Using a few accessories, PaperDude VR adds a new level of immersion to the game of hurling newspapers.
Paperboy was one of those deceptively simple arcade classics that many gamers can't help but remember fondly. It challenged players to complete the route of a young paperboy for a single week by delivering newspapers, avoiding obstacles, and (if you chose) vandalizing the homes of non-suscribers. The game has since been ported to various contemporary platforms, and by and large the gameplay experience has remained the same. Globacore, meanwhile, has decided to take a more immersive route for its homage, PaperDude VR. While players will still make the same deliveries, PaperDude uses an Oculus Rift, Kinect, and actual pedal bike to let you smash the neighbor's window in virtual reality.
The individual accessories behind PaperDude VR are straightforward, but how they fit together is fairly unique. The Oculus Rift replaces the monitor, allowing first-person, 360 degree vision. The Kinect sensor acts as the controller, detecting arm movements to signal when and how newspapers are thrown. Finally, a KickR sensor attached to the bike keeps track of in-game speed, and can even be programmed to offer resistance if the player stops or hits an obstacle. Combined, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Globacore was coming up with a way to make gamers more active, just like other VR-focused projects.
PaperDude VR is still in an alpha state, but Globacore hopes to add advanced obstacles, a dirt bike training course, and online leaderboards to the finished game. Of course, once the finished build is ready, players will need all the above accessories for PaperDude to function properly. Still, as a unique homage to Paperboy, and a display of the Rift and Kinect's capabilities, it could be rather promising. At least until that dog shows up and tries to knock your bike over.