Summer Renovations gives Steam VR Home an Update
There’s something to be said for tech demos. Designed to show off all of a new device’s capabilities, tech demos can even grow into full-fledged video games. Prominent examples in the past include the Super Nintendo game Star Fox and the Sony PlayStation 3’s Home, a tech demo for the PS3 that came out all the way back in 2008 after delayed development and speculation that it was vaporware.
In fact, the PS3’s Home is what reminds us the most of the Steam VR Home program. Similar in execution, both games are attempting to recreate a living space in a 3D realm, the main difference, aside from the age, being that Steam VR Home is specifically tailored for showing off the capabilities of VR gaming.
Like Home for PlayStation 3, Steam VR Home is a 3D game world populated by Steam users who are able to create their own spaces in the game that players can visit. Think of it as a melange of The Sims and Second Life except for using virtual reality and using Valve’s Steam community as a basis.
In the latest round of updates released for the game on July 27th players can add a bevy of new decorations to their space as well as explore a “supervillain’s lair” with friends where players will solve puzzles and unlock secret rooms filled with collectible items from a game from Valve’s catalog of classic titles, Team Fortress 2.
The update also brings the added ability for users to upload their own user-made asset packs which others can then download and implement in their creations. The update’s emphasis on creation and interaction with the community has many people heaving a sigh of relief for much-wanted features while Valve hopes the updates make Steam VR Home attractive to newcomers as well. Allowing creators to share the assets they have made not only opens up the game to a whole other level of user-produced work but also gives current community members an incentive to keep playing. Other adjustments to the game are more along the lines of quality of life improvements such as a more robust community wall and a new category for free VR apps and resizable panels according to Upload VR.
Competing with the rival Oculus Home Spaces, Steam VR Home nonetheless hews to much the same line of gameplay as its competitor albeit with a more community-oriented focus. Gamers heavily invested in the Steam ecosystem probably have few reasons to check out Oculus Home Spaces and Valve probably wants to keep it that way. For gamers who are huge fans of the virtual reality games that focus on customizing 3D spaces both games offer a lot of different mechanics that are worth checking out. Again, Steam VR Home’s biggest draw seems to be its huge community that is so heavily intertwined with the mothership service Steam, the leading PC video games downloads program in the world.
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- August 7, 2018