Google's Tilt Brush has proven to be one of the most compelling VR experiences for the HTC Vive, letting you paint with crazy materials like electricity and duct tape. It is clearly an experiment in bringing the joy of imagination to life—or creating some form of virtual LSD—and the app's latest update brings a variety of features that only continue to support that theme.
There are few to no rules in virtual reality app development, and that can both be freeing or absolutely paralyzing when trying to come up with ideas. Tilt Brush thrives in this situation, starting with the coolest ways to paint structures in air and then just building in anything that elicits a "wow" from the user. Perhaps easier said than done, VR can make simple things amazing and Google has latched onto that with Tilt Brush—especially in the latest update.
Just looking at these images, you can see the amazing art that people have created in Tilt Brush. Even before the latest update, one band even created a complete and captivating music video. You can watch that video and look at the artwork featured in this post to see what people have accomplished, but it's nothing like actually experiencing it. You can walk around in your creation and even perceive feeling when you step into electric paint. That world is empty and vast, but you can populate it with anything you like.
While that can feel endlessly spellbinding, we're creatures of novelty and Google knew it would serve few users by developing this app conservatively. Instead, they just threw in a bunch of new features that might seem odd for a painting app, but make the experience more social and fun. The new word game Tiltasaurus stands out among them:
Tiltasaurus is a word guessing game that lets you play with your friends even if you only have one headset between you. Tiltasaurus shows you a word to paint – while you draw, your friends guess the word by watching the desktop spectator cam. When your friend guesses the right answer, swap the headset! We've seen a number of streamers using Tilt Brush to play word guessing games online, and we wanted to make it easier for you to do so.
In version 7 of Tilt Brush, Google also added the ability to import 3D models so you can, say, paint on a pirate ship. A new high-resolution snapshot mode makes it simple to save massively large images of your work, at a resolution of 11,880 x 6,588 (compared to the "full HD" 1980 x 1098 in the past).
Furthermore, you can rotate and resize what you paint and easily switch the functionality of your controllers by "fist bumping" them together.
If you've played around with the HTC Vive for a little while and seen the games available, you know many offer very little and some are remarkably absorbing in their own, unique ways. Nevertheless, Tilt Brush stands out as quite possibly the most compelling creative app in virtual reality. It's an experience that'll prove hard to top, but as these platforms evolve, we're destined to see far more incredible things.
If you've a lucky owner of an HTC Vive, go check out Tilt Brush right now—and try to set a timer so you don't accidentally spend the whole day in there.