Sometimes my company will get requests to show our VR game, Fantastic Contraption, on their exhibition floor. Here's an open response to that question.



First, are you sure you want to do this?

Showing a VR game is very difficult, particularly in comparison to showing a flat (non-VR) game. The effort is high, venue compatability is often low, and the number of people you can fire through the experience is low. Bang-for-the-buck is minimal!

Showing VR games can be useful in certain environments: by-appointment-only, at press events, for VIPs, and other high-quality-attendee venues. Know what you are getting into, and showcase where appropriate for your product.

Keep in mind that a good demo is usually around 10 minutes long. Add a few minutes for offboarding and onboarding for the next person, and you'll be lucky to fit 30 product demos in an 8 hour shift.

If you are showing to press, you probably want to give them 20 or 30 minutes. If you are trying to show to a mass audience, you have a few options to mitigate this;



If you wish to show Fantastic Contraption despite all that, here's the advice I'd give you:



GEAR

First you'll need to choose your hardware.









Most of our demos have (coincidentally) been on HTC Vive hardware, so a lot of what follows is based on our experience with that hardware.



SOFTWARE

The PS VR "just works," wheras the other platforms will require setup of their software platforms and perform product configuration.

You will need to run room-size-configuration on-site after the play area has been set up! You cannot get the demo up and running, then pack it up in a box and deploy it elsewhere.

If you do not own a copy of Fantastic Contraption we can provide you with a key for whatever platform you choose to use.

Fantastic Contraption runs pretty well on it's own otherwise and will not require special setup or guidance, other than resetting the game between demos, which can be done with a mouse click or a keypress.



GENERAL SETUP

Overall, Fantastic Contraption is pretty lightweight. It doesn't take a lot of computing oomph to make it go, and we are pretty flexible with requirements (including physical space). Setup is painless and easy, and any "standard setup" will do.

What is a "standard setup?" By that, I mean whatever you would set up for VR in your own home. However, how that "normal home setup" translates to a conference environment can be tricky.





MIXED REALITY REQUIREMENTS

Setting up greenscreens and feeding a live camera feed into compositing software for realtime broadcast (either to a nearby TV, or a streaming service) is relatively easy and possible with Fantastic Contraption... But you really need to know what you are doing, have experience with professional cameras and greenscreens, and knowledge of how streaming services work.

We included several keyboard shortcuts and specialized tools to make this video content flexible and engaging, and allows for camera moves and avatar views and other such tricks.

I'd be happy to help you set this up, give you pointers, and let you know how things work - email link is in the footer below. The Northways have also posted a guide to Mixed Reality streaming on their website that goes into a bit more technical detail.



HUMAN FACTORS





_This is one of a handful of VR advice pages I've written. Check out the index for more._