Virtual dreams

It is already Sunday again, the dark of the autumn evening is really setting in. It has been a good weekend though, of the very relaxed kind. Perhaps the most relaxed one in a while. With travel and conferences and several other events with deadline-type feelings attached to them out of the way, it becomes a bit easier to relax and to enjoy relaxing.

Vader: immortal, episode two

Episode two of Vader: immortal was released sometime recently, and I got around to playing through it on a quiet Wednesday evening. Ratings were decidedly lower than for the first episode, and having finished it I can see why. It felt slightly shorter than the first episode, but that might well be my imagination. More importantly, it had nothing quite as cool as the first episode to offer. The new mechanics introduced were themselves deeply cool, but controlling them never felt right. I felt as if I was constantly missing what I intended to do, and I was thinking I had missed something important about the controls until I got to repeat more and realized that no, the controls just felt lacking in precision. Which really felt like a shame, because with tight controls they could have been a real blast and could have made you feel like a superhero.

As I finished the playthrough and took of the headset, I was stuck by another feeling: discomfort. The Quest felt heavy, warm, and was pressing too much against my forehead. It felt like being back in a lesser Daydream headset, warm phone slowly cooking me through the cloth-covered claw squeezing my face.

(Okay, slight exaggeration.)

More Beat saber

Much more plain and simple fun was my discovery of another little music pack for Beat saber. Only four songs, but each one the same kind of delicious fun as always. I clearly was very early getting the pack as well, because I landed in the top five of the highscore boards several times, and in one case the board held only perhaps five names. Fun!

It is also fun to see how the patterns are evolving as more music packs are released. There is always something new to discover, some new twists in positioning, combinations of blocks never seen before. I even saw some combinations which I am not yet sure how do deal with. More repetition is clearly needed.

I keep toying with the idea of putting the headset into developer mode and try out some of the infinite array of songs modders are adding. What is keeping me from it? It looks like I would have to re-enable the Facebook platform machinery or whatever it is called and thus give Facebook even mroe ability to track me again. Not keen on that part, but perhaps, just perhaps, it could be worth it in this case.

After all, who would not want the chance to make a fool of themselves chopping through Gangnam style?

VR browsing

I want more great games for the Quest, but I also remain excited about other uses of the headset. I dream about productivity, and I find it surprisingly fun to browse the web in Firefox. They recently added multi-window support, which felt deeply cool until the whole browser uncermoniusly crashed, losing my entire session in the process.

Watching videos is also surprisingly nice. I gave the Youtube app another go and found it had all the video quality and speed controls I wanted. Also, it is very cool to be able to size and position the video exactly how you like it. I sat back in my armchair, rested my head against its back, and then positioned the video to be perfectly placed in front of my eyes.

Now I seriously look forward to watching Netflix in bed at some point.

Some day, we will have this ability easily available for all regular productivity apps. That will be a good day, and it should not be very far off if the apps keep evolving. Immersed actually does the trick already, but I did not get the reliability and performance I wanted out of it. Once the apps enabling your desktop in VR get that bit better and more stable, I may need to get a more powerful computer to support them properly.

It would be deeply futuristic to not or rarely need to look at a flat screen while computing.