Howdy again, folks! Caitlyn Meeks here with a Official Content Team Online Blog Update Post (OCTOBUP). As part of our endeavor to launch with fun and compelling experiences in place, we’re working on a number of awesome and exciting public domains. Let’s touch on one of them: the Playa!
We’re building this large, open domain in the spirit of the playa at Burning Man, mixed up with a little bit of the Las Vegas neon sign boneyard, and plenty of piles of interactive objects to chuck at your friends with your hand controller. Our objective is to provide a fun and open location to explore alone or with a pack of friends, with lots of hidden surprises and opportunity for emergent gameplay.
One of the most exciting features of High Fidelity is its sophisticated distributed physics system. Simulating physics in a truly multi-user world is a complex computational task — particularly when the simulation is distributed and calculated across multiple machines. You’ll see our physics system used in an increasingly wide variety of applications, from simple chains of domino falls to spacecraft to complex, multi-component mechanical systems that would make Rube Goldberg blush. Even simple use cases are surprisingly fun to experience, particularly if enjoyed with friends. To that end, there’s heaps of simple, old-fashioned wooden blocks on the Playa for you to play with. The world inside High Fidelity is designed with hand controllers in mind, and it’s surprisingly fun to revisit this mode of play in-world. Manipulate, precisely stack and place these giant blocks into towers, henges, fortresses with your friends and then knock them over! If you’ve only got a mouse, you can still manage to move entities by click-dragging them and using shift for vertical translation and ctrl for rotation (although the grab & equip functionality isn’t available). It’s pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it. If you’re looking for a hand-controller rig, we’ve implemented excellent support for HTC Vive Pre and Razer Hydra, improved support for Leap Motion/Orion and, soon, Oculus Touch. I personally recommend the Vive Pre controllers, which are intuitive and have excellent precision.
If you’ve got a good pair of headphones, be sure to listen carefully to the soundscape. The latest version of High Fidelity’s Interface software has a high-quality HRTF positional audio, which uses psychoacoustics to give spherical pin-pointing of audio. This brings a far more realistic audio experience than normal stereo can provide. Give it a shot! We’ve placed audio injectors with sounds you might hear at Burning Man, such as distant human voices, warm desert winds, far away bells and chimes and lively electronic music just over the horizon.