Virtual theater seems overly complicated

The virtual theater is cute and all, but please don’t ever make it the only way of getting to our episodes. It’s far easier to use a standard video interface like the one VHX uses. Interfaces for finding videos like this have been a solved problem for years now. The novelty of it is probably going to wear off really fast. Honestly, the whole thing very much reminds me of Microsoft Bob. Please don’t make Crow the next Clippy.

12 Likes

Yeah, I think they’ve made it clear that the vanilla gizmoplex.com website will always be there for the standard experience.

I’m already in love with the whole viewing bunker experience, and I hope they stay on track to add some of the frills they’ve been talking about, like the film-flushing gadget and a longer door sequence – but just as a matter of basic accessibility, there should always be a simple version for people who prefer it.

19 Likes

I dunno, I don’t find it complicated at all. In fact, for me it’s the opposite. I have 184 digital videos available to me, and the Video Fridge allows me to sort them all in a very convenient way that the website/app doesn’t allow. If anything, I’m bummed that there’s no app available for the virtual theater, because I don’t like watching movies/TV shows on my laptop or mobile device, I like watching them on my TV.

15 Likes

I think for me I don’t quite understand it yet. Why isn’t the video fridge an option when you first walk in? Why is it just the (under construction) ticket booth, the current feature, and the next upcoming feature? I had no idea how anyone was finding those older available videos until I tried going into the Kingadome for Robot Wars after it had aired and Crow-usher popped up to mention it was even a thing.

Also, why can’t you click on the movie posters for the monthly features to be taken directly to that video? Seems like that should be a thing.

8 Likes

The lobby is just like what you would walk into a real theater. Standees advertising the upcoming features, and I suspect there will be more there before the big opening next month.

If you click on cambot, there are descriptives for each section. (ie: Screening Bunkers and underneath that the subtext ‘browse and watch your videos’.) Are you not seeing that screen when you click on cambot?

As for linking the posters, on one hand, I agree with this idea. On the other, it is time-consuming to remap images with a new URL on a landing screen like that. Maybe if the posters carried over to the lobby walls, and there were links there, that could work. I’d also be interested in seeing the standees for the monthly features do more than just blow up the image.

7 Likes

I guess I don’t understand if the current mobile app and the theater interface are going to be merged and if not, why not. Am I the last one to know if that’s happening? Am I that room temperature IQ?

2 Likes

If I’m understanding your question, no the apps and the virtual theater will not be merging into one interface, for a couple of reasons.

  1. the team wanted to have an interface that was accessible by everyone/anything. (that’s the regular VHX site)

  2. the backend to maintain mobile apps is expensive and time-consuming. Not to mention, some app platforms are nigh on impossible to work with. The team felt money was better spent on episodes, than apps.

So, for now, the Virtual Theater site will only be really stable on a computer (and on a computer running Chrome). That’s not to say you won’t be able to get it to work to some degree using a phone/tablet or a game console, but the experience may be more glitchy as it was not really meant to work on those devices.

Could this change in future? Maybe. But for right now the two versions are planned to remain separate.

10 Likes

Honestly… I never SAW Cambot in the lobby or anywhere else. Where is he?

6 Likes

After the two clicks to enter, upper righthand corner. Should also say “BETA”.

5 Likes

If you are on Beta (with the theater on the moon when you log in) Cambot is in the upper right corner.

4 Likes

The way you have to navigate to your purchased episodes in the TV app is a bummer. I appreciate the standard app and the theater for different reasons, but I do wish the standard app could organize videos in a better way. I think they’re hamstrung by VHX in that regard, which is hugely unfortunate. It’s borderline confusing as it is.

5 Likes

5 Likes

…wut?

Assuming that they keep the “borders” of the posters static and always the same size and position, to swap out the art on the poster and the URL on the poster is literally a 30 second job.

4 Likes

It is worth reiterating that this is an idea in progress. It’s not Netflix, it’s trying to be an experience. Think of it like visiting once or twice a month, as opposed to only being an on demand video service.

6 Likes

And I think that’s my problem with it. It’s not a very good experience, and it SHOULD be an on demand video service. The more I see of it the more my Microsoft Bob comparison feels appropriate.

3 Likes

Then the virtual theater part may not be for you. Not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, but the regular gizmoplex.com would be more what suits you, I think. All the features but a more streamlined experience if you want it as a standard streaming provider.

10 Likes

No doubt. I’m just hoping they don’t decide the virtual theater is the only way to get to episodes.

2 Likes

No, it won’t be. The team has been clear that the regular VXH site won’t go away. So if the virtual theater experience isn’t working for you, the regular site will be available.

5 Likes

You’ll be happy to know, as @LadyShelley said, that the gizmoplex.com site will remain available as an alternative, as will the OTT apps that mirror the design of gizmoplex.com.

However: our team has no ability to fix, change, or enhance any features, UI, UX or functionality on the Vimeo OTT based “on demand” site, so anything that doesn’t work or make sense on that site is unlikely to get improved.

We’re more likely to continue adding options to the virtual theater – which we can control – to let you turn off a lot of the interactive or “immersive” elements and just get to the content faster and more efficiently.

18 Likes

Wasn’t trying to be insulting about it. I’m sorry if it came off that way. Isn’t the whole point of testing to get honest feedback? That’s not always going to be pleasant to hear.

1 Like