Finally: The Death Star Trench Run For Oculus Rift

By Nathan Grayson on September 24th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

I am, frankly, surprised that it’s taken this long for someone to recreate Star Wars‘ Death Star trench run – which has filled starry eyed younglings with dreams of space combat since time immemorial – in Oculus Rift virtual reality. I mean, it’s a quintessential touchstone of sci-fi geekery, and what is Oculus Rift if not an extremely overt attempt at realizing our childhood fantasies of the fuuuuuuuuuuuuture? Plus, if EVE: Valkyrie has proven anything, it’s that people will go gaga for eyeball-first dives into star-dolloped expanses. Personally, I kind of just want to strip away the action altogether and play Star Pacifist: Space Observer, where one mouse button makes you go “Oooooooooo” and the other makes you go, “Aaaaaaaaaaah.” But this will do quite nicely for now. Video below.

So there is that in all of its inevitable glory. Looks pretty nice, too – if quite obviously early.

Details on release are basically non-existent for now, but I imagine it’ll have to be free if its developer wants to avoid a severe Force slapping at the hands of Disney’s legal types. Regardless, it makes you ponder the possibilities, doesn’t it? Oculus Rift hasn’t even been commercially released yet, but when the floodgates open, it’s gonna be quite a sight. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of gimmicky licensed “Do This Thing From Movie/Show/Book X” simulators, but virtual reality is (at least, in part) the future. And, if you ask me, the future’s looking bright indeed – even if it makes you look really, really dumb while you play it.

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49 Comments »

  1. stahlwerk says:

    Video is blocked by Youtube in Germany for using copyrighted Music. Not yay!

    Also, I think wearing an Oculus Rift will be the same as living in an ugly high-rise [GB: Tower Block]: in the end it’s the view from the inside that counts.

  2. Low Life says:

    Ah yes, a first-person fertilisation simulator is just what the OR needs.

    • Poppis says:

      That will never catch on.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Farm Simulator 2014 confirmed for Oculus Rift support.

      • Panda Powered says:

        I hope they patch in support for OR in Old Village Simulator 1962. You can’t get a better agrarian simulation of a village that is old in the sixties than that.

    • Dozer says:

      Given the leading comments for most OR YouTube videos, I would expect fertilisation simulation to be a key driver for OR uptake.

  3. GamesInquirer says:

    Looks alright, but I would prefer to see stuff like Raindrop support it: http://tinyurl.com/theraindrop

    • Kefren says:

      That looks amazing! Yes, would be lovely in 3D too. What made my jaw drop is that it reminds me so much of my horror novel, Turner, or rather what it might look like as a game, running through ominous woods in a storm. I’d sell the rights for a bar of chocolate in order to see it turned into a short game or film.

  4. Laurentius says:

    So Rebels put Xbox controllers into those X-wings, clever of them or they are ginets sellouts.

    • Harlander says:

      They’ve sold out to Carl Ginet?

      Instead of the dialogue from Star Wars it just has excerpts from On Action?

  5. Psymon says:

    I really wish all these oculus rift screenshots and videos had their left and right images swapped.
    I can do the crosseye trick, but all these direct feeds from the oculus rift mean I see with an inverse depth perception. Now THAT will give you headaches and nausea.

    • nindustrial says:

      Wait, what?! Crosseye trick?? How did I not think of this before.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        DO NOT TRY THIS “CROSSEYE TRICK” WITH VIDEOS SET TO FULLSCREEN ON A LARGE MONITOR.

        My eyes almost fell out before I realised how stupid it was and shrunk the screen down to a manageable size.

        • Psymon says:

          I imagine you in the study of a fine British stately home.
          Assuming you have enough room, sit further away from the screen. It’ll put less strain on the eye crossing.

    • DXN says:

      Uh, really? Because I can do the crosseyes trick and the depth perception looks the right way round to me, albeit with the usual constrictions of overlaying stereoscopy. And for me it looks best and is easiest to achieve in fullscreen on a large monitor!

      Y’all’s eyes is crazy!

    • DXN says:

      P.S. The effect is particularly striking/awesome with 3D quadcopter videos of the Big Room.

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      People cross their eyes in one of two different ways, it’s entirely dependent on your personal vision. Most people see in the same way, a small percentage will see the inverse. It’s like being left-handed in the world of eye-crossing.

    • Psymon says:

      @DXN & @Rhodokasaurus
      Are you two referring to parallel view?
      http://www.triplespark.net/render/stereo/pview.html

      I cannot do parallel, but I can do cross eye in an instant.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Interesting. I’ve never heard of parallel view. Thanks for the linkage.

        • Psymon says:

          Glad I could help.
          Most ‘magic eye’ pictures seem to require the parallel method (not sure why).
          This is why starting with the image in your face and slowly moving away works.

          However, most stereoscopic pictures utilise the cross eye method due to it being easier.

  6. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Fun fact/20-year-old protip:

    In the Death Star trench mission in X-Wing turning the detail level down made the game draw less geometry, which included it drawing fewer obstacles to dodge and fewer turrets spitting green lasery death at you.

