Over the past month I have been on vacation, exploring the USA. Now I am back to work, and first I would like to mention that OVERVIEW was released on the Oculus platform on July 12. It is now available for purchase on the Oculus Store for just $9.99. We also added Oculus support on Steam as well.

Unfortunately, we started off with a few negative reviews on the Oculus Store. Why is this? I should probably describe again what OVERVIEW is:

First off, OVERVIEW is a 30-minute-long narrative about our position in the universe, called “Our Story in Space” in the main menu. It is like a planetarium show, but with sense of depth perception thanks to the VR headset, and the ability to replay it and show it to your friends and relatives. Because it is a scripted show, camera movement is limited: you can look around and walk around your room to see the scene from different sides. But you can’t fly freely, because it would break the scenario. This narrative aims to change the way people see the Cosmos and our position in the Universe.

The first chapter tells about Earth and its place in the Solar System. The second one tells about the Solar System’s architecture. The third chapter shows Mars, Earth and Jupiter side-by-side in VR, which immediately creates a “wow” effect when Jupiter appears. The next chapter is a Saturn flyby with a gentle continuous change of stereo depth. The fifth chapter is a zoom into the Milky Way with a nebula flyby – my favorite! And the sixth and final chapter shows the Milky Way from outside and zooms into galaxy clusters. At the very end of the narrative, the credits show some more space scenery.

There is also an interactive part (“Explore”) with activities that let you experience the scale and distance of celestial objects at your own pace. This is where you can fly freely, or almost freely. In the “Scale of the Universe” activity, you can just zoom out from Earth to local galaxy clusters. In the “Solar System” activity, you can fly freely with a controller inside the Solar System, approach a planet and zoom closer by pressing a button on the controller. This chapter is limited to the Solar System.

If sales will be good, more narrative and interactive content will be added in future updates.

OVERVIEW won the “Best Education Experience” first prize at the Viveport Developer Awards in San Francisco during GDC. It has also been shown at many VR festivals around the world, and it was recently translated into Chinese.

Article about OVERVIEW: Take A Virtual Tour Around The Solar System With ‘Overview’

I should note again: OVERVIEW is NOT SpaceEngine and is NOT a replacement of it. It is a standalone project based on the SE graphics engine. So no direct comparison between OV and SE are possible: they are not the same!

I have a partnership with Orbital Views (the company which created OVERVIEW), so more OVERVIEW sales means more money for SE. By supporting OVERVIEW, you support SE development!