For complete immersion to happen in Virtual Reality one must experience being able to fully interact with the virtual surrounding. Vive Tracker Games were designed so that you can experience that immersion with the use of the HTC Vive Tracker.
Finally, you can be actively participating in a game where your whole body can be used to move, your limbs particularly, just like you are in the game itself. You can see your arms and legs moving in real time with any task at hand. How cool is that?
Unlike some other Virtual Reality game where you only have to sit or stand and touch the controls to maneuver. Vive Tracker games offer full body movement which can translate to exercise, if you are health conscious. Currently they are working on suits that provide haptic feedback that will really give off vibrations or reactions that will feel like the object has touch you or has hit you. This is great news for first-person-shooter games like me.
Why the Vive Tracker is Phenomenal
Did you know that you can use the Vive Tracker with the Oculus Rift(see picture below) or with other Virtual Reality headsets? Yes, just stick the Vive Tracker in place with the Oculus Rift, of course, you must have lighthouse base stations to go with it and then it can be tracked. This means that it can be used with other VR platforms.
The Oculus Rift has infrared trackers so to achieve this you must block the infrared lights first. You can also attach the trackers to your feet. The Oculus Touch controllers for hand tracking and you have the Vive Trackers for your feet.
Almost any object can be attached to the Vive Tracker and can be used in the game or for any other Virtual Reality accessory purpose. I hope in the future they can create a smaller one, like the size of a button, that is lighter so that it can be attached to most of the part of the body which will then lead to a more fluid and realistic body movement. Now combine that with haptic feedback and you achieve full real VR immersion.
Games That Support Vive Trackers
I have researched a short list of Vive tracker Games that are available right now. I’m sure new and more exciting games are in the work, if you know of other games please add them on the comments below:
Redfoot Bluefoot Dancing – You guessed it right. It is about dance. And literally your shoes are red and the other one is blue. Developed by Rebuff Reality for Steam VR this game is an offshoot of the famous arcade game dance, dance, revolution and with the graphics and feel of the game Audioshield. Great for those who wants to exercise and make it a fun experience. Available on STEAM.
Tornuffalo – I guess it is like a combination of tornado and buffaloes because now and then there is a buffalo hurtling towards you. The concept of the game is for you to dodge, jump or kick a barrage of things and debris and then some buffaloes coming at you. To score points you have to break the crystals. Pretty basic but with full-body action this can be intense. Again great for exercising. You are going to need at least three trackers for this to have a satisfying experience.
VR Chat – is the future of global socialization and activities. This will make the world a smaller place. It will connect people in amazing ways. You will be able to customize avatars and create your environment. I can see the potential of this app. I can also see the dangers and potential for abuse. But with proper monitoring I guess we can minimize that. This is going to be a powerful application in the coming years. Check it out on STEAM.
VR Monster Awakens – Imagine how fun it would be to stomp on buildings, destroy everything in your path, smash everything you see, just let yourself go. It is very therapeutic and fun. VR Monster Awakens is a game where you play the role of a giant monster, like Godzilla, and you roam around the city leveling structures and fighting tanks, helicopters. Great for letting your anger out there if you had a bad day. Developed by Fight4dream limited for STEAM VR.
The Path of Greatest Resistance – Is a first-person-shooter game where you are one of a few surviving humans fighting robots on another planet. Great graphics and theme and you have a choice to jog-in-place because you are constantly running. Again, a great exercise game for those bored with their exercise routine this will bring a new approach to that activity. You can also turn off the jog-in-place mode and you would still be moving. Also, available on STEAM.
Holodance – Now this is the ultimate dance VR available. The movements you are gonna make playing this game is amazing. With thousands of songs available and different environments in the game you will never get bored. Great substitute to any aerobic exercise or as a supplement. Whenever the weather does not permit you to go out and exercise you can Holodance and sweat indoors. There is always something to look forward to within this game. Check it out on STEAM.
High Fidelity – Much like VRChat, High Fidelity also lets you create your own avatar and design your own world and interact with like-minded individuals. Best for people or groups who share the same interests or profession, a particular niche or hobby. This is the the future of social media. Also, on STEAM.
