Holograms and Holo-Games from Looking Glass flipped their switches on during the weekend of August 19-20 at the inaugural Play NYC event in Manhattan. It was an event, courtesy of Playcrafting, that touted itself as "NYC's first dedicated games convention" (just don't tell Games for Change, Indiecade East, and several others.) Three floors of interactive commotion was going on throughout what was a cozy but packed concert venue complete with a live Twitch stream from the main stage. A vignette of the playable booths at the show ranged from the tandem, log-bar controlled game "Salmon Roll", the NYU Game Center showcase, a full green screen set-up mixing live action capture with VR, and several New York game studios including Avalanche, DreamSail, and more.
Looking Glass was straight adjacent to the stage throughout the weekend. The Friday prior, we set up three of our brand, spanking new HoloPlayer Ones with an L3D Cube, unicorn laden lunchboxes, and on crates swiftly grabbed from the Container Store cross town. It wouldn't be an expo without last minute hijinks. We completed the set-up with the 'Great Wall of Glass': a nearly 9 foot tall contraption that displayed the Looking Glass logo en mass. We were not sure whether officials would love or hate us. The display was appropriated from the SIGGRAPH display in Los Angeles no more than two weeks prior.
It turned out that being right adjacent to the stage and having the Great Wall of Glass made for good foot traffic. Perpetually, guests were filing in to try the holograms out! The reactions ranged from the 'snapback' (hairwhip reaction), the huh-to-whoa ratio, and the deeply interested from creators and developers alike. As well, a few guests who were hell bent on either looking directly at the interior lenticular screen or touching the actual glass repeatedly. An interviewer from Blockhead Gaming called the booth 'a hidden gem' after speaking with us about the tech. A father with his son dubbed it the future, that there was 'no more Grand Theft Auto, and that it will 'never be the same'. Importantly, those who saw it came to the conclusion that it was nothing they ever saw before in reality. Rather, it was something only possible in Star Wars or Blade Runner.
The primary developers that were at the show for Looking Glass were Oliver, Nolan, Simon, and myself (Ben). For all three days of work, everyone was present during the long hours of standing, showing, and talking about holograms. The three HoloPlayer models that were shown intermittently switched between apps most particular for the booth and situation. Most commonly shown were the Blob Pack, HoloBrush, and Marshall's Theory. As a unique twist, the booth took an experimental side to being at the game festival in that visitors arrived for a game, was entranced by visuals sans gameplay, and got to play a game regardless after searching for it. It is a testament to the type of variety Looking Glass has in terms of software. More uniquely, Looking Glass was also recognizable from its past appearances with the L3D Cube, Volume, and games shown at other various venues throughout NYC.
The team found a nice home for the weekend at Play NYC and is certainly interested in a return visit! In a year's time, who knows what the vanguard of holograms or holographic games will hold.
Ongoing Press of Event
Geek.Com "I Played Trump’s Hologram Nightmare with HoloPlayer One"