Beat Saber – VR Experience Analysis

Written by Ian Hong

ArtemisBlue totally slaying Astronomia in Beat Saber while dancing

As someone who produces my own music, I really enjoy the first-person VR rhythm game Beat Saber. It allows players to visually and physically immerse themselves in the music. crudely describes the excitement of slashing along to songs akin to “shoot[ing] the maps you want straight into your bloodstream.” The player is given 2 sabers and they slice blocks to the rhythm. Players can play along with friends, challenge other online players, or strive to break their personal best scores for their songs. After reading the reviews by my classmates LimJunxue and DevATeo, I will take their posts into account and offer my own analysis of the game. Do note that I do not own a VR headset and will be judging the experience solely based on watching gameplay from YouTube.

Why Beat Saber is an Outstanding VR Experience

1. Immersive, focused gameplay

The first thing a new player will notice is that the game makes them feel like they are ‘in’ the song. Like what Junxue mentioned, Beat Saber draws the player in and lets them forget about their environment.

The player finds themself in a dark tunnel, and then notices red and blue blocks flying towards them. The simple and non-distracting background does not burden the player’s cognitive load, and lets them focus on slicing those blocks. Slashing the blocks makes the background light up, but it fades away quickly, giving the player satisfying feedback but also not being too distracting.

Additionally, the simple colour scheme (namely blues, reds and black) is used consistently throughout the game, giving it a polished look.

2. Easy to learn, rewarding to master

Next, Beat Saber speaks the player’s language when it comes to interaction. New players immediately know what to do with their sabers. The blocks resemble juicy fruit to be cut, which is similar to fruit ninja, a popular mobile game. The player’s instinct to duck occurs when they see a large wall flying towards their head. By applying the players’ existing mental models to the game, Beat Saber delivers an intuitive user experience without the need for much explaining.

The gameplay from Fruit Ninja is oddly similar to Beat Saber
The player has to duck so that the wall doesn’t hit their head. The physical action of ducking is what differentiates VR gaming from PC gaming.

The starting tutorial features bass-heavy electronic music with blocks being in sync with the strong beats. After slashing through these blocks, the player quickly feels badass, and also learns the rules of the game, eg. blue is right, red is left. This new power makes the player feel good about themselves and encourages them to keep playing.

After playing for a while, players seeking personal glory try to beat their best scores, or even training to obtain the highest score in the global leaderboards. This social element is a great way to encourage replayability.

A short snippet showing how skilled players can get. Was that a spin at 0:42??

However, the finesse doesn’t stop there. Content creators such as Artemisblue have honed their skills to the point that they are able to dance expressively, while slicing boxes to the beat. Please watch the 1-min video above.

By allowing experts to accomplish such impressive feats, while at the same time remaining easy and enjoyable for beginners makes Beat Saber a truly fantastic VR experience.

Nevertheless, there are still some aspects which can be worked on.

Areas in which Beat Saber can Improve

1. Legalising user-made content

Across all game review platforms, the most common complaint about the base game was the limited selection of songs and genres. Players got bored of the songs and maps quickly.

acloudyskye – Somewhere Out There mapped by Swifter, considered the most beautiful custom map

In response to this, a highly enthusiastic modding community has sprung up around the game, making mods which let users customise every aspect of the game, from loading custom songs with custom environments, to using custom avatars. It is relatively easy to mod the game, given the numerous guides and tutorials produced by this community. This has resulted in a cornucopia of user-generated content, richly enhancing the gameplay.

Although these mods bring the game (and its revenue) to the next level, the CEO of Beat Saber cannot support them because the producers of the new songs in the mods do not get paid for their work. The situation has reached a stalemate, with the dev team neither supporting nor hindering the modding community.

One possible solution Beat Saber can adopt is to partner with music distribution services such as CD Baby or Distrokid to give royalties to artists whenever their songs are played. These services already do so when their music is streamed on Spotify, YouTube, or even Tiktok. Surely something can be worked out with Beat Saber.

2. Menu selection method

If you’re like me and find it hard to keep still after an intense workout, then you may find this point relatable. To navigate the menus between songs, users have to point a ray from their controller to select small buttons on the menu in the distance. This fiddly job requires concentration and precision, both of which the player may not possess after a physically demanding song. It would be better if other selection methods were used, such as slicing a block placed near each option in the menu. That would be much easier to do while catching my breath.

3. Safety

The wall of text upon launching the game is not very effective at preventing mishaps.

Finally, Beat Saber doesn’t have its own safety system. Players have reported hitting tables with their hands and toppling furniture. Though the game does warn the player before the enter, a warning in a literal wall of text is likely to be overlooked. Guardian on the Oculus Quest 2 is a great example in terms of ensuring user safety.

