Rumpus (Steam VR)

Rumpus (Steam VR)

System: Valve Index & HTC Vive
Price at Time Of Review: £10.99
Comfort Rating: Green
Genre: Tool
Input: Tracked Motion Controllers
Best Playing Position: Sitting
Multi-Player: No
Age Rating: 15+
VR Shop Score 1/100: 70

Description: Rumpus is a live-coding playground for room-scale VR. Please note that Rumpus is highly experimental! There will be bugs, crashes, performance issues, and possibly even ghosts. It’s easy to wedge it in its current state. If this happens, you can always just delete or move your Documents/Rumpus folder aside to get a fresh start.

Review: (Steam Review Used Due to the Lack of Personal Knowledge) RUMPUS is a wild, wild trip. It’s a self-assembled virtual space: everything in your rumpus room is made of code, and the code is also right there in the room, which means you can change anything. Let me repeat that: the code that defines the room is in the room and editable in the room. It’s wild. The platforms, the doors, the stars, the grass: the laws and facts of the universe are yours to create and destroy. That’s *crazy*. It’s as close to sci-fi ideas of programmable sand, or real actual magic, as I’ve come across yet in VR.

Alright, so that’s the plan. Right now it’s got a ton of rough edges, as you can probably tell from the screens. Not many polys, not much surfaces, the menus are a little wonky, programming with a thumby on-screen keyboard is a stone-cold bummer. (A wireless keyboard is nice to have in Rumpus.) Everything is written in Haskell which is not a programming language you probably know. (I’m a professional programmer and I still find Haskell fairly mystifying^W^Wsuper mystifying^W^W???!!?.)

BUT it is already both incredibly interesting and massively fun. Even if you don’t make a whole thing from scratch (I haven’t gone that deep yet myself), it’s super rewarding to mix and remix the objects you find, and to poke around in their code. What happens if you change that sin to a cos, or that 6 to a 0.6, that Square to a Circle? or put that fountain next to those musical shelves? Probably something awesome. Make those platforms oscillate. Craft that ball fountain sound sculpture. Twist the knobs on that superfunction. Chills!

Personally, I can’t wait to see where Rumpus goes. Multiplayer? Visual/physical programming? Crazy shaders and surfaces? Richer interactions, weirder tools? You will want it all.

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