Virtual Reality just got 29,029ft. taller with the jaw dropping Everest VR experience by Solfar Studios. The GamersPack crew had the opportunity to go behind closed doors to check out the mountain simulator on Valve’s HTC Vive. Running on Nvidia’s immense Titan X GPU, the demo on hand displayed the epic scale of the simulator by introducing the mountain in a variety of ways.
The flyover showcases the expansive landscape of the behemoth, while also giving the player a sneak peek at the route they will take when climbing Mt. Everest. A more intimate experience with the mountain results after the player has to cross a rickety bridge across a deep chasm. The VR helmet, combined with a surround sound gaming headset, create an experience that will make you stop dead in your tracks when you hear the cracking of ice as you are looking down into a dark abyss.
As intense as any of the settings may have been, one of the major perks of using the HTC Vive (pronounced like the number five), is the use of laser mapping technology to create a safe area for the user to roam. Should you get a little to close to a wall, or out of range of the devices, a translucent neon grid will appear. The look of the grid having been carefully designed to alert the player that they’ve gone too far, while not entirely breaking the immersion.
Solfar Studios, the developers behind the experience, brought together some of the greatest minds in the gaming and movie industries to develop a breathtaking real world experience, inside of the Unreal Engine 4. High resolution geographic data was used from all 360 degrees of the mountain to create what can only be described as one of the most photo-realistic simulators to date.
Teasing the future of Everest VR, Solfar was able to tell us that they are still in development on the simulator, and are working alongside Nvidia. Utilizing the GameWorks VR software, the developers are working to ensure that entry level VR-ready PCs can easily have the same experience as the high end market. The finished result of which, being a realistic simulation of scaling Mt. Everest from the base camp to the summit.