p>Virtual Reality rhythm game Holodance, which took inspiration from one of the projects at the Shayla Games VR Jam in May 2015, was the first Virtual Reality rhythm game shown to the public mid 2015 (see also: Dance In Virtual Reality With Holodance, VRFocus, Jul 25, 2015, and Dance like nobody else is watching with Holodance VR, UploadVR, Aug 8th, 2015). In October 2016, Holodance was also the first Virtual Reality rhythm game to fully support osu! beatmaps, giving the game access to a huge music library with perfectly timed gameplay.
In 2017, Holodance once again is first in its class: This time by fully supporting the Vive Trackers by HTC. Holodance is also participating in the Steam Autumn Sale 2017, at 33% off!
Vive Trackers are supported by Holodance in three different ways that can also be combined:
- Two Vive Trackers attached to the player’s feet provide advanced gameplay, letting players catch orbs with their feet.
- The Holodance Avatar system lets players breathe life into various forms, from Animé characters to sci-fi soldiers. The system works with just two controllers for hand tracking on all supported platforms (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift with Touch controllers, and Windows VR HMDs with motion tracked controllers). But Holodance can use a single tracker at the waist for improved tracking, two for the feet or up to seven Vive Trackers for feet, waist, elbows and knees. The Holodance Avatar system ties into that game’s Streamer Mode, which is designed to record gameplay, or let spectators watch players from various 3rd person perspectives that can even be switched automatically by the game, perfectly on the beat.
- A single Vive Tracker can be used for reliable Mixed Reality camera tracking, to put real players into the game, for example using the LIV Mixed Reality platform.
Holodance Avatar System Teaser:
Holodance on STEAM™
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Advanced Gameplay with Tracked Feet
Since July 16th, 2017, Holodance players can use two Vive Trackers attached to their feet, for example using TrackStrap by Rebuff Reality, to be able to interact with the game using their feet. This comes in addition to hands and head and lets players go from efficiently catching orbs in the rhythm without any dancing (a perfectly valid, albeit potentially less fun play-style) or creatively dancing while catching orbs, to a full-body Kung Fu style workout-experience.
The philosophy behind Holodance is that no one should tell anyone how to dance, or even to dance at all for that matter - but that a Virtual Reality rhythm game should let players go crazy and wild if they want to. In addition to achievements that players that only catch orbs with their head, or only with their left or right hand can unlock, the game also offers a Catch Variety bonus that maxes out when each sequential orb is caught with another hand, or foot, or the head.
Holodance Avatar System, Streamer Mode and Mixed Reality
Ever since the first weeks of prototyping Holodance and sharing progress with the emerging Virtual Reality community in form of videos, narayana games has had a strong focus on finding ways to turn Virtual Reality that can really only be known by experiencing it first hand, into videos that get the experience across in the best possible and most entertaining way on a medium from the previous age.
Even the very first prototypes of Holodance had a recording and replay feature, and experimented with various 3rd person cameras, in addition to combining real world footage with gameplay footage. In February 2017, its Streamer Mode, which lets players choose from various different camera angles, had a unique feature added: Being a rhythm game that is all about music and rhythm, letting the game switch camera angles perfectly in sync with the music is the natural way to spectators outside VR watch the game, and also makes it very easy to create gameplay videos that are interesting to watch without having to do significant editing.
With the Holodance Avatar System, players can now take this to the next level and turn themselves into Animé characters, retro clubbers from the 50s, or sci-fi soldiers while playing the game. With a Mixed Reality setup in place, it is now even possible to let the game automatically switch between showing the real player, put into the game using greenscreen-compositing, and their Avatars - from different angles, all automated and based on the rhythm that also drives the gameplay.
What’s coming next?
Holodance is still in Early Access, and due to its incomplete Story Mode that has dragons take players through a little history of time, reminding them of their duty of care for the planet, will still remain in Early Access for a little while. Early Access or not, narayana games believes in constantly improving their games, listening to player feedback and is fully dedicated to create the best rhythm game experience possible in Virtual Reality.
With Vive Trackers now soon available to consumers, narayana games are very excited about adding a DDR-style game mode that uses the StepMania beatmap format for pure feet gameplay. The upcoming in-VR beatmap editor is also designed with gameplay for feet in mind, so that players can design choreographies involving just hands, or just feet, or hands and feet.
Finally, Holodance will get both, multiplayer features, as well as a “Show Mode” that will let spectators watch players beat the rhythm - from directly with VR. The Avatar System is a major milestone toward that goal.
About narayana games
narayana games is an independent game development studio focussing on VR, AR and multiplayer and was founded exactly 6 years ago, 2011-11-22. Based near Munich at Lake Ammer (Ammersee), Germany, the game studio has an international team collaborating all over the world. The current project, Holodance, is a Virtual Reality rhythm game released on Steam into Early Access on April 5th, 2016, which evolved from "Dancing with Dragons" into "Virtual Clubbing with osu! beatmaps" within roughly one year and keeps on evolving based both on player feedback and the companies own creative flow.
References / Links
- VRFocus, Jul 25, 2015, Dance In Virtual Reality With Holodancehttps://www.vrfocus.com/2015/07/dance-in-virtual-reality-with-holodance/
- UploadVR, Aug 8th, 2015, Dance like nobody else is watching with Holodance VRhttps://uploadvr.com/holodance-vr/