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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Now you can direct and star in your own interactive VR movies

Now you can direct and star in your own interactive VR movies

There’s a helluva lot of creation tools for VR. The apps (and games) Tilt Brush, Fantastic Contraption, among dozens of others are sure to perk up a few ears. Yet what those games and creation tools are missing is something significant: the ability to craft a unique narrative. Whether bite-sized or longer and more complex, in most cases, creating things in VR is simply just that: building something, no frills about it. With the upcoming HTC Vive project Mindshow from Visionary VR studios, announced at VRLA in Los Angeles, the team is seeking to break that narrowed objective of just building, and give VR players the tools they so desperately need to tell complete stories of their own.

Visionary VR’s Mindshow is something of a narrative sandbox. The VR user has access to a wide array of tools at their disposal, from cartoonish characters to silly props for their different environments. Everything is wildly interactive, as it should be in VR. And while the user is actively directing and coordinating their VR story, they step into the shoes of the characters plopped into it as well. You know how some film directors star in their movies as well? It’s kind of like that, I guess. But instead you can be a cute green alien, comedically wreaking havoc (or otherwise).

Home-brewed cartoonish adventures with friends

Everything created within Mindshow is encouraged to be shared with friendswhether they have access to VR or not. Remixing content is also encouraged, where pals can hop into the virtual realm at the drop of a hat and tweak stories and fragments more to their liking. “For us, it’s the first step toward a future where everything is malleable,” said co-founder Jonnie Ross in an interview with The Verge.

A galaxy far, far away.
A galaxy far, far away.

I can see this being a stellar tool for those with wild imaginationslike how once upon a time Minecraft (2009) became the sparkle in all kids’ eyes. While Mindshow is in its early stages of development, its potential is boundless. Initially, it will probably be home to silly home-brewed cartoonish adventures between friends. Eventually, as more complex filmmaking tools are implemented (which Visionary VR insisted to The Verge), Mindshow can possibly grow to something much grander than the similar tools offered by other game design platforms. In the meantime, goofy alien method acting will do just fine.

There’s no firm release date for Mindshow yet, but you can keep up to date with its development via their website.

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