Next game turns Quest VR headsets into real laser marking machines

Enlarge / Coming September 9. We only played it for a few minutes, but rest assured, Ars Technica will absolutely have a review of this real-world VR laser tag option when the game launches on the Oculus Quest VR headsets.


If you own any of the Oculus Quest VR headset models, you’re about to get a must-have gaming option … especially if you have access to massive play space and a friend with a Quest system.

Space Pirate Trainer, one of the first arcade shooter games to launch on the HTC Vive VR system in 2016, has continued to be supported on newer VR systems in the years since. The next game update, launching on September 9, is the biggest yet and it’s completely free for existing game owners. Double Space pirate training arenaThe extensively teased mode is currently an Oculus Quest exclusive, and it requires massive play space and up to two unattached VR systems to enable a laser beacon in the real world.

In the real world, you and a friend will stand on either side of a large play space, such as an indoor tennis or basketball court, and plot a Quest “chaperone” space for your system, at least 10 mx 10 m (33 ft x 33 ft). Once the game starts, spectators will see you both wrestling with helmets, looking like threatened fools. In the VR space, however, your game and your friend’s game will sync and you will each see a much more complicated virtual battlefield filled with walls, hallways, and other architectures, as if you were in an arena. elaborate laser tag. in order to find and blast your opponent before he does the same to you.

Cheating, lifting your helmet to examine the real world, won’t really work. You still need to confirm your opponent’s line of sight in the virtual world to line up a shot. Nice try, though, moron.

What do you want to pack: helmets or cardboard boxes?

Fashion aesthetic looks like the original Space Pirate Trainer, although moved into an indoor laser tag universe, and as the gallery above indicates, the VR version features five combat arenas, each designed with entirely different hallway layouts and hiding places. Players can also create their own levels with a built-in editor. As a result, your fun can be heightened by whipping up new battle arenas from scratch, which owners of plastic laser tag toy sets can’t necessarily do without lugging around plenty of cardboard boxes.

If you have a large garage or sizable battle space in your home, you can choose to play on your own and connect with other online game owners or try out the mode’s single-player challenges. The problem here is that all sessions with a real friend in the game’s “co-located arena mode” require both players to connect to the internet to shake hands with them. SPTbefore the system transfers the fight to a local peer-to-peer protocol. (The developers of I-Illusions directed Ars to this article explaining how such a system will work technically.) We’re going to test exactly how this system affects the in-game laser tag latency, and if we’re having any issues with it. newer connection. From Quest 2 helmets to older Quest 1 models for such two-player battles.

And if you’re away from a huge playing space, the game’s September update includes another new online mode against which may be more to your liking. It looks more like the original Space Pirate Trainer single player experience, with waves of enemies swooping down on you Galaga-style. Now, however, a second player is in the same virtual room as you and is fighting with their own waves of enemies. Shoot enemies that target you (red color) while dodging enemies targeting your opponent (green color), and see who can last the longest.

Both modes are already intriguing in my very brief preview tests, and I’ll have more on the full package, dubbed DX Space Pirate Trainer, once it officially launches on all Oculus Quest systems on September 9.

This is the first iteration of such a real-world combat concept on unattached mainstream VR systems, and it’s one I’ve been dreaming about since Oculus representatives demonstrated the idea during its Oculus Connect 2018 exhibit. This demo, pictured above, included a much more elaborate physical setup, with cardboard boxes placed exactly where the virtual world boxes and debris had been placed so that players could more physically simulate a duck assault and cover. Also, it was in a larger space (4000 square feet) with more players (two teams of three). Space pirate training arena is admittedly smaller, but we have yet to see VR arcades investing in this 2018 proof of concept with their own massive combat zones.

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