Muggles may not have been aware but magic duels happened Saturday, May 14 across the nation, including Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Don't be alarmed! All spell casting was contained within the virtual world.
The Unspoken Virtual Reality tournament brought 12 players to compete one vs. one using Oculus Rift and Touch at The Microsoft Store Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. This store was one of 80 participating in the U.S. and Canada, including The Microsoft Store Woodland Hills in Tulsa.
“Microsoft partnered with Oculus and Asus to put on the tournament so we can offer the semi-grand prize of going to New York and the grand prize of upwards of $5,000 for a local winner,” said Dani Rippy, community development specialist for Microsoft Store Penn Square Mall.
The Unspoken, by Insomniac Games, utilizes Oculus Touch-enabled vr to put the player in a world of urban magic duels. Players choose a class of spell caster, then, using the hand controls, manipulate the environment around them to summon monstrosities and cast spells at their opponent.
“It seems pretty easy, but I'm a natural gamer,” Howard said. “I usually pick up games pretty fast. My friend borrowed an Oculus and we were just gaming at his house until the tournament.”
For Saturday's competition, he stuck to one simple strategy. “There's offensive spells and defensive spells,” he said. “I just went full offensive and just threw it all out there.”
Howard is excited to now pick up an Oculus, especially since he won $100 in Oculus Store credit and a copy of The Unspoken. Both the Oculus and htc Vive VR gaming systems are available for free demo and purchase at The Microsoft Store. Like any console, each has its own games with the HTC utilizing the Steam Store and Oculus primarily utilizing the Oculus Store.
Howard will return to Penn Square Saturday, May 20 to compete against eight other stores in the region for the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for the finals. Rippy said that event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. and anyone is welcome to come cheer him on as well as participate in free raffles and gaming.
“We do a lot to support the gaming community but in the past we've only been able to support Xbox which is a very small section of the vast community,” Rippy said. “We've expanded a little bit. We do stuff like hearthstone and VR. We have the Oklahoma Board Game Community here once a month. So this was just another avenue for us to bring in our gaming community.”
The winner of the tournament at The Microsoft Store Woodland Hills, Matt Suitor, will also return next week for the regional semi-final at that location.
To find out more about The Microsoft Stores' free gaming events, check out our events calendar. Also, stop by The Microsoft Store booth at Tokyo in Tulsa this July to try The Unspoken and Oculus for yourself.