Slime Ball! for Quest Pro shows all mixed reality features


Image: Hackett and Skillman

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Quest Pro turns the tabletop into a goo battlefield. Slime Ball! introduces local multiplayer and tricks like facial recognition.

Even with a professional device like the Meta Quest Pro, demo games are good for demonstrating new features. This is demonstrated by the AR game Slimeball! by Hackett and Skillman.

During slimeball battles, the game uses all the features of the VR AR headset. It merges the real outside world with the playing field and characters, which are overlaid via computer graphics (AR passthrough). It also uses hand and face tracking and introduces the new local multiplayer features.

All the benefits of Quest Pro in one app

Using Shared Spatial Anchors, the application shares anchor points in the physical space on the helmets. For example, both participants watch the same slimy alien rush across the table in the same spot.

Aliens scavenged via hand tracking and other slimy objects are misused as ammunition here. Your hand practically becomes a cannon. Simply open your fingers and the eponymous slime ball flies across the table.

The first player to score 25 goals wins. That’s where face tracking comes in: the opposite ‘goal’ is a fat, grinning alien that copies your mouth movements in real time, picked up by the Quest Pro’s sensors.

So it’s worth opening your mouth wide to throw as many slime balls as possible into the big alien under your opponent via hand control. If that doesn’t sound silly enough, you can also distract your opponent with funny faces. Underlying “social presence” features include eye tracking, face tracking, and avatars.

Compatible with Quest 2, but…

The gameplay is simple, but is enhanced by a few extras. For example, some aliens with ammunition floating in the air extend their spikes rhythmically. So don’t pick them up in the air at the wrong time. Or you can bomb ammo on your opponent’s half game with grenades.

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For now, the free augmented reality game is available in the App Lab, Meta’s experimental store for early access titles. The Quest 2 is also mentioned there as a supported headset.

However, I had to do without most features in a test, as the Quest 2 ultimately doesn’t offer eye or face tracking. Instead, the three-eyed alien automatically opens its mouth.

Also, the point cloud sharing interface currently only supports Meta Quest Pro (see here for guidance on settings and permissions). On the Quest 2, multiplayer experiences with shared anchors will be possible from 2023.

Behind the game are the creators of the creative 3D painting program Tilt Brush, the mother of all successful VR games, so to speak, who for many years have demonstrated the potential of technology at trade fairs and events, because it is so easy and intuitive to learn. Google bought Tilt Brush and then discontinued it. It continues to be developed in open source.

Source: Quest Store (App Lab)


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