18 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 5.2 hrs on record (4.9 hrs at review time)
Posted: Jul 4, 2016 @ 10:37am
Product received for free

Early Access Review
OK, to start this off, a disclaimer that I know the developer and I've been lucky enough to get to try out various iterations of Rumpus in even-earlier-access. It's pretty wild how far it's come already, and Luke is not even close to running out of ideas or steam. (Steeeeeam…)

RUMPUS is a wild, wild trip. It's a self-assembled virtual space: everything in your rumpus room is made of code, and the code is also right there in the room, which means you can change anything. Let me repeat that: the code that defines the room is in the room and editable in the room. It's wild. The platforms, the doors, the stars, the grass: the laws and facts of the universe are yours to create and destroy. That's *crazy*. It's as close to sci-fi ideas of programmable sand, or real actual magic, as I've come across yet in VR.

Alright so that's the plan. Right now it's got a ton of rough edges, as you can probably tell from the screens. Not many polys, not much surfaces, the menus are a little twonky, programming with a thumby on-screen keyboard is a stone cold bummer. (A wireless keyboard is nice to have in Rumpus.) Everything is written in Haskell which is not a programming language you probably know. (I'm a professional programmer and I stil find Haskell fairly mystifying^W^Wsuper mystifying^W^W???!!?.)

BUT it is already both incredibly interesting and massively fun. Even if you don't make a whole thing from scratch (I haven't gone that deep yet myself), it's super rewarding to mix and remix the objects you find, and to poke around in their code. What happens if you change that sin to a cos, or that 6 to a 0.6, that Square to a Circle? or put that fountain next to those musical shelves? Probably something f'in awesome. Make those platforms oscillate. Craft that ball fountain soundsculpture. Twist the knobs on that superfunction. Chills!

Personally, I can't wait to see where Rumpus goes. Multiplayer? Visual/physical programming? Crazy shaders and surfaces? Richer interactions, weirder tools? You will want it all.

I've rarely seen anyone work as hard, with as much passion, or put as much personality into a product as Luke has with Rumpus. Give him an excuse not to slow down. If you're interested in programming and creation in VR, if you want to experience one of the weirdest and most forward-looking Vive experiences yet, if you've always dreamed of self-assembling spaces, of programmable sand and Singularity, then you really should spend an evening with Rumpus, and then another, and then another.

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