Last night, I had the opportunity try out the beta for The Void. Before reporting on my experience, here’s a bit of background for those who don’t know what The Void is. It will be a facility with virtual reality experiences mapped to physical environments with effects, launching in 2016, first in Utah, then across the country. Below is a video of the concept:
Here’s their website: https://thevoid.com/
Now for my report on the experience with the beta. First off, it sold out quite fast, so I was fortunate to get my foot in the door, especially with the bugs needing to be worked out in online ordering system, which was part of what they were testing with the beta. There were 2 options for the beta, an alien research facility and ancient temple ruins. I chose the research facility. When the beta becomes available again, I’ll plan on choosing the other. Also, I realized after I ordered that I could have had more than my self scheduled to go in a group, so I’ll keep that in mind next time.
It was only $10 for the 10 minute demo. The final version will be expected to be more, for a 30 minute experience. Part the survey they had me fill, at the end, was for pinning down what the price should be.
When I went to my scheduled appointment, I found it to be in an obscure location off of Geneva Road in Lindon, north of the bishops storehouse. I jokingly thought, maybe The Void is just a plow to get me out here to get mugged. Of course, the final experience will be built in a more prominent location off the freeway in Pleasant Grove. The groundbreaking for it has yet to happen, but hopefully soon.
Anyway, I pulled up to the building, located the office for The Void. When I entered, the place was quite nicer on the inside. I greeted by some youngsters, late teens to early 20’s loving their job, who took me back to get suited up, legs trembling. The gear involved a pack, a helmet, and a prop gun. But again, there’s suppose to be more to the gear in release version, gloves that track fingers and that sort of thing. I’ve even heard of possibly recoil on the gun as one of the things they were talking about.
For the beta, the graphics were a bit rough, about up to par with my brothers Samsung Gear VR, but that’s another thing expected to be better with release version. It starts in this abstract sort of blue box room where they have me shoot at three targets, then a portal opens in the wall, which was a weird sensation to walk through. I was then shooting at spiders in a corridor.
The part where the experience really got awesome is when I stepped outside a door on this walkway without a ramp and see through holes. Despite the graphic quality, I did feel a bit of vertigo. The feeling of wind and the ground rumbling made the experience feel more real. I shot down flying drones. Then there was the alien breaking from the tube, that I shot at. It hopped on walls and that, until I stunned it to the ground.
I then heard the voice of one of the young workers taking me through the experience, saying I can poke it if I want. So I jabbed the alien with my gun and saw it flop around. I think I went through one last door and it was over. 10 minutes is definitely way too short, making me like, “What, that’s it?” But it was worth it.
I’ll definitely be back as soon as the opportunity opens up again and take others with me next time around, now that I realize that was an option on the order form.