Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

I Really Wanna Make a VR Game

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 26, 2014

rift_shotNevermind that I can’t last ten minutes with the Oculus Rift before I feel like throwing up… I wanna make a VR game.

Schedule-wise, there’s no way I can do it. Not until after FK2 is released (and probably not until FK3 – I’d like to do a “rolling start” there), so we’re talking a ways out. But I can dream.

Is there even gonna be a market for these kinds of games? The Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 is going to go for $350, and I cannot imagine that the consumer version will be a whole lot cheaper. The AntVR Kickstarter just succeeded – we’ll see if that one flies – but the all-in-one controller looks cool.

Obviously, the answer is simply to do a game that is VR-compatible. With a console-controller-friendly interface, even Frayed Knights 2 could do that. But it wouldn’t be optimal for the VR experience. What would be optimal? What would be my dream VR-compatible / optimized experience? Either a “survival / simulation RPG” along the lines of Ultima Underworld (of course), or a really intense but subtle horror game.

But hey – not that I’m really gonna have an opportunity or anything, but I’m curious what other people here are thinking:

#1 – Are you interested in VR technologies like Oculus Rift or the seemingly dozens of new systems launching or coming soon? Would that be something you’d like to game with?

#2 – If so, what kind of games would you like to play on them?

#3 – If not, why not?



Filed Under: Tech - Comments: 12 Comments to Read

  • McTeddy said,

    I’m not even remotely interested. I expect VR to be just another way of making average first-person shooters. If gameplay isn’t evolving, I have no desire to spend money on it.

    That said, a buddy of mine DID point out one type of game that I’m interested in. Simulations.

    Racing games, Tank Games, flying games… they could all become amazing with a VR headset. Most already support flight sticks or racing wheels and I’m definitely be interested in trying them out.

  • Gnometech said,

    Most definitely interested in VR and the Oculus Rift. I’ve been working with the Rift since I integrated it into Torque 3D last year, and have been dabbling with my own game, Here Come The Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qcgDfqnec0 You can see some of my other projects on my site: http://www.gnometech.com/

    I think of VR as a platform unto itself rather than just another peripheral. I expect we’ll see games of all genres, and likely some new ones, playable on the Rift.

    (BTW: I wouldn’t recommend AntVR)

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Gnometech: Why wouldn’t you recommend it? Besides it maybe being vaporware or cheap knock-off tech that falls apart in the box? 🙂 I opted not to participate in the Kickstarter because I wasn’t confident in the tech / people, but it seemed they had some good ideas.

  • Gnometech said,

    @RC: Well, those are good reasons in my book. 😉

    What really got me was their claim of having position tracking with only an IMU, and their crazy videos with their “proof”. There’s a reason why you need another frame of reference for position tracking, and it comes down to mathematical instability.

  • WhineAboutGames said,

    First-person games generally make me sick. (In the dizzy and nauseated sense, not the ‘I just hate FPSes’ sense. I mean, I DO hate FPSes, but the inability to play them probably doesn’t help there.)

    I have glasses, and NOT the most common visual impairment either. Fromt he last time I heard details, I wouldn’t even be able to try the games without custom-building a headset just for my eyes.

    I’m waiting for the holodeck.

  • Surloc said,

    Honestly without some major advance in technology or some innovative perspective tricks I don’t see it taking off outside racing, fly/space sim, and the like games. You’ll note that most of the games getting a lot of press are the space sims. This is because with a space sim you have a cockpit which gives most people a frame of reference that prevents most of the VR issues. Very few people can handle simply turning their heads in a VR FPS. Not mention issues like seeing your hands with a gun despite you having a game controller.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I was reading an article in preparation for this post about a third-person game (Lucky’s Tale?) being played with Oculus VR, and the journalist was very pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. So there may be lots of room for non-first-person-perspective games, after all.

    I can’t find it now, but here’s an article in Wired about it…


  • Andy_Panthro said,

    Oculus Rift and similar tech still feels like a gimmick to me, a bit like stereoscopic 3D. It only really works well with games that have been specifically made with it in mind.

    I don’t buy into the idea that it’s going to change the face of gaming, it just seems far too awkward at the moment. Perhaps that will change, but it’s not something I’m interested in.

    I get headaches with stereoscopic 3D too, particularly with active shutter (the sort used in nvidia 3D vision). I doubt I’d be able to use the Rift or similar for long enough to get good use out of it.

  • Gnometech said,

    I completely agree that you need to build your game or experience with VR in mind. It doesn’t work very well if it is just tacked on, or using injection drivers to retrofit it.

    Fortunately, the Rift’s stereo vision isn’t often an issue with people. There are no shutters and your eyes are relaxed to focus at infinity. But simulator sickness is a real concern and developers have to tailor their experience around it. It is a new platform that requires developers to learn what works and what doesn’t, as with any new platform.

    If anyone is interested in the latest news beyond just Oculus themselves, I would recommend checking out the subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/

  • Paul Spooner said,

    VR seems like a really useful display technology. I don’t think our game comcepts are ready for it though. We’re still exploring the possibilities with static displays and keyboards (and will be for years to come). VR is a way to make a really big screen that works intuitively (looking around), and very intuitive input (head tracking). Games built for VR should take full advantage of both of these aspects.
    As for the game I want to play, it’s the metaverse! Peruse my blog for more details.

  • finbikkifin said,

    Maybe build it around TrackIR support as a stand-in for proper VR? A lot less sickness-inducing for some people, much more common.

    I think it should be some sort of simulator. Have you considered putting a wizard in a jet fighter? Buttons to press, arcane magics to fling, dogfights where your goal is to get close-range line-of-sight to the enemy’s cockpit so you can teleport a small goblin inside? You could go full Ace Combat and have trench runs; they’re basically dungeons except if you hit the walls you explode and you can cast knock to unlock doors via a wand of AIM-9 +1.

  • Chris said,

    I’m definitely interested and will likely play mostly adventure genre games and/or maybe some action/rpg hybrid as well