Creators: Owlchemy Labs, Inc.
Year of production: 2015
Viewing system: Playstation VR
Job Simulator was the first VR “game” I have ever played . I only was exposed to VR projects that were still in the development phase through various science fairs and events, and all those experiences lasted less than a minute. I was also only exposed to non-interactive VR experiences, therefore Job Simulator was very exciting to play and interact with. I really liked the idea of using the controllers as “hands” and being able to see them move in the VR while playing.
Interestingly enough, hearing about the game, my initial expectations were not that great. I remember it being mentioned in class and I wondered: how could experiencing a boring office job in VR be fun and realistic? However, I was still curious and decided to play it. Just after a few moments, my initial thoughts completely changed and it was actually fun! The purpose of the game, created by Owlchemy Labs, Inc. is to allow players to witness what it would be like to
participate in a day to day job in the year 2050 as a “robot”.
They predict, by that time, we will be living in a world where all day to day human jobs would be replaced by robots and so you’ll be experiencing the world from the viewpoint of one of these working robots. There are four jobs you can try out: office worker, gourmet chef, a store clerk, or an auto mechanic. In each job, you have to complete certain tasks. You are able to make coffee, fix a car, and make a hot dog. The first scene I tried out was the office scene. I really enjoyed the artistic style of the VR scenes and animations. To better explain, all the objects and the scene itself had a “quirky” and “cute” feel to it, and it worked extremely well with the color scheme. This is especially shown in the robot guide that follows you around and tells you what tasks you need to complete.
In addition to the quirkiness of the design, there was a lot of goofiness in the story and all the details in the scenes. For example, I looked in the trash bin next to my desk and saw a rotten donut and decided to eat it to see what would happen. I threw up, yikes! You also have the freedom to do almost anything with a lot of the objects, for example throw a mug across the room and watch it break or grab a bottle of soda and shake it until it explodes. This just adds the comedy of the game which I love.
When playing, the first thing I truly noticed was how well the controllers worked and interacted with the environment. It was very well done and helped me immerse myself in the world fairly quickly. For example, only after a few minutes, I remember trying to rest my hands on the desk "in VR" but was surprised when my body weight shifted and my hands only met air.
Also, even though I knew I was in VR, when there was anything in front of me blocking my way, at first, I couldn’t get myself to walk through it even though I knew it was in a virtual
world. I read up on the game and one of the developers stated that Owlchemy Labs spend “an inordinate amount of time focusing on getting your hands in VR feeling right”, and I would say they succeeded.
At the end, I was very impressed with the overall experience, and would definitely recommend everyone to try it. It was an enjoyable VR experience that would be fun to play with family and friends! It puts day to day tasks that we are all familiar with and put them in a fun, cartoony environment for you to play around and explore with. The more levels you pass, the more features of the game you can unlock like low gravity and making all the objects bouncy, which will make the experience even more enjoyable.
How do you feel about VR projects modeling everyday life with a comedic twist?