We’ve heard these promises before: “So real you’ll feel like you’re inside the game!”
Virtual reality games have come and gone, and been put inside of arcades and then gotten rid of again. The last time I played something where I had to put my head inside of a suspended visor to get “in the game” was in an Edwards Cinema, and it was some sort of World War II bunker simulator. Not fun.
Simulators that tout the term VR are often massive letdowns in the gaming world, and there’s suddenly been a shift from virtual reality to augmented reality when it comes to systems and handhelds. That seems to work much better for developers because the technology is a little bit, well, I hesitate to use the term simpler, but probably more accessible at this point and time. That being said, the gaming world had forgotten about VR and left it alone to sit on the shelf.
Then the Oculus Rift Kickstarter was revealed…
One thing is for sure, it’s a heck of a video pitch. It’s almost guaranteed to get support from the Cliff Bleszinski endorsement and Gabe Newell’s support. Not to mention how sound and well put together the actual product seems to be. What’s most impressive is the complete openness of the developer, letting people who invest in the project get their hands on it to begin working on their own projects.
“Doom 3” being the first game that can be in the hands of gamers with this technology should be interesting at the least. A survival-horror game that requires quick reflexes and iron nerves is definitely the kind of thing that would be made to give an “in the game” experience to those looking for it. Any sort of role-playing game would be a little too complicated, and it might be harder to achieve immersion.
What I’m most concerned about is how the controls work. If the controller is held in the hands of the player and rotating the camera is done by physical head movement, are there modifications made to the control scheme to prevent mixed movement signals from the controller and the camera? That would definitely be something that needs to be worked out and really streamlined to prevent the nauseatingly frustrating issue of just moving around.
Of course, the call to action by the creators of the Rift is admirable. This is the kind of open invitation and cooperation that the industry should be about. Spurring to action the community and getting people excited about making games is the kind of thing the Vault loves, which is the reason we’re promoting this project.
Depending on how well the system works, I’m curious about the kind of games that will be made using this technology at the outset. The easiest thing to do would be to create first-person shooters that mimic “Doom 3” just for the sake of capitalizing off of the fervor of the launch. As stated previously, an RPG would be difficult to make but probably not entirely impossible. In fact, if the movement controls are streamlined, then the game itself would work beautifully. There’s a lot that we don’t know about the Rift yet but we’re definitely excited about it. We’re going to try and see if we can get more information about it for you all very soon.
The future is now!