Last night I had the opportunity to check out AltSpaceVR's new 5th ed. Dungeons & Dragons virtual reality space. The concept is great – take the popularity of Virtual Tabletops (VTTs) and move them into a VR space, like Second Life or Active Worlds (remember those?).
The space is a single, large tavern with a playing space at one end. There is a DM's station at one end of the table, and five player stations situated around the table. Each station has a virtual screen for their character sheet (which can be entered manually within the VR space), as well as two private screens only visible by that player. These are essentially web browsers that the DM or player can use and browse without clogging up the area around the table. Browse for adventure notes, monster stats, or even just to check out r/funny without anybody giving you a hard time. These screens aren't tied to your AltSpaceVR account at all, but to the player station. Any other player can move into that station after you leave and see what you've been browsing.
Dice rolling is done via 3D dice hanging in space above the table. Look up, select your dice (selections stack, so if you need 3d6, click on the d6 three times). An arrow appears below your selection, so when you're ready to roll, click on the arrow and the dice drop to the table. Your result floats in space above the dice, and is visible to everybody at the table. Yes, even the DM's dice are visible.
The interface is a little clunky, and your VR pointer has a tendency to jump about the screen. Your control panel, which allows you to open your browser screens, take a screenshot, look at who's in the space with you, and more, is a little flakey. At one point, I realized it was actually floating in space below
the game table, and to access it, I needed to back away from the table in order to see it again.
3D figures are available for monsters and players, though I couldn't figure out how to move through the figures, or even get them out on to the map. Granted, I only had about twenty minutes to try it out.
As I said, the concept is cool, and the execution is almost
there. I'm hoping that the developers get community feedback and apply some revisions to their code.
AltSpaceVR is available for Windows and Mac. If you're lucky enough to have an Oculus Rift, you can also take advantage of that, as well as some other VR devices.http://altvr.com/