Tears Or Triumphs: SuperBike TT For The Oculus Rift

By Graham Smith on March 26th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

I like to think the TT is a set of crying eyes.

(It should be noted this story was written moments before the Facebook/Oculus announcement.) We already know the Oculus Rift is the perfect tool for immersing players within cockpits, but I was unsure until I played SuperBike TT whether they might similarly benefit motorbikes. The narrow straddle-rockets can cause problems with positional awareness even without a head-mounted display, but the indie project currently on both Greenlight and Kickstarter suggests threading the racing line in VR could be thrilling.

Just as soon as there’s a Rift headset available which doesn’t blur your vision like a drunkard, anyway. Video below.

Motorcycle racing games are few and far between for some reason, but it increasingly seems as if the Rift’s power lies in genre revival as much as it does virtual reality. The Rift lets SuperBike TT work in first-person rather than third, and neatly trimming corners and angling from side to side feels right in a way it doesn’t in third-person, and maybe even feels better than performing the equivalent from the safety of an internal chair while driving a virtual reality car.

The trouble at the moment is that the DK1, the only presently available Rift prototype, still has problems with positional tracking and screen refresh rate. At the high speeds a racing game has to operate, unfettered by a grounding metal cage, SuperBike TT made me feel queasy pretty quickly. More so than other games I’ve played. It’s obviously a game targeting the eventual consumer version of the Rift, which may well render those complaints moot, but it’s a thing to bear in mind before you consider pledging to its midway, underfunded Kickstarter project.

Of course, if you’ve already got a Rift, you can try it yourself. (If you don’t have a Rift, you can still play it; it’ll just appear as two eyeball-shaped screens on your monitor). You just need to download the early demo from this direct download link and give it a whirl.

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24 Comments »

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  1. staberas says:

    Sorry, sorry i just cant read anymore rift news without getting creeped out…

    bleh

  2. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Well, it’s good to see RPS is still there and hasn’t been bought up over night. You never know these days.

  3. rikvanoostende says:

    Don’t nod when looking at your opponents; you might’ve accidentally ‘liked’ something and be condemned to a lifetime of ‘personalized’ Ducati commercials.

  4. Armante says:

    So it seems this kickstarter will now be ignored by anyone on RPS (or at least the majority) because it has OR support? :/ The amount of vitriol and outright hatred that’s been poured out is leaving me feeling nauseated.

    • phelix says:

      It’s the internet. Perhaps you should scale down your expectations of a comment section.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        If you think the comments here are bad, well, ho-ho, I could show you some places on the Internet…

      • Armante says:

        I generally have very low expectations of comments sections. Case in point right now is the Oculus Rift FB page, which is just getting out of hand. RPS on the other hand I hold to a higher standard but even here today has seen some ugly stuff :/

    • Boothie says:

      well personally since im not an idiot i am still interested in OR and will get the consumer version if its a good product facebook or not, but i wouldnt back this game still, it hinges on having an OR which isnt something most of us are going to have for another 2 years.

      • Armante says:

        I actually have no interest in this game whatsoever, I just posted it in response to the huge reactions the whole OR/FB thing is going down. Good luck to the dev’s and all, but right now feels like the wrong time to mention your game features OR compatibility. Hopefully this all blows over in a few days, we get a decent OR piece of kit is our hands sooner and we can all game happily ever after

    • BobsLawnService says:

      This Occulus Rift Kickstarter is the most cynical, genius, money making ploy I’ve seen for a while. Get full public funding (Without giving away any shares via investment.) In the initial, and most risky phase of a product’s lifecycle. Then sell out to the first major buyer who comes along. You own 100% of your company because you found thousands of suckers to front the initial cash and you walk away with all the money.

