HTC Vive/VIVEPORT VR Review: The Blue of Music
This review was originally created in November 2018 for HTC, targeted to their Vive/Vive Pro (VIVEPORT). It is reproduced here without alteration.
The Blue of Music, much like its developer, 3D-D.com, is something of an enigma. The developer is charging for what amounts to little more than a few minute long music video experience, with no promise of any more content to come. In fact, if you go to the developer’s Website, all you’ll find is a landing page with the following cryptic text: “We are experimental virtual reality artists, trying to harness the potential of this new dimension and technology. Currently we are experimenting with virtual reality, 3D animation and virtual art. We will be gradually publishing our work soon.” There’s also an offer to sign up for email announcements and several non-working social media links.
So, we have a mysterious developer and seemingly the only product that they’ve released to date, The Blue of Music. The description for this product is “A VR experience where you will be immersed inside an abstract world of music, dance and female energy,” which is followed by what amounts to a warning: “This is not a game but an experience choreographed with an [sic] excellent music.” While I don’t think there’s necessarily any deception intended on the developer’s part, the fact that they charge for a brief virtual reality concept video that seems little more than a programming experiment does raise an eyebrow or two.
The Blue of Music is designed for Vive or Vive Pro owners as a room-scale experience. One Vive controller is used to start the experience and then for nothing else thereafter. While it’s best to walk around your own room a bit for maximum effect, you don’t lose much by just sitting in your chair and taking it all in. Once the few minutes are up, at least for me, the program just ended after a brief display of text showing the credits and acknowledgment for the Creative Commons-licensed music. I had to exit out of the program manually to close it.
The sad part is is that I actually liked what little content there was. There’s a nifty, busy space theme with abstract shapes that fly about. The generic, likely off-the-shelf, female models used fit the theme well and had nicely choreographed dance animations timed to the music. I also felt the instrumental techno-like music selection itself was excellent, although again, something similarly pulled from an existing repository that anyone can have access to. While the developers did a good job of pulling other people’s creations together into a new experience, it still would have been nice to have had unique assets created for a commercial product like this.
If this was a demo, proof of concept, or a portfolio piece, I’d be far kinder to The Blue of Music. Unfortunately, the developers are charging real money for far less than what can be enjoyed in abundance for free. While I would definitely like to see more from this individual or team, I do hope that if they intend to charge for something in the future, what’s offered is a far more complete and polished overall experience than what’s found here.
Score: 1 out of 5 stars.
The Blue of Music is available on Viveport or with a Viveport Subscription.