August 10, 2022

Why Virtual Reality?

Why Virtual Reality?

Social Media Is Anti-Social

At Together Again, we're setting out to solve an insidious problem we see all around us:

Social Media Is Anti-Social

Though Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok all let us share more with each other than ever before, what we are sharing is surprisingly hostile and dismissive of opinions other than our own.

Though Zoom, Hangouts and Teams let us finally see each other from a distance, we still can't speak naturally. We depend on tools like "mute". We create meeting upon meeting with different sets of the same group of people. And we don't form the depth of relationships we could in-person.

We as humans are all-too-capable of forming us-versus-them "tribes" and dehumanizing those who appear too different, and this problem is becoming ever more apparent behind the curtain of the graphical user interface.

Virtual and augmented reality are a way out

In 2016, thanks to pioneers like Palmer Luckey, Michael Abrash, and John Carmack, we suddenly gained access to a technology that removes the curtain and forces us to see eachother. And in 2020, an event that has permanently limited our in-person interaction arose and gave new meaning to this technology.

In VR/AR, voices are no longer text on a screen, taken out of context by our social media bubbles. They're voices again.

In VR/AR, people are no longer user profiles with one image and a tag-line. They're really people, with bodies, faces, and hands that can point and gesture.

In VR/AR, messages are not just "public", or "direct". Conversations are dynamic, with people physically approaching one another to talk, with people moving in and out of physical groups, and with people attending public conversations together again while still able to have "sidebar" conversations.

All these abilities we used to have in-person, we have gained again in virtual reality.

Soon, we'll go even further with this technology. We'll be able to make real eye contact with eachother in VR. We'll use AR to invite distant friends and family over to our homes.

And at Together Again, we plan on using these new tools to let people like eachother again.

Treekeepers: Only Possible in VR

Why is Treekeepers a VR Game?

Multiplayer of this depth only works in VR

The challenges in Treekeepers VR hinge on player coordination and quick group decisions - Which weapon should we upgrade? Who's doing which job? Where are we going?

In VR, you gain the ability to gesture and point to enemies and obstacles naturally.

No more "Who is the green player?" - spend zero mental energy figuring out who you are talking to. Just turn towards them and speak.

Scale is the most fun when you're in the world

We're going to be exploring oversized objects around a gigantic tree. Only VR can get the full benefit of this experience.

VR can be uncomfortable

BUT, experiencing it via a static vehicle which acts as a persistent frame of reference reduces motion sickness.

No need to rotate - gameplay is based on the hot air balloon always facing one direction, and players navigating within it.

More about Treekeepers

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