Since the inception of video games, social interaction serves as their core. Players have transformed from gathering on the living room’s floor to play Mortal Kombat to talking over headsets while their digital avatars are interacting in Call of Duty. Developers of virtual reality know that the same thing applies for their games yet they don’t know exactly as to what social interaction form must happen within a headset.
Kite & Lightning, based in Los Angeles, is toying with a potential solution. This virtual reality studio raised a seed round of $2.5 million that they are planning to use on the development of a bizarre social virtual reality game inviting players to turn into battle-hungry babies.
The Bebylon: Battle Royale is what you can consider as a game within a game. This happens after humans found an immortality pill that cause people to stop aging as babies. They are jostling for fame peacocking, trash talking and fighting within a Coliseum-like arena. Ikrima Elhassan, cofounder and CEO, likens this to Street Fighter and Super Smash Brothers. This arena is found in Bebylon’s greater world where you can also take a stroll and find some side attractions such as rides, shows and gambling.
Bebylon is basically a shared universe. The battlers as well as the audience are all real people. Here, you have the chance to interact with people walking in the streets or throw weapons and goodies down to those battlers inside the arena. At its very core, it is built to become a social experience.
According to Elhassan, they got the chance to dive deeply into the cinematic and world building stories, creating a universe that they think can just exist in virtual reality.
A few of the earlier attempts into making VR social were basically practical. There is Oculus that built Toybox, the shared space wherein you can manipulate shapes and toys on a table with a friend. On the other hand, AltspaceVR provides digital rooms wherein the avatars of the visitors can meet and talk. Different companies such as Linden Lab and High Fidelity are dreaming much bigger with the sprawling virtual worlds mimicking the rich metaverses that are described in movies and sci-fi books.
Bebylon will feel more like the social gaming you see these days on the dominant consoles. The gamers are aware how they can interact with this type of game or at least, they can be compelled to pick up that VR headset for the very first time.
VR is much more effective as compared to a computer monitor when it comes to transporting the users to a different world. However, the addition of a social element can give the sense of immersion of the users with a bigger boost.
Many people claim that the interaction of film and gaming is the sweet spot for virtual reality. Bebylon has been built to let gamers blend interactivity and storytelling, one seamless universe where players can explore and more around.