First Impressions and overall review+feedback || edited down to 10,000 char limit :(

    • First Impressions and overall review+feedback || edited down to 10,000 char limit :(

      Pre-First impression:

      I took notes before even getting loaded up to help explain my thought and feelings. When I saw the promo video for it on Reddit, I was thrilled and excited to try something that would be more of a relaxing ‘experience’ that would be low gamer ‘stress’ and just relax with a view and more of a view with soft music. From the PV (Promotional Video) it looked more or less what I’ve been waiting for in terms of one of the mile stones I hope to get out of VR. Something I would like to note about the PV is that there is a lot of this ‘hip-hop’ type track, and it feels a bit misleading for a game/experience (not sure what to call it at this point). I hope there is lots of music options that are more chill or minimal.



      Let’s load into the game:


      The loading part where the controllers are like particle emitters is neat, and it’s nice to have a sort of loading screen that is even minimally active. I like this.


      Main Menu:

      Right away there is something that bothers me. I’m starting this in a seated position (moving to the other options later), and unless I didn’t try to look around I had no indication that there was a menu to the right of the center look as it’s JUST barely out of the FOV. An indicator or maybe move it slightly more closely to the main menu and that could be avoided. I like the menu is simple, and I realize that the interface is minimal, but some more defined areas and indicators would be nice as to what is selected. I also find that the menu, while being simple seems to be low resolution or this whole interface seems low resolution (Perhaps the resolution of the app is tuned low to keep fidelity up?).

      After coming out of the game a few times and back in, I do want to note at this point that it does not seem to be saving my preferences. I have also gave the app elevated permissions (See run as admin) and it did not make a difference.


      NOTE: While writing this I noticed that I had to have the active window be the app and I could not interact with the app unless I had it focused and then tab out to write this. I also had two crashes while writing this mostly from tabbing in and out and picking an option.


      >Select World

      1) Sprat Galaxy

      This place is neat but it’s dark and hard to see the details. I noticed there is some stuff in the ‘sky’ but it’s hard to tell what it is. I also noticed that while in here I when I moved around in any room option, the lighting moves with it. Interesting not sure if that’s intended. Overall I like this environment but I think some more hard light sources would make a difference, like a sun or soft moon light.


      2) Cubes

      This world is very abstract and not what I expected when I picked cubes. It’s just the outline vectors of cubes. Something to note about this place is that the colors shift a lot, and maybe shouldn’t be so much. I also notice that when looking directly at the cubes that they seem very aliased. I don’t know if this is again a resolution problem or what is going on, but being that they are very contrasted versus the background it sticks out for me a lot.


      3) Forest

      This is quite nice, and the scale is very nice, I feel comfortable here. Two things I want to note is that while the headset feels like it’s frame rate is high, the balls and controllers felt like they were very low frame rate or response was very low. I also want to note that while playing in the mode ‘Grow’, the environment feels just right, but when in ‘Meditate’ mode, the color haze is a bit much.


      4) NeonEon

      This is exactly what I think of when I think of the whole ‘Retro’ VR style from the 80’s. I love it mostly for that. However I really don’t like the frame rate here. Moving the head set around is jerky and the controllers are the same low frame or worse than the Forest world. From what I understand this seems like it shouldn’t be a problem considering the graphical layout of this world and its detail, or rather the lack there of. Unless there is for some reason a bazillion polygons for all of these objects I can’t see or understand why the frame rate would take a dump.


      5) Mimosa

      This is super abstract and it, again, almost has a retro feel to it. I feel doing two of this same theme is over kill. I will say that is trippy and if I was someone prone to vertigo this would be super inducing. It is a bit low again on the frame rate but not nearly as bad as the NeonEon. Overall this feels like a fractal but what I would of expected for that sort of thing considering.


      6) Darkness

      This is not what I was expecting with the world title ‘Darkness’, it’s actually more like the middle of a space void than anything, and not a ‘Darkness’ IE nothing just black background with play area.



      >Music

      1) Binaural 1

      Very soft with some minor gong or bells. Nice very relaxing


      2) Chill 1

      This is a bit more upbeat for chill kind of like electro chill, it would be good lounging music.


      3) Epic Chill 1

      This is my favorite of the music track sections we have. It’s just the right mix of sounds I ‘personally’ like. Although it’s borderline on the chill theme.


