A New Way to Game

PAIGE JOHNSON | THE SPECTRUM Opinion editor Erik Jonasson II tries out the virtual reality headset at the Memorial Union Gallery.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, North Dakota State students were able to experience virtual reality through the NDSU Video Game Club and Vacuum Door Interactive.

Set up in the Memorial Union Gallery, students were able to try three different immersive virtual reality games created by NDSU students: “Zero Space,” “Perilous Journey” and “Ixion.”

“Zero Space” involved users suspended in space, without gravity. In “Perilous Journey,” users had to battle a storm and ocean zombies to reach their end goal.

Finally, “Ixion” had players back in space, trying to repair a broken spaceship after a devastating pathogen wiped out the crew and passengers.

The experience was put on by Vacuum Door Interactive, a startup in Fargo that strives “to create immersive and innovative experiences for virtual reality platforms,” according to their website.

“‘Zero Space’ and ‘Zombie Batter,’ those are done with NDSU through Video Game Club,” Ruben Tipparach of Vacuum Door Interactive said. “That’s a smaller club with Bison Robotics. Once a month, or two months or so, we get together at Game Jam where different students come in and make their own titles. All of these are solo projects, except for ‘Ixion.'”

They’re also strong supporters of people making their own video games and seeing their ideas reach fruition.

“Our main focus is to get people to make games and get people to play games that we’ve developed,” Tipparach said. “To get the recognition they deserve for their hard work and get (to) try out something that they used to think was impossible.”

Virtual reality gaming has quickly risen in recent years, across a variety of platforms. While all the games on Thursday were on a PC, Tipparach mentioned that Xbox, PS4 and smartphones are also able to support virtual gameplay.

Ruben Tipparach assists opinion editor Erik Jonasson II with the controls for the virtual reality game.

Most of the games created took a day to create:

“These games are all games that are done within a day or two,” Tipparach explained. “These are just small projects that we do.”

However, their most developed game for play, entitled “Ixion,” took Tipparach and a partner about 48 hours to complete.

“It was two of us for a weekend, pretty much straight,” he said. “All of the other games were done within 12-hour stints. They’re mostly small projects to make real quick and try out different ideas.”

All the games listed above, and more, are available through Vacuum Door Interactive’s website, www.vacuumdoor.com. To become involved in game design, contact the NDSU Video Game Club.

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