Rec Room (video game)

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Rec Room
Rec Room logo.jpg
Developer(s)Against Gravity
Publisher(s)Against Gravity
EngineUnity
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Release
  • Microsoft Windows
  • June 1, 2016
  • PlayStation 4
  • November 21, 2017
Genre(s)Action, Action role-playing, Casual, First-person shooter, Sports
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Rec Room is a room-scale virtual reality multiplayer online video game, which includes a game creation system.[1] It was developed by Seattle-based company Against Gravity and was first released for Microsoft Windows in June 2016[2] and PlayStation 4 in November 2017.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

The game may be played without a virtual reality headset, but not all functions of the game are accessible in this mode. In virtual reality mode, the game uses full 3D motion via the motion capture system of a virtual reality headset and two hand-held motion controllers. The hub room vaguely resembles the lobby of a YMCA or other recreational center (thus earning the game's title of Rec Room) with doors that lead to various games and user-generated rooms. Players can explore the space around them within the confines of their physical floor-space, while roaming further by using controller buttons to teleport a short distance, with minimal or no virtual reality sickness. Sliding (so-called “walking”) is also an option, however it poses a higher risk of virtual reality sickness. Motion controllers are required to pick up and handle objects in the game world, including balls, weapons, construction tools, and other objects.

Game modes[edit]

Rec Room consists of separate multiplayer games, including first-person shooters, cooperative action role-playing games, a charades-like game, and five sports games:

  • Paintball – includes both capture the flag and team deathmatch modes.
  • Laser Tag - FPS MOBA with creeps, HP, and rudimentary lanes, with the objective to gain more points than the other team by killing enemies.
  • Rec Royale (released on 7 June 2018)[4] - a Battle royale game for 14 to 16 players in “solo” mode and 18 players in team mode.
  • Quests – 5 cooperative action role-playing quests, each centered around a different theme. Each quest includes weapons and creeps unique to that quest.
  • 3D Charades – similar to Pictionary or Charades.
  • Bowling
  • Dodgeball
  • Disc Golf
  • Soccer
  • Paddleball – 3D zero-gravity Pong. You can play against online opponents, or practice against targets.

Rec Room also provides in-game tools for user-generated maps and games.[1]

User generated content[edit]

An in-game item called the maker pen is used to generate various 3D shapes that can exist in the game world and can be interacted with. These custom shapes can be placed into a number of predesigned rooms. Beyond the maker pen, players also have access to a number of pre-generated game assets, such as balls, tables, chairs and guns that players can place into their rooms. Players can choose to save their rooms and then list them publicly such that other players can find and visit them. Owners of popular rooms earn weekly dividends of tokens, Rec Room’s main currency.

The maker pen also provides access to a node-based visual programming language, which is based on the dataflow programming paradigm and allows players to add various kinds of animated and interactive elements to their rooms. This feature allows players to create new multiplayer online video games that may be played within Rec Room; thus, the game effectively includes a game creation system.

Development[edit]

Seattle-based development studio Against Gravity was co-founded in April 2016 by Nick Fajt and Dan Kroymann.[5] Prior to that, CEO Nick Fajt worked as the Principal Program Manager on the HoloLens team at Microsoft. Against Gravity′s CCO Cameron Brown also worked at Microsoft as HoloLens Creative Director. In 2016 and early 2017, the company raised $5 million in funding for the development of Rec Room and its player community. According to CEO Nick Fajt, the company will keep Rec Room free to download.[6]

In 2017, Rec Room’s “Junior Mode” was COPPA-certified by Samet Privacy.[7]

Reception[edit]

Dan Ackerman, writing for CNET, described Rec Room as VR's killer app.[8] In January 2017, Ars Technica reported that trolling and harassment in Rec Room were a problem.[9] In June 2017 MIT Technology Review contributor Rachel Metz described it as a fun and significant example of VR's potential for social interaction, while criticizing its underdeveloped anti-abuse features.[10] Filmmaker Joyce Wong described it as her choice of "most interesting piece of art in 2017".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sterling, Amy (March 25, 2018). "Visualizations Of The Future: Toward The Oasis". Forbes.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  2. ^ "Rec Room on Steam". steampowered.com. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Rec Room Coming to PlayStation VR, Open Beta Launches Nov. 21". PlayStation.Blog. November 9, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Hayden, Scott (June 8, 2018). "'Rec Room' Battle Royale Shooter 'Rec Royale' Now Live on All Supported Platforms". Road to VR. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Company Against Gravity". VBProfiles. Spoke intelligence. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  6. ^ Hayden, Scott (February 2, 2017). "'Rec Room' Studio Raises $5M "to continue to build the future of Social VR"". RoadToVR. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "OFFICIAL MEMBERSHIP PAGE: Rec Room (Junior Mode)". kidsafeseal.com. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  8. ^ Ackerman, Dan (August 12, 2016). "VR finally has its killer app, and it's called Rec Room". CNET. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Newitz, Annalee (January 24, 2017). "Welcome to the world of trolling in virtual reality". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Metz, Rachel (June 14, 2017). "Virtual Reality's Missing Element: Other People". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  11. ^ Wong, Joyce (December 27, 2017). "The art of VR: In 2017, filmmaker Joyce Wong found compelling new ways to socialize online". CBC Arts. Retrieved January 2, 2018.

External links[edit]