July 21, 2015 Jonathan Nafarrete
Visiting a Dave & Buster’s today brings you smack in the middle of classic arcade games and new modern additions like Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja. In one California location, D&B is taking an even bigger leap into the future of restaurant arcade game experiences with the addition of its rst wireless VR system by VRcade.
Dave and Buster’s, which operates over 73 locations in the United States and Canada, approached Seattle-based VRcade, the entertainment and gaming division of VRstudios, to help develop a retail VR gaming experience that would engage guests and evoke a more emotional response from participants.
Launched last month in a Milpitas, California location, the VRcade system sits in a roped off area of the D&B restaurant arcade oor. The entire system utilizes a wireless head mounted display, a wireless VR pistol, and customized optical tracking technology to achieve full control while eliminating simulation sickness.
VRcade launched the system with Time Zombies, a zombie survival shooter, and Interstellar Marine’s Bullseye, a target shooting range developed by Zero Point Software. Although partici- pants are given an option to choose their experience, the emotional response from watching others slay zombies in Time Zombies has made it the more favored game according to Jamie Kelly, President of VRcade. In just over a month the VRcade D&B shooter experience has seen over 1,000 guests virtually arm themselves for a night of immersive shooting.
Participants who nd themselves playing the Time Zombies shooter game will be instructed to don the VRcade wireless headset and grasp onto a uorescent colored gun made by Trinity VR. When the experience begins you will nd that the gun you see in the headset is now more metallic looking with a ashlight beam helping to light up your dark 360-degree surroundings. Both your head and gun are tracked, giving you some limited walking range while moving and ring during the game. If you get too close to the edge of the projection mapping space, you will see a grid representing a barrier in game. Locked and loaded, the zombies begin to appear, surrounding you in all directions. It takes two shots to kill or one with a headshot. Remember to reload and don’t let them get too close.
This latest D&B VR system is an entertaining experience not only for the participant, but for onlookers as well who can watch you spin around in a virtual space or glance at the screen above to actually see what is unfolding.
VRcade is not ruling out VR system roll-outs to additional Dave & Buster’s locations in the future, but is looking to use data collected from this Milipitas location to constantly make improvements and develop new immersive experiences.
“We are constantly seeking exciting partners with technology that could bene t our system,” said Ivan Blaustein, Director of Product Integration. “Our custom headset is also in constant redesign with resolution, eld of view, and ergonomics consistently improving as new tech becomes available.”
If you are in the area, check out this Dave and Buster’s where they will be running the VRcade system Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 pm until close; Saturday all day, and Sunday from opening until 9 pm. Zombie slaying with set you back $5 per turn.