HEADPHONES ARE RECOMMENDED FOR WATCHING THE VIDEO.
PLEASE CLOSE YOUR EYES TO GET CLOSER TO THE REAL EXPERIENCE.
THIS EXPERIENCE HAS NO GRAPHICS BESIDES SOME INSTRUCTIONS AT THE BEGINNING.
You play a blind swordsman. You can’t move. You are in a dojo, swordsmen come in and move slowly towards you to attack you. If you hit an enemy with your sword they die. If you get hit you die. The world is black and you have to rely on your hearing to determine where the swordsmen are.
You cannot move but you can turn in any direction to get a better idea of where the swordsmen are coming from. You tap the touchpad to swing your sword in the direction you are facing. Enemies can come from all directions so you must play standing and turn around physically, or use a swivel chair to turn around while sitting. If you play standing it's recommended to use a mat beneath your feet so you don't accidentally walk into any furniture. You can alternatively press any face-button on a gamepad to attack instead of tapping the touchpad.
Enemies enter the dojo in waves of 1-3 swordmen. You are blind so you must determine their position using only your hearing and strike out when they are close enough. If an enemy gets close enough they will strike at you and kill you. If you die the experience resets. If you defeat all of the waves of enemies then the experience resets. The point of the experience is not winning or losing but focusing on your hearing and the world your mind creates inspired by the audio.
You can hear that it is raining outside the dojo. A sword swoosh sound plays when you swing your sword. Enemies make footstep sounds as they move and yell and make sword swing sounds when they attack. If enemies are killed a sword impact is heard, they cry out, their blood is spilled, and their bodies and swords drop to the floor. If you are killed you will hear the sudden lack of sound in the world. When the experience starts or restarts a bell is heard.
I wanted to create an experience without graphics to see if it was possible to create a virtual world with only positional audio. This is to show the impact of audio in immersion and world building, as well as act as a showcase for the Oculus Audio SDK. I'm also taking advantage of the cordless nature of the Gear VR to allow a 360 degree experience and necessitating that the user turn away from their default forward direction. This makes the world appear to be all around them, not just in front of them.