Island 359 is a versatile VR adventure and dino-shooter game that will have you breaking a sweat as you shoot, punch or kick dinosaurs in the face. Steve Bowler, Jeremy Chapman, and Mike Fischer are the founders of CloudGate Studio with Chapman and Bowler working as the developers of Island 359 and it’s dynamic full-body tracking system.
Full Body Tracking
The player is dropped on this secret island of dinosaurs by a helicopter and left to survive by collecting and using weapons from loot drops and by using full-body tracking to shoot, climb, throw, get away and fight.
To get the best full body tracking while using a Vive headset, wear up to 3 HTC Vive Trackers on both wrists using Rebuff Reality TrackStraps, attached to a belt around the midsection, or when wrapped around your feet or secured to shoes. If you want to extend your tracking capabilities, use the controllers for your hands instead of the trackers on your wrists and wear the trackers on your shoes.
One Vive Tracker
We suggest wearing one tracker if you have the two Vive controllers but want more body tracking coverage at the midsection. It can be helpful if you want better waist or hip tracking to wear this at the waist but behind you and out of your way. If you’re hiding from a predator like a T-Rex, squatting and lunging will get tracked more optimally.
Two Vive Trackers
Vive VR headsets come with 2 controllers to shoot and punch, but putting 2 Trackers on your shoes or feet will give you full kicking capabilities! Make sure the trackers are firmly attached to prevent them from slipping or flying off mid-kick. In calibration and in-game, you’ll see full leg tracking, but because you’re not wearing them at the waist, that information will get processed automatically. Use the two trackers on your feet to kick or step on smaller ankle biting dinosaurs as another means to survive.
No Tracker, No Problem
If you don’t own the Vive Trackers but do have the Vive or an Oculus, you can still reap the benefits of viewing your whole body in VR. During calibration your whole body will show up as an avatar inside the game, your hands will be tracked with the controllers, but your legs and feet won’t show your attempt to kick a raptor in the teeth if that’s what you’re going for. If you’d like more immersion and realistic gameplay with your Vive, you’ll want to consider purchasing Vive Trackers for $99.
There’s a third person perspective spectating mode in Island 359 that will allow other users to view the player’s Virtual Self avatar in gameplay as it’s happening in real time or can be recorded for future viewing. Streamers, fitness gamers, arcades, and eSports can use this to show viewers how this VR game works and showcase how awesome it is when it gets fully released or as more dinosaurs or weapon updates are added over time.
Movement in VR
Island 359’s Steam VR page says that it has 3 different movement systems — sprint, teleport, trackpad. Looking at CloudGate’s “Fullbody Awareness Experiment” videos on YouTube, it looks like you can walk around in room-scale and it will track you if that’s what the devs mean by sprint movement. If you want to teleport or move forward or backward to run away from a Brontosaurus, you can use the touch/trackpad to hide or escape.
VR Fitness Potential
The use of the Vive Trackers and full body viewing for both Oculus and Vive headsets, make Island 359 a fun and immersive dinosaur hunter and adventure game that has fitness potential. The trackers make it so your entire body can be seen and moved in VR, but translating real-life locomotion into movement inside the game could serve as a way to make it into a runner, roamer, or free-walking game.
This change would make it an effective calorie and fat burning game that could boost its replay value. If you want to get the most out of this game as it is now and don’t mind wearing a lot of gear, wear ankle weights or a weighted vest to add more resistance to your VR workout.