Buffalo Vision‘s Ben Vance is the artist, designer, & director behind Irrational Exuberance: Prologue. He started developing this experience on the Oculus Rift DK1 in 2013, and it wasn’t until he saw the Valve Room demo that he was convinced that motion sickness was solvable and that he absolutely wanted to have his hands within the experience. He focused on exploring gameplay in VR that was based upon interaction with your hands, and cultivating a sense of curiosity, vastness, wonder, and awe.
Vance was showing a sneak preview follow-up to Irrational Exuberance at Kaleidoscope VR’s FIRST LOOK in September 2017, and I had a chance to talk to him about his journey into VR, designing for wonder and awe, and the magic of trying to find the balance between control and chaos. Vance says that too much control, and it feels like a mundane tool, and too much chaos feels too opaque and that there’s no trace of your agency. They key is finding something in the middle where it’s enough to see that there’s a pattern, but too unpredictable for you completely understand the logic and rules of behavior in the absence of interacting with it over a period of time. He’s interested in exploring rich, interactive experiences that he doesn’t fully understand using motion controls as he’s on the search for experiences that resets his senses and gives him a sense of wonder like he felt as a child when he saw that the world was an expansive place. It’s this design intention and purpose that is embedded within the fabric of Irrational Exuberance: Prologue, and I’m looking forward to experiencing whatever Buffalo Vision and Vance produce in the future.
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Here’s the trailer for Irrational Exuberance: Prologue
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