The Haunted Halloween Tour

The Haunted Halloween Tour, launched with the October Premium Membership offer
The Haunted Halloween Tour, launched with the October Premium Membership offer (click images for full size)

Launched alongside the October 2014 Premium Membership offer, but available to all SL users, is the Haunted Halloween Tour, the latest offering from the Lab to feature Experience Keys, and one that appears to be specifically geared towards the Oculus Rift.

The tour can be accessed via the Lab’s Portal Park – simply go through the gate marked “Halloween” following your arrival. The path will lead you to the access point, with gateways available for those with and those without an Oculus headset (the latter obviously requiring the Oculus Rift project viewer).

Whichever one you take (the actual tours are more-or-less the same), the first time you do so, you’ll be required to grant the experience the right to carry out certain actions on your avatar (perhaps most noticeably in this case, control your camera). Once you have done so, you’ll be transported to the experience area, where you’ll be invited to take a tour of a veritable house of horror.

Shaman Linden was one of those I found hanging around when taking the tour...
Shaman Linden was one of those I found hanging around when taking the tour…

This is achieved by seating yourself in your very own coffin, which will take control of your camera and shift your view to something of a “first person” perspective. After a brief pause, you’ll then ascend a hillside stairway through thunder and rain to the house itself before (literally) plunging inside.

I shan’t reveal much of what lies inside the house, other than given the theme, expect the usual mix of screams, bumps, ghouls, body parts and so on – and if you’re very lucky the odd Linden and / or Mole or two, some of whom might be there to menace, while others might be simply …. hanging around.

This is very much an Experience geared towards the Oculus Rift, with the coffin allowing the awkwardness of trying to navigate oneself through the house while wearing one eliminated (and which also ensures you keep to the designated path). As such, the ride does feature a lot of things rushing at you (heads, knife-welding asylum patients and so on), and well as sudden panning, zooming and tipping to add to the experience.

For those with an Oculus, I expect this does work rather well; I’m just not sure the approach works when taking the “non-Oculus” version of the ride. This isn’t to critique the Lab for providing an Oculus focused experience; they’ve put time and effort into getting the viewer to work with the headset and so a demonstrator is only right and proper. It’s just that it leaves the tour somewhat dry if you don’t have a headset. Or at least it did for me – I confess found myself admiring the use of materials and projectors far more than anything else as I was carried around the place!

Inside the happy house ...
Inside the happy house …

Oh, and a word of warning to those on the non-Oculus ride: it might be an idea not to try to cam around too much in order to take snaps – on two occasions when I did, I found myself chucked out of my coffin and returned to the arrival / start point below the house …

Overall, the ride lasts for around 8 minutes, and at the end of it, on stepping out of your coffin, you’ll be returned to the Portal Park (as you will be if you stand up at any point during the ride).

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7 thoughts on “The Haunted Halloween Tour

  1. The ride is better than the video, and it shows some potential of SL as as a game… until the LL Viewer crashed amid the ride. Being unable to turn my head, it killed part of the immersion, but it was a nice demo to me. Although modern games may do better (but they are dedicated to that and in SL you can much more and… you can create it!), it is something I would show to who is still looking at 2006 SL pictures.
    Talking about snaps, I find the new floater in the LL Viewer disappointing: it is ok, if you want to take a single picture of a still avatar, but when it covers a large part of your screen, in special way on laptops, it becomes harder to see the right moment to take your picture. Plus you have to click 2 times each time to take a picture (“save to your computer”, then “save” buttons). So, while the new floater is an improvement on other aspects, these makes it more difficult to me and less comfortable to take snapshots.
    So I’m not sure if a new visitor coming there, running the LL Viewer, will have an entirely positive experience, but it is interesting and not entirely bad either.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Diomita and Jenny Maurer’s Blog and commented:
    As Halloween is getting closer we treid out some temporary installations. The Halloween tour is really good, very well made and lots of fun. As it will be gone soon, don’t miss the tour. It is worth your time!!
    Thank you Inara for sharing!

    Like

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