    • udat says:

      I made use of this exact tip this week. I spent several hours last weekend getting my X-Wing collectors CD to install on Win7 and played through the game this week. It’s still absolutely fantastic fun, and it once again made me angry and sad at the same time that Lucasarts so comprehensively fell from grace.

      The only thing that bugs me (still!) about the game is when you are hard on the tail of a larger ship like a shuttle or an assault gunboat and then when you land a killing shot the game launches the wreckage into your face, killing you instantly.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Oooh now i want to pull out my CD of X-Wing vs Tie Fighter again! Though last i remember it didn’t work…

  7. vivlo says:

    it’s kinda uncautious to mess around with Disney’s IP like this…

    • c-Row says:

      Are they working on any Star Wars games at all these days? Pretty much everything got cancelled after the takeover, but even Disney should understand that Star Wars is a cashcow in whichever form, and especially on something like the OR.

      • Low Life says:

        They’ve licensed Star Wars to EA, at least, with Dice working on Battlefront.

    • GamesInquirer says:

      Yes, I heard they sent assassins to this guy: http://www.bruneras.com/

      Somehow he still lives making new stuff and still offering his old free Star Wars games.

    • Panda Powered says:

      They won’t notice. Disney has got their hands full poking its broken body with sharp sticks.

  8. TWChristine says:

    This reminds me of the Star Wars game I had for the Sega 32X with all the up and down avoiding horizontal obstacles. Ahh, what a waste of money that add-on was, although it was my first experience with Doom! (And there was another cool space game as well, but $100 add-on and 3 games was a rip off.)

  9. Monkey says:

    Occulus Rift is going to cause a major resurgence of space games, flying games, and driving games.

    David Braben and Chris Robert’s must be delighted at the timing.

  10. amateurviking says:

    Is anyone working on FS2Open is planning on implementing OR support? How hard is it to mod in? Could someone do the same with X-Wing Alliance? Can I ask any more questions?

    • Panda Powered says:

      Games like X-Wing Alliance where you already have native control for free look should be a matter of just binding the right input.
      The question is if the game can even recognize the OR as bindable axis input (like it would with a flight stick) or if you have to use software outside the game.
      Then there is a matter of how the free look is done in the game, if there is any forced acceleration or inertia it’s going to feel really bad looking around.

  11. SpinalJack says:

    [hijack]
    Can’t talk about the Oculus Rift without mentioning the VRJam winners:

    http://www.oculusvr.com/vrjam/

    Our game chicken walk was a finalist
    [/hijack]

    • harbinger says:

      Yeah, they didn’t mention that… or the Oculus Rift much at all considering it could become a large part of PC gaming one would think they could look more into it. Especially since it offers entirely new experiences and concepts for games that they often praise like Private Eye, Stargazer, SightLine, EpicDragon VR, The Pathway and so on…

      There are already hundreds of demos that are exploring entirely new gameplay concepts (like yours :P) or re-exploring old ones in VR.

  12. DiamondDog says:

    But how good is the Oculus Rift at simulating a disembodied Alec Guinness?

  13. Leaufai says:

    Where can I play this?

  14. Koozer says:

    Ah, memories of Rogue Squadron and going cross-eyed watching all the little grey boxes whiz past for five minutes before crashing into a wall.

  15. particlese says:

    …Star Pacifist: Space Observer, where one mouse button makes you go “Oooooooooo” and the other makes you go, “Aaaaaaaaaaah.”

    This may be the game you’re looking for:
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/05/10/we-are-floating-in-space-spacewalk/
    Left-click makes a pair of real-world clicking sounds, and right-click looks at your wrist. Thrusting is optional.

  16. SuicideKing says:

    5-year old me just smiled. BUT WHERE’S THE PROTON TORPEDO? :’(

  17. buxcador says:

    I am, frankly, surprised that it’s taken this long for someone to recreate Star Wars‘ Death Star trench run

    Star Wars: Rebel Assault, a 1993 game was probably the first to “recreate Star Wars‘ Death Star trench run”.

    I paid U$S 60 for it, and was the worst game ever. A crappy rail shooter, which made random movements to destabilize and annoy the player, just because it lacked any good idea on how to make a fun and playable game.

    It ended with the death star run. I still mourn those wasted 60 dollars.

    • frenchy2k1 says:

      Try 1983 rather…
      The first ever arcade game based on Star Wars included the trench run. The whole game was the death star attack:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_(1983_video_game)

      • Hastur says:

        I loved that game so much. I still remember the first time I played it. If you played the deluxe seated version, the speakers were in the seat, so when Obi-Wan said “Use the Force, Luke!” it felt like it was coming straight from your heart.

    • Apocalypse says:

      Nah, it still was a good game, but not on pair with X-Wing, which as well had that Death Star trench.

  18. El Mariachi says:

    “Green Leader?” Maybe for some reason an attempt to claim that it’s based on the novelization instead of the movie?

  19. Devan says:

    I’m not really sold on the reticle being pointed wherever you’re looking, at least not for an X-wing which can only shoot straight forward. It would be too easy if you can strafe the towers while flying right past them without changing course.