Tyler Hurd, the creator behind patently ridiculous VR experiences Butts (2016) and Old Friend (2017), has just joined the Oculus Medium team. Now, Hurd says, he’s developing a new VR project called Beach Body Bros using Medium.
Beach Body Bros is a four-minute room-scale VR experience for the Oculus Rift & HTC Vive. It’s set to premiere at SIGGRAPH 2019 at the end of July.
According to a recent Oculus developer blog post, Beach Body Bros sets you as a “puny wimp marching on a mirrored beach world filled with encouraging bros,” who help you build muscle while rocking to a “wicked ’80s montage track.”
The bros, Hurd says, “watch and cheer you on in amazement as you transform into a hulking pile of meat, glistening in the sunset.”
Hurd says the project initially came from how VR has the power to “play with users’ perceptions and emotions,” which gave him the idea of building a universe totally dedicated to the user.
“In my past projects I’ve found that users enjoy playing with the avatar they are embodying, and it’s best to make their role in the experience as clear as possible while keeping their engagement with the virtual world fun and constant,” Hurd says. “Naturally in a weightlifting environment there’s a lot of focus on self-image which is perfect for someone embodying a new avatar. There is also an intense amount of camaraderie and encouragement which is great for the user to feel like they’re engaging with the virtual world and the characters in it.”
Hurd maintains that (besides being deliciously strange) Beach Body Bros is a test case for using Oculus Medium as a production-ready sculpting tool. To read more about how Hurd used Medium as a tool, check out the blog post here.