​A small platformer for mobile VR with a visual style inspired by the Nintendo console Virtual Boy. Made for the Banana Jam during the Retro Game Fair in Gothenburg.

Retro Game Fair 2017

And so it’s over. But what a great fair it was! We had some confusion regarding our entrance passes but otherwise everything went super well. Not all the cabinets would fit on the tables we had, but the two that eventually were excluded were the only ones that we couldn’t get anyone to fix, the rest worked really well. As for Virtual Böj, I choose to stand in the middle of the passing crowd rather than behind our tables. I guessed that visitors would need some encouragement to try it out and not using the table also freed up some space for another cabinet.

In general, the response to it was great. Many hadn’t tried anything VR before and were actually amazed by the stereoscopic experience, others who had experience with the real Virtual Boy, witnessed that it was a very genuine experience. Cool stuff, intense, and another cabinet builder found another exhibitor who could give us and what remained of the cardboard constructions once the cardboard was stripped away a ride back to the workshop were the equipment belonged.
Great jam, thanks to all the other participants and to the Retro Game Fair for the collaboration. : )

Download game

Final Touches

The day before and we gathered once again for the final touches of our games and cabinets. Since I worked during the weekend in my day job I was able to take yesterday as well as today off for just working with this jam. I’m pretty happy with how my “cabinet” turned out yesterday, so today it was all about helping the others, refining the software and getting things set up at the venue. We rented a car and threw what we had in it to set up things about an hour before the venue closed. Excited for tomorrow. :)

Thursday Tinkering

So we had decided to try and use today for some late evening building of the cabinets for those of us who had time. This gives us a Friday before the event for fine tuning of the full game experience, and we also need to use tomorrow for transportation and rigging of our site at the fair.

Lots of cool cardboard construction, including a surprisingly good looking one (vaguely based on an idea I had but the guy who did it really surpassed my expectations).

Personally, I went for a simple cardboard containment for my Virtual Boy-like experience. Within it I added a little cardboard holder for the mobile VR headset (a BoboVR4Z) and some strings to tie it up. Some red, plastic tape added a somewhat plastic look to its exterior and black electric tape and a banana cut out made for the perfect, final touches.

Virtual Böj turning out great!

So far so good. I have only been able to work on my game during the evenings due to my day job yesterday and today, but I might spend the whole day tomorrow on the project as I worked during the weekend.

The Virtual Boy style truly comes alive with mobile VR and is actually pretty cool and very playable. Looking forward to see what the others have made and to build a dedicated, cardboard casing for my mobile VR headset.

I’m making a platformer, inspired in ways from the looks and play style of the Wario game for the original Virtual Boy. I have chosen not to have a physical controller and instead rely solely on sensors and affordances of the phone and mobile VR as it will minimize the possible errors, something one should do when making a prototype to be tested by many in a non-lab environment. : ) The player makes its character walk by looking to its left or right and jump with and actual jump.

Banana Jam is ON!

Got back from a super intensive weekend of organizing a storytelling VR and 360 hackathon for film and game makers as well as museum personel and historians. Went up a floor to the kick-off meeting for the jam after unloading the car of all the tech shit we brought with us. Had an amazing time with the other participants, drinking cold beer and making puns about bananas.

Participants? Bananas? Well, today was the start of our jam that we (various game makers in the Gothemburg area) are making in collaboration with the local retro game fair. I wanted to challenge us towards constructing game cabinets, adding some variation to the well-known comfort zone of software. You can’t build a arcade cabinette in a few evenings though, so I suggested we should go for cardboard construction. A natural source of cardboard is of course banana boxes, and as the retro game fair is organized at a place called Bananpiren (the banana pier) bananas were a given theme. We’ll work throughout the week with a second, physical gathering on Friday (and Thursday for those who need some extra time for building) and show our results at two tables sponsored by the fair on Saturday.

I have decided on what I want to make, perhaps inspired by the hackathon I just were part of organizing. I’ll do a take on Nintendo’s Virtual Boy! It seems to be such a cool console, both in that it has such a distinct style and in that it is infamously bad. It’s also a well known remnant from the 80/90s VR wave that died off as the Internet rose.

In the coming days I’ll do some brief research on things like its color palette, resolution and typical game style. However, I’m pretty sure that this could be a very doable mobile VR project. I’ll call it Virtual Böj (bent in Swedish), Banana split vision.