Guardian informs users when they leave their boundary, protecting them, as well as their furniture.

Overall, Beat Saber is a VR experience that is easy to learn, fun to play, and rewarding to master. It sets the standard for VR experiences to come, and I can’t wait to try it out for myself.

FPV Drone and DJI Virtual Flight

What is a FPV Drone?

FPV drone is very different from traditional drones. The pilots fly the drone wearing a VR goggle. Livestream view from the onboard camera on the drone is transmitted to the goggle with low latency allowing the pilot to control the drone more precisely. In fact, with the immersive real time viewing, FPV drones equip the pilots with the ability to shoot stunning cinematic aerial images or videos and perform acrobatic drone moves like back flips and rolls. The VR integration brings the level of photography, cinematography and entertainment of drones to whole nother level.

FPV is hard! 

Though FPV drones are much powerful compared to traditional drones in many aspects, they are also notoriously hard to maneuver. The need to control the drone with the first person onboard camera view means pilots need to get accustomed to the tilted view caused by the drone movement. Most drones have eight degrees of freedom (imagine an invisible xyz axis with drone centered in the origin, eight degrees of freedom are positive and negative x,y,z direction as well as clock wise and counter clockwise rotation), which means drone pilots need to learn to fly with 8 different camera illusion feedback from the movement. Let alone speed change. As a three year drone pilot, learning to fly a FPV drone still takes me weeks of training in the simulator to feel confident. While the DJIVirtualFlight is the VR simulator application that really helps here.

VR FPV simulator APP – DJI Virtual Flight

DJI Virtual Flight provides series of flight training sessions. From taking off, flying straight (you may be surprising that flying straight in a FPV is in fact not as easy as you think), turning, landing to some more advanced tricks. It also offers a few good maps for users to train their ability to shoot some cinematic clips or try out some acrobatic moves. Everything happens to the drone controller reflects on the view in the VR goggle. 

Possible improvements for DJI Virtual Flight.

It is true that DJI Virtual Flight provides good amount of training for a new FPV drone pilot, but the accuracy still has room for improvement. From my personal experience, DJI Virtual Flight is only about 60-70 percent accurate compared to the actual flight. Also, there are only three free flight maps provided in the application, which is very limited. More importantly, those maps are all virtual maps, they cannot be served as an actual rehearsal. Imagine if real world places are provided, drone pilots will be able to fly across Swiss Alps or The Blue Lagoon, Iceland in the simulator taking their time to think about how to frame the video before their actual visit.

Survival Horror Puzzles – Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted is a VR game that I enjoy recommending to first-time VR players. It consists of a collection of mini-games that pertain to a novel theme that could be described as Survival Horror Puzzle.

On PC, these mini-games were interesting at best, the animatronics were stuck on a flat-screen. I felt safe controlling the mouse to interact with the various UI elements. In VR, however, the experience was astonishingly brought to the next level. I was right there in that enclosed, darkroom. Alone. I couldn’t see the people around me. No matter where I looked it was just dark creepy aesthetics. There was no way out. It was truly immersive. I can’t help but be engaged within the game.

In the PC version, there was a UI button to click which will bring the user to a screen that shows the CCTV footage of the animatronics (who are out to kill you) at various locations.

In the VR version, the developers made a fantastic choice of embedding all UI components within the virtual environment.

This time, the buttons were right in front of you, as if you were right there in front of a working CCTV system. You have to physically “press” the buttons within the game with your virtual hands as you would have done intuitively in real life. There were no distracting UI elements or HUD to break the immersion in this 3D environment. This particular design choice deepens the immersion I felt in the game.

Another interesting thing to note is that the jumpscares here were noticeably more terrifying. Look at this moment where the player runs out of battery. The doors are now left wide open for the animatronics to attack. The game doesn’t just end here. The audio-visual experience provided by this moment is simply beautiful. The lights turn off. You hear the distinct sound of the power running out. A pair of eyes blink open to stare at you. Then an oddly friendly and creepy tune of “Toreador March” plays in the background. You are left to dread your impending doom while still leaving you with a slight chance of surviving the night. You never know for sure. And most importantly, your senses had no way out of this virtual environment. You can close your eyes, but you won’t fully avoid the light. This particular experience can be truly terrifying for the player (and also fun to watch as a bystander). This moment is simply one of many ways the player gets jump-scared in the game, but it is my favorite one that encapsulates all the various techniques needed to engineer a scare.