Goalie VR – Is a hockey Virtual Reality game where you are the goalkeeper and you have to defend it against five players who are trying to score. You can play with the computer or with five of your friends maximum(you are going to need ios and android compatible phones for this). Will support full body movement with your trackers resulting in realistic hockey goalie action. Great for playing with friends and family. If you are a hockey fan check it out on STEAM.
Climbey – Is exactly what it is – climbing. An obstacle course where you climb walls and structures floating in virtual space. You can play solo or race with friends. It supports up to 6 players. This is the least one I like because the graphics are rudimentary. Why not real buildings instead? You know just like parkour. Racing the city’s skyline would have been more appealing. Integrating the Noitom Hi5 VR Gloves would make this game more exciting cause then you will have real hands to use not motion controllers. Anyway, just try it you just might enjoy it. Available on STEAM.
Tilted Mind – Is just a maze game with beautiful backgrounds. Somehow the thrill of solving a big maze did not appeal to me. But the graphic is good. It is basically tilting the maze so that the ball will roll off to the other end where there is an exit and being careful not to let the ball fall into the hole. Also, on STEAM.
Final Soccer VR – You will need three trackers to really enjoy this. This game is going to get bigger. Currently, you can only play as the goalkeeper or the striker in this game but imagine the possibilities of playing a whole soccer field and a full game in the comfort of your home with people around the world. This could become a reality in the future. We can already chat in VR I am sure this would be taken to the next level. Get it at STEAM.
#Selfie Tennis – A developer company called VRUnicorns experimented with the trackers and integrated it to their game #Selfie Tennis and it worked very well with this kind of interactive tennis game version. The best feature of the game is you can play solo. The great thing about VR is there is no limit to the creators imagination. The game has a lot variations and side activities that you will have a lot of fun playing with yourself and watch the hours go by. Check out their website VRunicorns for the game.
Vive Tracker Accessory Bundles
To fully take advantage of the Vive Trackers versatility HTC Vive launched accessories collaborated with third parties so you can enjoy more the trackers functions:
Hyper Blaster with Vive Tracker – This gun can be equipped with the Vive Tracker and can be used for first-person-shooter games or any game which involves shooting with a hand gun and the like. You might notice that it has an uncanny resemblance with Nintendo’s Nes Zapper if you were an 80s kid you can relate to this. Speaking of the 80s this is bundled with the game Duck Season which is a rehash of the 80s game but now with a story line to give substance to the game.
Racket Sports Set with VIVE Tracker – Also bundled with the Vive are the rackets which I believe one for table tennis and the other for tennis in the game Virtual Sports. These are weighted approximately to the same weight as the real ones just to give you a feel for the real thing when playing.
Where to Buy: Amazon
Trackstrap – Created by a company called Rebuff Reality these are straps that holds your Vive in place when you strap it on your shoes or on your feet. Upon purchase, it is bundled with the game Redfoot Bluefoot Dancing. These are really cool because you can also strap it anywhere on your body. Really simple invention but really works.
Where to Buy: Amazon
PP Gun – Another third-party hardware collaboration with the Vive, this gun is great for first-person-shooter game enthusiasts. Unlike the Hyper Blaster which is only in a pistol form this one has a rifle and pistol version and just by looking at it I already love it. You have plenty of colors to choose from and these babies weigh like the real rifles out there. Batteries power a special recoil feel and vibration when shooting to give you that illusive immersion experience. The batteries can also provide power to the trackers so you have more playing time with it.
Where to Buy: Amazon
Noitom Hi5 VR Gloves – This one excites me a lot because this will pave the way for future developments of actual real working hands in Virtual Reality. This one is compatible with the Vive tracker or their very own Project Alice. With actual hands on the screen you can finally move and do things with them in VR like what you do in the real world. So there is no more need for motion controllers which feels awkward and unrealistic. Watch out for this company because it is going to play a big role in the VR scene.
Where to Buy: Not yet available for consumers. For developers go to http://hi5vrglove.com/#signup
You can also experiment with other things where you can attach your tracker. Like I said, the tracker is very versatile and can be used with any sport gadget or household item. It is up to you to be creative so don’t limit yourself with those third-party hardware.
Please leave some comments, reactions, suggestions below. Thanks.