Oculus Rift Designer Forsees Indie Devs Driving VR

Oculus Rift Designer Forsees Indie Devs Driving VR

TThe maker of the Oculus Rift wants triple-A developers on board, but acknowledges the difficulties.

There's still 23 days to go on the Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift, a new VR helmet designed and built by Palmer Luckey. It already has some famous names drooling over it; Gabe Newell of Valve, Cliff Blezinski of Epic Games, John Carmack of id Software and others have all expressed considerable interest. It only wanted a piddling quarter million but, after its first week, it has over $1.4 million in its Kickstarter fund. This thing could be about to set the gaming world on fire, and its developer thinks that independent developers will drive it even further forward.

Luckey knows that triple-A developers, however much they may be interested in the device, can't afford to experiment too much with untried technology. Indies, on the other hand, could be what Luckey describes as a "huge driver" behind the Oculus Rift. "With virtual reality hardware, it's a bit like starting over. There are a lot of things that are going to have to be discovered and I think the indies are going to be the ones to discover a lot of those cool things."

That's in the early stages, when the Oculus Rift is still finding its feet. Later on, when people have a better idea of what VR can do for gaming, things will be different. "What I would like in a year's time would be to have a really nice, polished, consumer head-mounted display that everybody knows about, with a lot of triple-A and indie game support."

Luckey describes himself as a "garage hacker" who put together existing technology and repurposed it for the gaming world. "It's not so much that I've cracked the code as that technology has cracked the code ... All of a sudden we have high-density displays, really low-cost, high-performance motion trackers. All the pieces are there. All it took was somebody to bring all of those pieces together." So far technology like this has been used primarily for military and training purposes, but Luckey believes the time has come for gaming to take up the VR challenge.

A pledge of $300 will be enough to get a development kit and a demo copy of Doom 3, should you be interested in backing Luckey's Oculus Rift.

Source: Gamasutra

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Oh my God! This^ but I'm ridding a dragon on the Ouya.

And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is how you sell a concept.

I want to work for this man. Right now.

Looks amazing. I gotta wonder though, for all the gamers that hate Nintendo's motion controls, would you still rather play this thing with a dual analogue stick controller, or the Wii-mote + Nunchuk combo or the Sony Move equivalent? It's no longer a matter of gimmicky motion controls here but a need for increased depth of control. Not sure if a keyboard & mouse would be that great either... the mouse would be fine, but with that headset covering your face it could get troublesome if you're hand loses it's place on the keyboard.

RandV80:
Looks amazing. I gotta wonder though, for all the gamers that hate Nintendo's motion controls, would you still rather play this thing with a dual analogue stick controller, or the Wii-mote + Nunchuk combo or the Sony Move equivalent? It's no longer a matter of gimmicky motion controls here but a need for increased depth of control. Not sure if a keyboard & mouse would be that great either... the mouse would be fine, but with that headset covering your face it could get troublesome if you're hand loses it's place on the keyboard.

Yahtzee once said in an Extra Punctuation that the key to immersion is to make the amount of action between thinking of something and your character doing it as small as possible. So Think>Push button>Character does something is much more immersive than Think>Swing Wii/Move stick>Character does something. So, taking in what you said about keyboards being hard to use with a headset, I'd say that your traditional, dual-analogue controller is the best thing to use with this.

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Genuine Evil:
I wasn't enthusiastic about this thing until I saw john carmack's keynote at quakecon this year . I played around with a few virtual reality headsets and the biggest problem all of them had was the supper low resolution and the laughably small FOV , but from what I hear carmack and the guys at oculus seem to have fixed most of that. The only problem I have is the low resolution (1280X800 in 2D and 640X480 in 3D) but if they keep their promise of on FOV of 90 -95 I think this has the potential to me amazing

The problem is you're associating the Wii-mote setup purely with motion controls and not actually looking at the depth of control it can give. I would assume that with the VR headset head movement is used to look around the game world and not replace the XY control from a mouse or controllers right analogue stick. That said if you're playing a FPS with this thing you're still going to need something to point your gun with. Personally I would find it extremely awkward to have the freedom to look around however I please but still have my gun movement locked to my thumb on an analogue stick.

I'm not looking at a wii-mote as being what you swing to make something happen, I'm looking it at it being used the same way you do a mouse. It's basically what you said above right back at you, pushing a button is faster than mimicking a movement, but when you need to target something pointing your hand at it is far quicker, more efficient, and intuitive than guiding an analogue stick with your thumb.

 

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