Nvidia’s VR Funhouse Is A Wacky Physics Showcase


I don’t say this lightly: Nvidia have created what is surely gaming’s most advanced simulation of blasting goo at a clown’s face. They’ve bunged their GameWorks fluid, hair, volumetric fire, and destruction physics simulation doodads into a fairground-themed minigame collection exclusive to HTC Vive to give us what is surely – and I don’t say this lightly – gaming’s greatest concentration of fancy but prohibitively expensive technology. But those blessed few who have both cybergoggles and a top-end Nvidia card, oh my friends you will be blasting clowns tonight all right.

Nvidia VR Funhouse [official site] is all the fun of the fair without the exorbitant prices. It’s free to download on Steam with no tickets, no entrance fee, and no £5 slushies.

With the Vive motion controllers, you get to shoot arrows at targets, blast crockery with guns, whack moles, punch moles, pop confetti-filled balloons with swords, blast goo at clowns’ faces, and so on. All with the fanciest particle sprays and physics PhysX can muster. It looks a bit of a lark, as virtual reality physics playgrounds go. See:

Touching things in VR is still slightly magical, discovering that they react as you’d expect, so having floppy hair and goopy goo that respond to movement seems great. Most of this PhysX stuff is fluff in games – barely used by any – but in VR it does seem more important. It’s not easy on the ole hardware, though.

A GeForce GTX 980Ti is the slowest card Nvidia recommend to run the VR Funhouse at its lowest settings. For the highest settings, they say you’ll want at least a 980Ti for the PhysX alone – backed up by another 980Ti at minimum. Goodness me!


  1. geldonyetich says:

    surely gaming’s most advanced simulation of blasting goo at a clown’s face

    That sounds like a challenge.

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      Knowing VR, there will be a lot of simulations of blasting goo on all kinds of faces, so it hold that mantle for long.

  2. Cinek says:

    By far the most realistic physics I seen in any VR game. Even physics in a silly whack-a-mole look just… so much more convincing than interactions in most of the other games. I also like how they use force feedback on wands when interacting with objects, when firing guns/bow, when objects you hold are touching. It’s much more subtle than in most of the games but also much more convincing.

    I read somewhere that they plan to release it open source for other devs to learn from – really hope they will, cause they nailed several things in this tech demo that most of the existing VR games would benefit learning from.

  3. Jeroen D Stout says:

    Picard on the holodeck riding some scoteena. He has a messel he is too good for filly with goo, to make a clown’s litso all grahzny-like. Makes me smeck! Peete your moloko plus, this is horrorshow!

    • marlin says:

      Are you drunk?

      And yes. I have read ‘A Clockwork Orange.’

  4. InfamousPotato says:

    For those of you who have tried VR, is it weird controlling disembodied hands with no arms, or do you get used to it? It always looks kinda odd in videos, though I suppose that might go away once you’re actually playing…

    • Lars Westergren says:

      You only think about it for the first few seconds (“this bow and arrow is just hovering in air”) but once the action starts you stop noticing.

  5. DigitalSignalX says:

    So for a mere thousand dollars in GPU’s and whatever a VR set costs (400? 500?) I can play a free steam game. YAY!

  6. seroto9 says:

    I don’t know if it’s bad physics or bad me, but I can’t hit a ball with a mallet, like in that game ‘Tennis’. Has anyone else managed it?