A GEARVR NEWS BULLETIN
Starship once again knocks one out of the park with a “Version 1.5” update to its popular GearVR-Chat program, with this patch being entitled “Romance.” It features:
- 1 New Level: “The Terrace of Love” or literally “La Terrasse de l’Amour.” || This is a wine and rose-petal strewn terrace overlooking the streets of Paris France, with the Eiffel Tower … um … towering overhead … way in the distance.
- 1 Modified Level: The Beach Level from before, this time recreated at twilight dusk, with candles lining the beach. || The huts, which were once geometry, have been re-rendered in much higher graphics then baked into the 2D backdrop, allowing for much higher polygon geometry in the proximity all around you. You also sit much higher at a nice set of tables and can now really see the shoreline and waves pounding the shore. This one is just as awesome as the Paris one in its own ways. The sunset is to die for!
- A Sound Effect Inclusion: the Executive Jet Level now emits a loud jet noise when first arriving to make you sure really feel that you’re aboard a jet. I was hoping for something being seen out the window, but still no window events occurring there.
- The Clouds Restored: the Mountain Cliff Level got the clouds that were lost with 1.4 re-added, meaning the depth-cues are back. This level now looks much better. But my phone, which worked fine on all the other levels, overheated on this one in mere minutes. I assume it’s because of that HUGE wall of geometry behind us overhead. Maybe they could render some of that down to another baked skybox at some point where it no longer is noticeable so that this level won’t overheat phones so quickly.
The new Paris love terrace is absolutely mind blowing. It includes city-street noises and some local music playing and feels like it’s humming with life. The view is so good, you can stare at it for hours.
I got invited into a group with two love birds fighting over whether anyone would put rose petals down and buy champagne like this in the current era we’re in. I said yes, the woman laughed, and the man booted me right out of the discussion, angrily. I could only laugh at what just happened. Crazy world….
Similarly, the new attention to detail on the twilight beach scene is amazing. The sunset is so wonderful. It almost seems like every new locale that Starship adds is so much better than the others that they almost reduce the value of all their previous locales. Pretty soon, they’ll have to start re-creating their first locations in order to keep up with their rapidly-increasing visual skill sets.
The new update is very large, almost 450 MB. In a previous meeting between myself and Starship, I was talking to the main coding engineer and I suggested separating the vTime application from the locales and leaving the locales stored in the Cloud. That way, they could add tons of new locales any time they wanted and we wouldn’t have to re-download such a huge application every time.
The main program would be like 50 MB’s or so. Then you access the Level downloader located within the app to get the new levels and vTime unpacks it to the appropriate place. Now you’d have it. The app can now update itself quicker and easier.
That way, when we get vTime updates, they download really fast. And when we get new levels, we don’t necessarily need a vTime update. Just download the new level, or updated levels, as they are completed and added to the Cloud.
He said that they would consider that idea and see if it was feasible, but he mentioned it was a good idea. I wonder how long something like that would take to code?
vTime never ceases to amaze and fill me with awe. It only gets better every month. I am in love with the 1.5 “Romance” patch (pun intended), it truly offers some unforgettable scenes. Plus it shows that Starship is committed to improving not only its #1 app, but to improving itself in order to make that happen.