Sightline : The Chair on Oculus Rift DK2

Posted August 25, 2014 by in All

All Demos: ,
 
 
 
 
Developer: Tomáš "Frooxius" Mariančík
 
Demo Release Date: 18-08-2014
 
Version: 1.0
 
Type: Puzzle / Experience
 
Platform: PC / Mac
 
HMD: Oculus Rift
 
Download: www.sightlinevr.com
 
Control Schemes: Head Moments
 

Best Part:

Of the three iterations of Sightline, The Chair is easily the best experience. It is comfortable, accessible and wondrous.
 

Worst Part:

There is no body animation – if you do leave your chair and look back you’ll experience the strange sensation of having popped out of your own body
 
Bottom Line

This is among the most captivating 15 minutes of stand-alone entertainment in VR right now and SightLine: The Chair acts as a fantastic ambassador for any newcomers medium.

Rating

Graphics
 
 
 
 
 


Sound
 
 
 
 
 


Controls
 
 
 
 
 


Gameplay
 
 
 
 
 


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Immersion
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

4/ 5

by Edmund
Full Article

SightLine: The Chair is Tomas Mariancik’s third iteration of the SightLine formula – a world that changes when you’re not looking.

sightline the chair oculus rift dk2 smallThe first was an artful, if variable, puzzle experience – reminiscent of AntiChamber or The Stanley Parable. While the second acted as a more of a prototype for a longer-form game, with action elements. The Chair is tighter, more focussed, perhaps less ambitious but far more polished for it. As such, it is a comfortable front-runner as one of the first demos you will want to load for friends when showing off the Oculus Rift DK2.

As the name suggests, The Chair takes place exclusively in one. You don’t move at all, but your environment shifts around you so much, and so dramatically, that by the end you’ll certainly feel like you’ve been on a journey. You start at a desk with a message from the creator on your computer. There are certainly shades of the Oculus Demo Scene here – indeed, it holds much the same appeal and it is a nice narrative effect – to open in a setting so familiar. Of course, your attention is quickly drawn to subtle changes – is that the same plant as before? What about that fruit? Pretty soon, you’ll turn around to find yourself somewhere else completely – a magical lake, a city and even in space.

sightline the chair oculus rift dk2 small 2It is an uneasy, almost uncanny sensation in turning back on something that you can’t help but believe is really there, only to have it transformed into something or somewhere else. This is mostly played for wonder very effectively, but occasionally Sightline pokes at fears. This touch of horror is never overdone in the slightest – never to the point of true unpleasantness. But it will play on a sense of unease to modulate the emotional tone, producing an overall experience that is quite affecting. The finale could perhaps do with being a bit bigger, or more meaningful, though – even it just opted to take the somewhat clichéd route of having you end where you started.

In many ways, positional tracking shines in SightLine: The Chair, but it is also the cause of some strains to the illusion of presence. There are plenty of opportunities to get very close to things and to get up and peer around your surroundings. Unfortunately, as there is no body animation – if you do leave your chair and look back you’ll experience the strange sensation of having popped out of your own body. This is quite a harsh nit-pick, though, for a game that screams at you to stay seated, from the core of its design down to its name.

sightline the chair oculus rift dk2 small 3Of the three iterations of Sightline, The Chair is easily the best experience. It is comfortable, accessible and wondrous. Visually, it is far superior in every way to either of its predecessors, and its straight-forward progression mean that anyone you put in front of it will finish it with a smile on their face. It does not, however, point at a clear next step for this particular concept. The premise, and core interaction is intoxicating, and Mariancik is clearly getting better at deploying it – but can he wrestle the concept into something resembling a “full game” with a cohesive whole?  This is certainly his ambition, and I am eager to see that whole, but The Chair perhaps indicates that he doesn’t have to – these are among the captivating 15 minutes of stand-alone entertainment in VR right now and SightLine: The Chair acts as a fantastic ambassador for any newcomers medium.

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About the Author

Edmund

Edmund Ward is a philosophy graduate who has focused on aesthetics and cultural critique in the information age. He grew up with 'the dream of the holodeck' and is prone to get very excited by new innovations in natural user-interfaces. Edmund is currently looking for volunteers to look after the glucose drip that will sustain his "fleshform" (as he insists on calling it) when he migrates permanently to VR.

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