Team Fortress 2 Supports Oculus Rift in "VR Mode" Update

Team Fortress 2 Supports Oculus Rift in "VR Mode" Update

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A future update for the first-person shooter lets you dodge rockets with a virtual reality headset.

Valve expressed interest in the Oculus Rift when it was getting Kickstarted, with CEO Gabe Newell even lending an endorsement for the product in the original promo video. Since then, Valve developers have been working on virtual reality behind the scenes, and the end result is a "VR mode" for Team Fortress 2, coming soon as a free update.

Valve Software developer Joe Ludwig worked with Oculus to port the free-to-play shooter for the headset's development kit, and revealed that the game will eventually support VR headsets. In an interview with Engadget, he explained that Team Fortress 2 was an obvious choice for experimentation. "The Team Fortress community is large and healthy. There are millions of people playing TF every week, but they're also used to us shipping a lot of updates."

Ludwig also revealed that there is a team dedicated entirely to VR within Valve that works closely with Oculus, with both companies exchanging software and dev kits. "We're friends," he explained. "They help us out with hardware and we help them out with software."

Other games in Valve's library, such as Left 4 Dead, Half Life 2 and Portal, have only undergone experimentation with "head tracking a little bit", and don't appear to be ready for release any time soon.

In the meantime, Oculus's Kickstarter blog celebrated the announcement by awarding a Team Fortress 2 Rift developer hat to those who backed the campaign at any level or pre-ordered a development kit. The team also acknowledges that using VR in the game may take some getting used to. "It's a fast paced, intense experience," the blog post advises. "TF2 wasn't originally designed for virtual reality and skirting around the map at super-speed in VR isn't for everyone. You're going to want to ease yourself in and acclimate over time."

Team Fortress 2's VR Mode will be released "in the coming days".

Source: Engadget, Kickstarter
Image: Kickstarter

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Oh yes, I heard about that too.
For now I'm still trying to figure out whether to get the consumer version or the dev kit and the consumer version...

Well this is odd, if you put the support into Source engine why couldn't it just work with every Source title.
Also is this why they canned a bunch of their tech guys, they dropped their own VR thing?

Portal in VR would be funky as fuck

Would they adjust it for Demoman's lack of depth perception?

Huh. Sounds fun. :D It'll definitely be... interesting... to see how this ends up actualised.

DVS BSTrD:
Would they adjust it for Demoman's lack of depth perception?

You'll have to cover your eye manually for that until they release a hardware eyepatch for it later. get it? get it? funny joke? oh god I'm so sorry

damn looks like I'll have to get one now.

on a similar note have people reported motion sickness problems with HMD's? some games I can barely play for half an hour before I'm feeling nauseous.

You know why we got this? Some guy at valve decided he wanted to play his Oculus Rift with Team Fortress 2 so he went about doing it and then released the update for TF2. Which is interested because at a traditional game company management would have to decide that this Oculus Rift is worth investing resources in to support.

Mr.K.:
Well this is odd, if you put the support into Source engine why couldn't it just work with every Source title.
Also is this why they canned a bunch of their tech guys, they dropped their own VR thing?

Maybe it's a matter of 2D-designed realistic graphics appearing too flawed in VR.

For example, Luckey mentioned before, that once you play most first person shooters in VR, you start to feel that your character is like 1 meter tall, also, the dooways are barely taller, they are still almost scratching your head. Or that bump mapped textures start appearing to be obviously painted on a flat surface.

It's one of those things that looked real enough on a flat screen, but gets completely derped in a VR environment with truly realistic depth perception.

It probably wouldn't be so transparent in a cartoonish game.

This is going to make my recurring dream where I am a giant heavy who picks people up, takes their hats, and throws them into a kill zone even worse!

I want Counter-Strike support, damn it!

I am already, without any VR, tearing my hair out, playing Skyrim, because of scale matters.

I get that they have to resort to these tricks, to make things look proportional and interestingly framed - seeing your hands floating in front of you and all that, when rendered on a 2D display, but it feels somehow particularly glaring in that game, with things like stair steps taller than your shins, not to mention the matter of standing close to people: "Umm, eyes up here, Dohvakiin." - "Sorry, m'am, I was born with my eyes embedded into my chest". :P

Maybe we'll see tighter level design for VR-targetted games, so that you don't fall asleep crossing a room at realistic walking/running speeds, rather than what we are used to.

 

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