augments elements of Fantastic Contraption onto you and your surroundings. If you own a green screen (or a green shirt, as developer Andy Moore jokes in the video), an extra layer can be added to spectating. With a proper green screen, the background of the VR world can be visible, rather than just the room itself.

taking the necessary steps to make VR a more social venture

Also part of the update is a new Director Mode that lets you appear as a cute animal inside Fantastic Contraption‘s world while moving the camera around to give your spectators a better view. It also comes with integrated Twitch chat, so that streamers can always remain in contact with their viewers, rather than arduously removing their headset to see what everyone’s chatting about.

Fantastic Contraption’s additions go towards taking the necessary steps to make VR a more social venture. Even if it’s technically single player at its core.

You can read more about Fantastic Contraption’s latest social updates here.

fantastic contraption

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