      4) Forest 1

      What can I say about this? Its forest sounds. I think the rate of birds chirping is a bit much and there should be more ‘levels’ of the sounds to be more in the distance than what almost feels closer.


      5) Hip Hop 1 & 2

      Very upbeat and what I would expect for a ‘Hip Hop’ sound. Although I don’t listen much to that type of music (I might have to look into it again now, thanks), it feels out of place in this app.


      6) Meditation 1 & 2

      About what you would expect from this. It’s very smooth and enjoyable.


      7) Minimal 1 & 2

      Bit upbeat for the style but I suppose it works.


      8 )Public 1 & War 1

      Just remove the, no place in this app.


      NOTE ON MUSIC: Really need to have an option for custom music loading and a No music option. I realize that we can just mute sounds and/or take off headphones, and that the music does react to some objects in the app, but feel this would be a good thing to have on there.


      >Difficulty

      I don’t find that this make that much of a difference other than the amount of Growing you have to do. As far I can tell there is no fail or game over so it really does not make since to me.


      >Play this

      We got three options here.

      • 1)Room Scale
      • 2)On a Chair
      • 3)Laying Down
      Skipping Room Scale, don't need to touch it.



      On a Chair: This feels about right although I think the maybe for the play area when playing Grow mode it should be pushed back away more.


      Laying Down: This is one of the first apps I’ve tried in VR that has this a mode, It's far from being what I expect. I like that it sets an orientation as you load into a world, but for the love of god move the balls away more. Also really need at least 10 seconds or move, to move over to where or what the user would be laying down on. Overall I like the idea of having a laying down option but it really only seems like it’s about the play field being orientated nothing much different and if we are laying down the Meditate mode would be better use of this.


      >Select Game

      1)Grow: This mode you make a ball and just make it grow by absorbing smaller orbs. I tried this before I did the ‘Tutorial’, and it was very confusing and still is on some things. While in this game mode, there is no indication of how big you need to get or what orbs you should hit other than size. I could not figure out if I needed to grow to a certain size or get an orb that was a different color. It’s not very laid out in general for what you are supposed to do. With that same line of thought, there is no progress indication of how far along you are in a growing versus a goal we don’t know how there is. Please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, take out the finished level voice thing. I freaken jumped and it really has no place in this game. I don’t know what the thought was on it but it breaks the feel of the app.

      2)Exist: What is this game mode? I could not figure it out.Pop orbs? No indicators.

      3)Meditate: Not what I was expecting for this mode. I like the particles you can play with, however its super basic and I would like some options to turn them off, make them bigger, different shapes and the power of the pull and push. I also saw that the emitters from the controllers are cubes and the particles stop and make the shape of the emitter area very clearly if you just wait a little bit. I would make the emitter area HUGE and a sphere. One thing about this mode I really don’t like, is how some worlds it makes a haze and color shifts stuff. While that is nice in some cases when you are in things like forest it’s super distracting and not as tranquil as one might expect of this. I think removing it is the wrong answer but maybe some options we can adjust to how often it shifts and what colors, or even themes would be nice. As it is right now it’s super distracting.

      >Tutorial

      This needs better instructions and more defining out how the controls work. I got it and after a bit I understood what it all means, but the push and pull and break was a bit confusing at first and you want the controls to be much clearer to show people so they can literally pick it up and do it.

      Overall from this first sitting on the game:

      I overall like this idea of the game, it’s mellower than some things you expect form VR, and we need more experience. I came into this expecting it to be more of an experience but in its current state it feels like a slow game that needs some polish. When I saw the title and the PV it looked like a relaxing app than more than the game it feels more like it is once you are in it. There is potential here for sure, but there needs to be a few iterations and more reviewing I think of the app over all.

      Thank you again for allowing me to review this app/game and hopefully this feedback will be helpful. I’ll still be around to answer any and all questions and when there is updates and changes to check out them as well.
    • _Yodai! Thaaaanks a lot! This is the kind of high quality feedback that really helps us move forward. We will spend a lot of time on the tutorial parts and to make more things more obvious. A lot of good suggestions in your post and nothing I really disagree. For the music choices we do want to keep some "weird" things in this app but yes the custom music is super high on our todo list.