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Holographic VR: An independent game maker’s perspective

April 10, 2024
min read
Holographic VR: An independent game maker’s perspective

Today VividQ publishes an independent report that explores and evaluates the impact that holography will have on VR gaming from the game maker’s perspective. The report was written by seasoned games industry journalist Will Freeman, and is based on in-depth interviews with four experienced VR industry professionals: Tommy Palm of Resolution Games, Jesse Schell of Schell Games, Dave Ranyard of Dream Reality Interactive, and Russ Harding of Maze Theory. Along with his own views on the market, Will’s report provides insights and perspectives on the challenges that developers currently face with VR, and the extent to which holography could improve the gamer’s experience, and thus the potential of VR itself.

“I concluded that computer-generated holography opens up all kinds of potential for new forms of interaction, increased immersion, greater realism, refined user experiences and interfaces, longer play sessions, and more physically comfortable experiences,” said the report’s author Will Freeman.

Freeman adds: “Gaming may offer just one of the many potential commercial applications of holography. However, beyond offering a vast market and audience, the video game medium often serves as a speartip in movements to establish new technologies as truly everyday. As such, considering the potential of holography in VR gaming is an important step in understanding and pursuing the technology's wider potential.”

The 28-page report can be downloaded here.

The report concluded:

  • The future of interaction is increasingly 3D, and 2D stereoscopic VR will only progress things so far. Holography’s truly 3D offering may prove critical to innovation and delivery of consumer products in this context.
  • The improvements in image fidelity that holography introduces to VR – particularly when observing assets close up – bring profound positive gains around making video game worlds more immersive and realistic, and better meet consumer expectations. 
  • Improved fidelity at close proximity likely also opens up new game design potential. As Dave Ranyard says in the report: “those moments of low fidelity can almost break the illusion.”
  • Holography’s ‘natural variable focus’ can bring comfort gains which address one of the greatest limitations to existing VR systems. The same gain can mean longer play and use sessions. In the report, Russ Harding highlights this point: “Anything that makes things more natural-feeling – and removes interaction barriers – is powerful in VR.”
  • The ability to adjust to user vision prescriptions, meaning no need for squeezing in glasses, or inserting prescription inserts presents an opportunity for vast market expansion.

Key quotes from the report’s contributors:

  • Russ Harding, Maze Theory: “If holographic systems can bring us better fidelity to more comfortable, portable, affordable headsets – and maybe controller-free hand-tracked interaction – that could be really huge.” 
  • Jesse Schell, Schell Games: “Things that allow you to grab something at a distance and bring it close to you to manipulate […] really do bring a new level of immersion.” 
  • Tommy Palm, Resolution Games: “Games played from a diorama perspective are fantastic. They're beautiful, and increasingly they can come to life in a way they haven't been able to do up to now. When holographic can bring this detail to VR, or let you bring objects close to your face and see their detail, that’s really striking […] You can bring something up close and see the details that you haven't been able to see before. That really helps with VR’s core strength of immersion.” 
  • Dave Ranyard, DRi: “If natural focus means less eye strain, and thus being able to spend longer in VR, the potential there for VR and how it is used is huge. That could be a huge step forward.” 
  • Russ Harding, Maze Theory: “Being able to inspect and interact more with close-up detail gives these opportunities for discovering story and character.” 

The 28-page report can be downloaded here.