Through virtual reality (VR), we can enjoy ‘something doesn’t exist but seems to exist’ like what we see in SF movie like Avatar or the Matrix. These days, more and more head mounted displays (HMD) which let us experience VR are introduced and it becomes more popular. Needless to say, there are already many places where you can enjoy VR in Akiba. This time, IPPIN interviewed Ichimon Ouka, the pioneer creator of VR CONTENTS. Let’s see the future of VR CONTENTS with Ichimon.
To experience VR, HMD which outputs contents is necessary. The previous HMD was not more than a monitor and it was like a big screen in 10 maters away from you. However, in 2016, some companies introduced totally new HMD which let people feel as if they are in the virtual world once they turning on HMD. Therefore some people say 2016 is the first year of VR.
This time, BEACON AKIBA focuses on Oculus series that is provided by the US Oculus.US Oculus had already sold 2 kinds of HMD for researcher before 2016 and they started producing Oculus Rift for general users. Once you wear Oculus, all your range of vision is filled with VR and also you can get 3D surround by headphone. By doing that, you might feel like you are in the world of VR.
●For reference: VR CONTENTS（Another page）
The VR CONTENTS that is provided by Oculus Rift are developed by many individual creators and companies in all over the world. Ichimon is one of the pioneers. His goal is ‘Becoming the first man who make a living only by VR CONTENTS in Japan’. Now he creates a new game for the end of 2016.
Until now, he has already invented many kinds of VR CONTENTS and he promotes them to all through his homepage, ‘Ouka-Ichimon’ (http://ouka.s108.coreserver.jp/). Also he holds event which is called ‘OcuFes’. In OcuFes, creators can show their original VR CONTENTS and others can enjoy them.（ http://www.ocufes.jp ）
Sakurai says ‘In the US, it’s common for companies to have a big sponsor. So they can promote a big project with huge budget. However it tends to make all the small plans and various creators together so the number of invention of VR CONTENTS is small. ’
‘On the other hand, In Japan, it’s rarely to get a big sponsor so we have to do our best to cut budget. Sometimes we have no budget to create VR CONTENTS. Although it’s hard, each creators can focus on developing with their strong will with various ideas. As a result, Japanese creators can invent unique VR contents.’
In fact, Japanese original VR CONTENTS have gotten attention by the president of Oculus and when VR CONTENTS for creators was produced, Japan was prioritized and Japan could import it faster than other countries.
●what’s more(Another page): VR by up-and-coming artists come to Tokyo! Held by “THE KALEIDOSCOPE 2016 WORLD TOUR TOKYO”
The first time he experienced VR was when he was in high school. He went to an event with his friend. Although the technical level of VR is much lower than now at that time, still it was enough to amaze him.
As time passes, he knew that his friend at that time selling Oculus creating kit for researchers and he bought this. It was not easy at first but he started loving it little by little. According to him, the attractiveness of VR is that ‘I can experience all my wishes come true with much reality no matter where, no matter when.’
This is the image when you use Oculus. The same picture comes up to both eyes and human recognize it as 3D image.
This is the image of a game with oculus. All you can see is filled with 3D pictures so a player can feel as if he is in the world of game.
As we asked interesting points about VR, he says ‘Everything I do is what no one has ever done yet. So it’s so challenging and it makes it more fascinating.’ There’s much pleasure to understand what he couldn’t understand yesterday and fulfillment to get closer to his ideal image is enormous.
‘Few days ago, I got some comments by customers in an event which is held by a creating VR soft company. I followed up and changed weak point while the customer did other things. When I get some question or difficulties, I asked other specialists of VR and put their ideas on my VR. The event itself held only 2 days but when this event finished, my contents totally changed from what it was when the event started.’ He believes speed is a key as a creator.
One science of the game now Ouka is creating.
‘In the past, I proposed a plan and asked a programmer to make a game according to what I said. I also asked a designer to design the game and tried to make it one…As it is, there were many troublesome points just to make one game. However, since a soft for contents creation was invented, now I can create a game almost on my own and even when I ask a job for programmer, I can show what I really want to do very clearly.’
Such a change also promotes individual creators in Japan.
On the other hands, when we asked a hard point of creation, he says ‘A different recognition of VR CONTENTS between creators and general users.’
‘In terms of VR CONTENTS, what general users can image is what creators saw 10 years ago. Although a creator thinks it is not a big deal, general users can really enjoy.’ ’ There is a graph that shows a relationship between techniques and impression. It shows that a development of technique doesn’t always increase the level of impression.’ He actually wrote down the graph for us.
‘For example, people were really impressed when full-HD movie was invented. However we didn’t see that much effects when 4K movie was invented.’
‘The same thing can be said in the game business once I worked for. When one game machine got a full HD display, it spread out immediately and everyone wanted to have. However, when the next one came out with higher quality display, it couldn’t get that much attention. It just made creators work harder.’ This hardness might be what only a pioneer can see and feel.
‘This year, VR display and VR contents are started to be presented for home users. I hope VR will be more generalized for everyone so that many people can experience and enjoy the world of VR world.’
In fact, Akiba got more and more places to experience VR. As wee see, VR has still lots of possibilities to let us experience what we have never imagined before and it is sure that VR will bring totally new and exciting experiences into not only Akiba but also into our world…!!!
●Where you can experience VR in Akiba