Want to believe in VR? Watch mixed-footage demos of HTC Vive launch games
Virtual reality content is inherently difficult to advertise, especially when its targeted hardware doesn't exist in the wild. You might show a full-screen 2D simulation of what a headset-wearer might see, or you might use goofy-looking footage of people wearing monstrous, face-covering hardware, but neither of those are great at simulating the VR feeling.
VR-game screenshots are even worse, which the creators of VR music-rhythm game Audioshield conceded while trying to promote its upcoming title last month. I gushed at length about how fun the game was, but the screens that creator Dylan Fitterer provided me didn't match my words. Really, they were garbage.
On Monday, the day of the HTC Vive's retail pre-order kick-off, Fitterer finally made a preview video worthy of the Audioshield hype—and I imagine more VR content creators will start to copy Fitterer's impressive mixed-footage approach for future previews. In this trailer, a 2D camera has been set up behind the silhouetted player, while Audioshield's content—an endless barrage of colored orbs dropping from the sky—appears in the shot as if the player was actually standing inside this virtual world. Helping the effect is the additional rendering of the game's colored, handheld shields, which appear in the game as if you're holding them.