  5. phenom_x8 says:

    My tears are fall after hearing about this Facebook acquisition T_T
    Deep inside I know it will never be the same again for VR
    Theses redditors (http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/21cy9n/the_future_of_vr/cgbuq13) beautifully summed all of my feeling :

    “I think people are upset because….we all felt like we were part of a small underdog home team…that was gonna make it to the championship game and win by 1 point….surprising everyone…even ourselves

    and now we feel like we arent part of that team….how could we be….our crowd funding means little to nothing now in the shadow zuckerberg

    now we are just customers of a product..a product that has everything it needs and will make its decisions in a boardroom with facebook people

    even tho i know….this is not true….and Oculus will still be Oculus ….deep down it just feels wrong….it feels like the journey is over…and we simply bought our championship trophy and drove home”

  6. serioussgtstu says:

    Stuart likes this post.

  7. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Why do developers find it so difficult to record proper engine noise?

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Making videogames doesn’t leave much time to use cars or bikes.

      • fish99 says:

        Most developers making serious sims record real engine sounds. Whether that ends up sounding good when it’s in the game is another matter though. I know iRacing record with high quality mics inside a padded helmet, inside the real car, and they still often sound like crap, the point where they had to rework the sound to add low frequencies.

        Obviously it’s not an easy thing to get right, and of course no home speakers/headphones can reproduce the volume and vibrations of real racing engines. I know when I heard a Corvette C6-R at Silverstone it would make your stomach shake at 100 yards, and the Lambo Gallardo caused genuine ear pain :p

        • Corrupt_Tiki says:

          My favourite thing is taking friends who watch a lot of action movies/play a lot of FPS games out shooting for their first time.

          They are always surprised at how loud gunfire really is, even with earplugs.

          Personally I love the way ArmA distinguishes between incoming and outgoing fire. When you fire the gun, you hear the blast/shockwave of the powder burning and gas escaping the muzzle, when you are receiving fire, you hear the crack as the bullet breaks the sound barrier in your general direction.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      A lot of developers can’t even get gunfire right, let alone the harmonics of an internal combustion engine, these bikes redline at 22,000RPM, so I imagine you would need to spend a great deal of time or money (Perhaps both) into replicating this and at the end of the day, if the customer has cheap 5$ headphones, they aren’t going to get any benefit at all and the audio files would take up ridiculous amounts of HDD space.

      What irks me about this game, is the way the bike looks like it handles and looks like it feels. As a racer, it sends all sorts of wrong signals to my brain.

      I do like simulators, but I prefer my Flight sims peronally. (Wouldn’t mind a space sim..)

  8. Guvornator says:

    Hmm, leaving aside the Facebook/OR thing for the moment, the thing that struck me from that video was how un-motorcycle-y it looked. The bike sort of floats over the circuit, it barely leans, it doesn’t vibrate over bumps. There’s no sense of it being an actual object in the world. Motor cycle racing is one of the most physical form of motor-racing – riders climb all over the bike, sitting up to slow down, hunkering behind the fairing to speed up, and all the time the bike is sliding, wobbling, trying to slide you on the floor or shoot you into space. For the game to work it needs to reflect that physicality.

    • fredc says:

      Like Guvornator says, the rift may be great for a bike game, but this looks like a terrible bike game. Bike doesn’t lean, it seems to be floating in space. Also, if you look at the displayed speeds versus the perceived movement, something is truly fucked up – either that or the circuit is built to 1/16th scale length with 1/1 scale width.

      All this suggests there is no meaningful physics engine at work – no pitch, torque reaction, suspension interaction with the track surface, rider movement, nada. You might be able to get away with this for cars, for a very arcadey level of “simulation”, by modelling a box on a flat plane, but for a bike to work you need to simulate how the rider and bike actually move.

      What makes this even more horrifying is that you can probably download from GOG (or at least buy off e-bay) a copy of Microprose’s “GP500″, which makes a decent fist of the above while also looking better than Superbike TT in every respect bar, I think, tarmac textures. For less heavy lifting, the EA “Superbike” titles from 10 years ago are also good, if you want some four stroke action.

  9. tossrStu says:

    No sheep, no sale.

  10. JayExbl says:

    This desperately needs ’tilt head to steer’, one of the most sickening games I’ve played on the rift so far I’m afraid.