Note: The environment was desaturated in this particular level

There were some features in particular that I believe could be improved.

Firstly, the replayability value is quite low in multiple game modes. There are certain techniques that you will pick up to deal with the game’s various puzzles. For several game modes, once you master a few simple techniques, the game becomes repetitive and slightly boring. This could be owed to the fact that this game is a collection of mini-games. There was great breadth but little depth in some places.

Secondly, on certain modes, as seen in the video clipped above, the environment’s color scheme was altered. In the above example, the environment becomes desaturated. In my opinion, this particular mode drains both the game’s life and creepiness factor. As a player, I felt less appealed and less engaged with the environment.

Thirdly, while the precursors to the jumpscare were well done, as discussed above. I believe more work could have been done by the developer to make the actual jumpscare more terrifying. The environment blacks out immediately prior to the scare and breaks to an animatronic screaming to your face. This seems to lack a little polish. I felt that the scares could integrate a little more to the user’s surrounding 3D environment to completely seal in the immersion of the scare.

Finally, there were limited interactions with prizes in the game. The player can only hold the prizes around or put it near the face to “consume” it. I understand this is merely a fun gimmick for the player to fool around in a VR environment. But it is albeit too repetitive and predictable. I don’t actually look forward to winning these “prizes” upon completing a level. Several simple ways this can be improved are by giving the prizes more interactive components such as buttons to perform actions/generate sounds or movable limbs instead of just existing as a static prop.

My prize corner doesn't have the arrows to switch between prize menus. Is  there any way to fix this? I'm playing on non-vr mode. :  r/fivenightsatfreddys

Overall I enjoyed this game immensely, not only as a player but also as a bystander. 🙂

BMW iX: navigation with Augmented Reality Video

The new Augmented Reality Video function available supplements the BMW iX maps navigation system’s map view, enabling the driver to find their way on the road with great accuracy. It engages drivers with a live video stream from the driver’s perspective, shown on the control display and augmented by supplementary information that matches the context.

Interesting Features:
When dealing with confusing junctions, for instance, an animated directional arrow is integrated into the video image to help the driver take the best turn-off for the planned route. Depending on the situation at hand, the Augmented Reality Video view is activated prior to the maneuver to be performed and disappears again afterwards. Traffic accidents can be reduced by providing drivers with the safest possible route when it comes to complicated junctions such as three-way or four-way junctions.

Possible Improvements:
However, the driver will be constantly diverting their eyes from the road to staring at that center screen. It could be better if the augmented reality is in the windscreen in the form of HUDs, so that the driver can focus on looking at traffic along with the features as well.

How much does it Suggest to Be in Love?

Being in love means wanting the happiness with the person you’re with more than anything else in the world. In addition , you’ll find yourself admiring your partner’s style and becoming encouraged to improve your self. Romance and love can coexist. You might seek relationship for the adrenaline excitment of the extreme honeymoon period, while looking for love designed for the long term relationship. The first step toward becoming a committed couple can be defining what you need in your romantic relationship.

The idea of appreciate varies widely from person to person, nonetheless there are some characteristics among the different types of love. A relationship that is based on passion will be different than one that is normally purely platonic. Actually a woman who have just fulfilled a man in the fifties is probably not in love with him or her. For instance, a 20-something girl who just lately moved together with a man half his years might have a unique definition of absolutely adore than a female who’s in her fifties.

In the early stages of any relationship, people may start evaluating their fresh partner with past partners. In love, people begin to think of all their future using their partners, trying to mold all of them into their most suitable. This can be unsafe, as you’ll be wasting precious time. The first step in understanding love will be honest. Take pleasure in is based on integrity, respect, and trust. When these 3 characteristics happen to be in place, a relationship is likely to last a lifetime.

The Actions of a Man Falling in Appreciate

While you may be a romantic heart and soul, men who are falling in love can also do certain things to demonstrate their emotions to their partners. They might stop doing annoying, keep their home cleaner, or try to always be the best variety of themselves for their partners. If this stuff aren’t quite visible, they are actions that he takes without thinking regarding the consequences. Browse through to discover the actions of a person falling in love and how to recognize these people in your partner.

Men whom are in love make a woman come to feel important and special by simply integrating her into his life. They are going to do things on her behalf more often, even though he definitely asked to, and they will show their interest and closeness through increased presence. In the event they do feel by doing this, however , they may not be as fully commited. Any time they not necessarily interested in you, they aren’t going to remember to make tasks better for you.

Should you see a man who all gets tense around you, observe the way he behaves once he’s in love. He may flinch and fidget in his chair, laugh nervously, and move around a lot. If he has not revealing himself when he would like to, he has not in love yet. His behavior is also unusual and is the effect of his insecurity.

