Promising a “fun, mind-bending experience with friends that doesn’t involve legal marijuana,” a new Seattle-based Kickstarter project called Spektra is looking for funding so that it can build out a virtual reality experience room.
The project’s creators are Corey Paganucci, Erik Molano, and Ben Chaykin, who list varying design, development and art experience in their bios on the crowdfunding site’s page. They’re looking to raise $50,000 by June 27.
Spektra will be a real place, where users can don real VR equipment — such as HTC Vive headsets — and interact with real friends. A video promoting the potential look of Spektra starts with three people entering a glowing, back-alley establishment in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. Once inside, they strap on backpack computers — for untethered movement — and the Vive gear. The video also shows off hand tracking technology by Leap Motion as well as various object tracking.
The video is convincingly trippy and the men behind it explain in another video how all of a player’s senses will be engaged in the Spektra experience by things such as wind, temperature, vibration and more. A player outside of the VR world will be able to operate a control panel to create scenarios that “mess with” the people inside.
“Think of it like an escape room, with less focus on puzzles and more on exploration and collaboration,” Paganucci said.
The group says it has a track record for getting things done and boasts having created “fun, weird experiences” for clients such as Microsoft, FX and Twitter.
The movement to bring VR to the masses is slowly catching on, at least when it comes to public spaces that are serving as futuristic versions of what we remember as video game arcades. Portal, in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, is one such place, where the original target market was twentysomething tech workers, but quickly became anyone and everyone.
Spektra Kickstarter backers who pledge varying amounts can earn single-player tickets ($35) and group passes for four friends ($100), among other rewards. Pledge $1,000, and Spektra will scan and insert your face into the experience. “Your eyebrows will become mountain ranges. Your nostrils will become portals to subterranean underworlds,” the description reads. And you get a “nicely designed poster of your terrain face.”