By Brendan Caldwell on April 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am.
Brendan here. I’ve been at the EVE Fanfest in Iceland and CCP, the kings of the popular make-money-and-kill-things-in-space genre, have been busy thinking up new ways to be a horrible, destructive starbroker. This time using Oculus Rift.
‘EVE VR’ is the admittedly boring name of their new dogfighter prototype – and it has been thoroughly stressed to us that it /is/ a prototype. Strap on the headset and you are fired from a fighter bay like a torpedo, a la Battlestar Galactica. Once clear of the docks you fire missiles and lasers in a mostly conventional space battle fashion, except now you can look around you. Oh my gosh, what’s that on your six? (You look behind you). It’s a missile! What’s that in your cockpit? (You look down). Oh my god, it’s your OWN HANDS. This is the future folks. Please do not panic.
I understand it must very difficult to get a sense of what it’s like to pilot one of these Oculus Rifted craft, and I’m afraid I can’t help you with that apart from to say that – if you have a big nose – it hurts to wear the headset. So, I can’t show you what it is like to play on the Oculus Rift. However! I can show you how hilarious it is to watch somebody else play.
According to CCP, EVE VR is the work of a handful of the devs who were working on the Oculus Rift headset in their ’20 percent time’ – in other words, it was developed in the workplace during time that the company gives devs to pursue their own side projects. Assets from the EVE universe were used to create the fighters and other ships, while the cockpit and wings seen from the players’ perspective were all strapped on.
A lot of EVE players might be keen to see something like this tie-in with the EVE universe, allowing them to pilot their own craft from the cockpit. But any plans of that sort haven’t been mentioned and the suggestion is that, if it were to see further development, it would be in the form of something separate from the main MMO. In fact, the feeling from the developers during the press reveal was that the project was something specifically done to delight the attendees of Fanfest. Whether or not something comes of this tech remains to be seen. “Maybe it never comes out,” said Andrew Robinson, Art Director on the project. “Maybe it comes out with an expansion in, like, 2014. I don’t know.”