Posts Tagged ‘Oculus Rift’

Scared Sick: Can Oculus Create Discomfort And Horror?

My arms are aching, I’m anxious and I want to be standing on solid ground again. I’m just about as uncomfortable as I can remember being while playing a game, and I think that’s a good thing.

At Gamescom, I played two games using the Oculus Touch that impressed me. One was Wilson’s Heart, a horror game that reminded me of Frictional’s work, and the other was a climbing game. It wasn’t the horror game that caused my anxiety to spike, it was The Climb. After playing, I spoke to Jason Rubin, formerly of Naughty Dog and now head of Oculus’ “first-party initiatives”. He’s spent the last two years figuring out what VR gaming is capable of, and working with game studios to identify projects that might work and problems that might arise. We talked about what is possible now and what the future might hold.

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Galaxy Golf Now Sinking Spaceputts In Virtual Reality

Cybergoggleeers, please play Galaxy Golf [official site] and allow me to live vicariously through you. It looks like Super Mario Galaxy crazy golf and I’m sorry I can’t find out for myself. Yes, I know I’m the kind of dreadful VR sceptic who calls this latest fad a “fad”. That I’m always saying we’re years away from the future others will tell you is already here. That I insist it’s not even proper VR unless if you die in the game, you die in real life. But I still want to blast balls between dinky planetoids.

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ZeniMax Vs. Oculus: Palmer Luckey Didn’t Develop Rift

I am sorry to bring you an update on ZeniMax’s lawsuit against Oculus, a dispute over how much ZeniMax and then-id Software technowizard John Carmack contributed to the Rift’s development. I’m sorry because courtroom drama is so dry. I’d much rather tell you about how Jessica Fletcher, Phryne Fisher, or equivalent amateur sleuth uncovered evidence, how they charmed their way into a high-society dinner, pumped a suspect for details with grace, then cracked their safe with a bobby pin.

No, instead all I can tell you is ZeniMax lawyers claim that the Rift only became the technological wonder we know today thanks to work by Carmack and other ZeniMax employees, not solely by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. Heck, they say Luckey “lacked the training, expertise, resources or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax’s computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift.” Oof.

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VR Suits Minecraft Down To The Ground, Controls Aside

Unofficial Minecraft VR has been around for a while, but earlier this month Mojang launched official support for these future-glasses everyone keeps banging about. Minecraft‘s VR bolt-on is a free install from the Oculus store which, for the time being, only works with the Windows 10 Edition. And with a Rift, although a well-established non-official option exists if those are your cybogogs of choice, or if you prefer the Java version of the game. I’ve been looking at the official option, and hey, it’s a good time.
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STALKER IRL: The Haunting Chernobyl VR Project

Back in the days of STALKER and its two sequels, I felt like I was the only games hack who didn’t get sent on a tour of Chernobyl and Pripyat. Those who did visit came back with reports of rain and health worries and mystery meats, then shared photographs of them smiling in front of a decaying Ferris wheel or looking sombre in a Marie Celeste classroom. Perhaps it is best that I never went myself. What a strange thing to be a tourist to. Is any possible response appropriate?

The Chernobyl VR Project, essentially finished but for the time being only available for Oculus Rift, with a more refined version due for both that and Vive a little later, gives me my chance to be a tourist, without the background anxiety about background radiation.
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Wot I Think: Crytek’s VR Game The Climb

Three fallacies I’m occasionally guilty of believing:

1) The Oculus Rift does not involve any of the physicality of the HTC Vive
2) VR gaming is riding a cart to minigame hell
3) There’s a ceiling on how good VR games can look

Crytek’s beautiful and involving Oculus Rift game The Climb [official site] is a pretty good riposte to all of the above.
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What Is The Best VR Headset? Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive

Pity me. I have two different VR headsets in my house, so my PC is a mess of cables, USB hubs and strained video output adaptors. My suffering is unimaginable. I have swaddled myself in wires and made my forehead sweat for your benefit, however: to try and give you some sense of how the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive compare to each other in daily practice. While many of the baseline specs are all but identical, there are a raft of smaller differences between the two, even once the matter of the Vive’s room-scale support is discounted. I do, somewhat reluctantly, now have one headset I recommend over the other at this point in time, but with important caveats.
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