A Well Executed Oculus Rift Guillotine Game

By Craig Pearson on May 7th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.


It only takes one game to make a piece of hardware sing. Remember the Wii? I didn’t really care about it until someone showed me Wii Bowling, and it all snapped into place. That might have happened for the Oculus Rift at the recent Exile Game Jam. A game called Disunion puts the player in a public execution. It’s a virtual guillotine sim, where the player is led to the chopping block (turned over chairs), made to lie down with their head exposed, and then the blade drops. The effect is enhanced by lightly tapping on their neck when the blade connects. You might say Disunion is the Oculus Rift’s…

[drumroll]

… killer app.

[accepts your applause]

To be slightly more serious, these things break out when someone comes up with a neat way to package it up. Things need to be specifically made for it to say: look what you can make people experience with this. I love Team Fortress 2, but that fact that it had been ported over to the Rift told me nothing new about the devices capabilities. I can experience Team Fortress 2 on my monitor, but being in someone’s head, looking around and seeing the blade falling towards me, that’s the Rift’s raison d’être right there. An imaginative experience that gives me a little bit of hope for the Rift’s future. It’s not really a killer app, but it’s at least a demonstration that there’s more to be interesting things happening with the new hardware than FPS ports.

This sent me down a wiki hole. I thought of the guillotine as a crude, historic device, but they were being used in France right up until 1977. The last public execution was in 1939, and was filmed.

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45 Comments »

  1. stoner says:

    “You might say Disunion is the Oculus Rift’s…
    [puts on sunglasses]
    … killer app”

    //FTFY

  2. Anthile says:

    Literally revolutionary gameplay.

  3. Navagon says:

    I like the idea, but the execution seems a little unpolished.

  4. Foosnark says:

    When the mainstream media gets wind of this, heads will roll.

  5. Jigowatt says:

    I thought the Oculus Rift might be a pain in the neck to use, but after seeing this, I’ll definitely beheading out to buy one when they go on sale.

  6. Mustard Wrap says:

    Hopefully this will turn the heads of people calling the Rift a shaky platform.

  7. Bluerps says:

    Finally I can fulfill my lifelong dream of experiencing my own beheading!

    (I’m a little a afraid to post a comment here that doesn’t contain a pun… oh well – I guess I shouldn’t lose my head.)

    • ShanDaMan says:

      Sounds like this game is to die for! Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

  8. Fred S. says:

    Great way to show off the Oculus’ chops.

  9. Lawful Evil says:

    Still far away from the “realism” proposed by The Matrix movie(s).

  10. Mungrul says:

    Never thought I’d have a chance to link to an Alice Donut song on RPS, but here goes (lyrics in the comments):

  11. Monkey says:

    That did show us a good slice of the action

  12. Clean3d says:

    I wonder whether any reactions were cut from the video.

  13. Michael Fogg says:

    Get it now! First come, first… severed.

  14. Mr. Mister says:

    …these comments.

  15. Don Reba says:

    They developed a nice vertical slice, but I want to see the full game made.

  16. Low Life says:

    It’s a nice idea, but I imagine it will be difficult to capitalise on.

  17. Larkington says:

    A skydiving simulator would be neat.

  18. Didden says:

    Anybody count how many times they blinked?

  19. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Looks like development for the Occulus Rift is making heady progress.

  20. Doganpc says:

    WTF! WTF?…

  21. DXN says:

    Shit, the pun thread has run rampant! It’s taking over the whole comments section! OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

  22. DickSocrates says:

    Every time you make a pun God takes one month off your life.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      You sound bitter. Sit down and ‘ave a noggin of vodka.

  23. Larkington says:

    Making arbitrary demos is not the way to get ahead in life.

  24. mr.black says:

    The puns here are bladey heading to the singularity!
    Love it!

  25. 8bitbeard says:

    I found video of France’s last public execution. The low quality of the footage of that era coupled with the camera angle means it’s decidedly tame, so no worries about it being NSFW or anything.

    http://hypervocal.com/vids/2011/video-frances-last-public-beheading/