Online dating Stereotypes – Don’t Fit Victim to Dating Stereotypes

We’ve most heard about these kinds of dating stereotypes: women don’t want to be touched, men don’t like hot jokes, glucose mommys will do everything to get a man, and prudes won’t also try the euphoric pleasures in exclusive. What’s the between these stereotypes and real people? Coming from all recently been victims of which – but what can we do to change the way in which we strategy these misguided beliefs?

For example , many dating programs have an area for a account description. With millions of users, these points can get continual and pelĂ­cula. So much so, actually that there’s an entire community dedicated to Tinder that compiles examples of what men and women state on their dating profiles. Whether it’s a fish storyline or a great overly dramatic confession, occur to be bound to locate a profile that fits these stereotypes.

Unfortunately, these stereotypes may lead single people astray in their search for a partner. For example , a few men more than sixty prefer younger ladies. Despite this, star news shows that all male actors older than sixty have got dated women 50 percent their age or perhaps younger. Steven Tyler happens to be dating Aimee Preston, Leonardo DiCaprio is dating a woman more than two decades younger, and Sean Penn has old women 12-15 to 32 years more radiant.

In Australia, gender equality is appreciated, and women happen to be as prone to approach a male who grabs their interest. The same costs dating – men goes for the things which interest these people while females will probably stick to the actual feel comfortable doing. If you’re enthusiastic about meeting man, you’ll want to know what they do to impress their lovers. While internet dating in a international country could be challenging, it is also exciting!

How much does it Mean to Be in Love?

Being in love means wanting the happiness belonging to the person you’re with more than other things in the world. In addition , you’ll find your self admiring the partner’s individuality and becoming determined to improve yourself. Romance and love can coexist. You might seek romantic endeavors for the excitement of the strong honeymoon phase, while searching for love just for the long-term relationship. The first step toward to become committed couple is defining what you would like in your marriage.

The idea of love varies extensively from person to person, nonetheless there are some characteristics among the several types of love. A relationship that is based on enthusiasm will be different than one that can be purely platonic. In fact , a woman who just fulfilled a man in the fifties will not be in love with her or him. For instance, a 20-something girl who just lately moved within a man half his time might have another type of definition of love than a woman who’s in her 50s.

In the early stages of any relationship, persons may start assessing their new partner with previous partners. In love, persons continue to think of their particular future with the partners, trying to mold these people into romania singles their ideally suited. This can be damaging, as you may wasting time. The first step in identifying love has been honest. Appreciate is based on honesty, respect, and trust. Once these three characteristics happen to be in place, a relationship is probably going to last a lifetime.

Maceration Relationship Hints

The first step in maintaining an celibacy relationship should be to explain the main reason for your decision. For anyone who is abstinent for private health reasons, make sure to mention why. Your date might respect for you to decide and will hold you accountable. If your abstinence relates to your hope, make sure to share your beliefs in a loving and caring manner. This will avoid misunderstandings and may help you stay focused on your relationship.

Abstaining from sex is certainly difficult for anybody, and a partner who may be not aware of the reasons might find it hard to take your decision. However , it’s important to do not forget that abstinence is yours and your lover’s and that if you’re in control. When abstinence is definitely difficult for some, it’s not really impossible to create your partner appreciate your advantages for it and to value your boundaries. Abstaining coming from sex is definitely not for everyone, and you should do not impose your requirements on somebody else.

Regardless of your motive with regards to abstinence, you will need to define the boundaries of your sexuality. When you’re abstaining, make sure you avoid cross them again. Steer clear of places where thai mail order brides sex is certainly forbidden, or perhaps avoid porn. You happen to be more encouraged if you’re surrounded by supportive persons. If you’re afraid of sharing your decision with others, online discussion boards can be a good place to start.

How to Write an About Me Example for that Dating Site

If you want to create a good impression on a online dating website, an about myself example is definitely an essential part of your account. While authoring an about me model for a going out with site, remember to keep it certain and interesting. Whether you would like a long-term relationship or a casual come across, you should make sure you tell people all kinds of things about yourself, from the items you like to the things you hate. This way, you’ll raise your chances of staying noticed by potential fits.

Your heading will be the very first thing that people continue reading your seeing profile, besides your username and main photo. It must be different and descriptive, but take into account the fact that headline is limited to 150 characters. As well, keep in mind that persons read headlines that are a lot like other users in the dating site. So , make an effort to make your heading unique and catchy! Once you’ve crafted the headline, it’s time to build the rest of the description.