Category Archives: MeetUp

9 x Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Games

Just put together a video which includes short clips from 9 Oculus virtual reality games.  You can check it out below.

Lots of interesting VR experiments.  After trying all these experiments/alphas/betas I am not sure if they should all be called games really, but anyway below is the list of what I tried and some links to find out more.

1. Crashland (First Person Shooter)

I didn’t actually get this working properly.  My Hydra drivers probably needed an update.  Looked interesting though 🙂

2. Dreadhalls (Dungeon Walk First Person)

Scared the crap out of me.  This is a dungeon walker.  As others have mentioned, it’s super easy to create horror type games in Oculus virtual reality.  Switch off the lights, stick in something gory when a player least expects it and blast out the noise.  I really do think we are pre-programmed to shit ourselves when we feel as if we are going to get killed by something or someone, but we do not know what it is…

3. First Law (Flight Sim)

Future flight sim.  Great execution.  Loved it.  Great sounds, dashboard thing really worked.  The HUD felt absolutely solid and when I think back the graphics were somehow pretty cool too.  I should go and look back at this.  Perhaps the screen door effect was less obvious due to the mostly black space background??

4. Malfunction (Film/Short/Experience)

I won’t spoil it for you.  Quite fun.  Some interesting notes about self image in a game, how NPCs make a player feel and the effects of familiar surroundings.  I am a different height and different ethnicity from the protagonist.  Looking in the mirror was an interesting experience.  Certainly makes you think about what people mean when they say things like “I feel like a man trapped inside a woman’s body” or vice versa.  I did feel a bit of motion sickness on this one.  Perhaps the moving around needs to be slowed down?

5. Ocean Rift (Underwater VR Experience)

I want to be, under the sea.  Awesome atmospheric sound effects.  I want to be, under the sea!  Really relaxing.  The kind of thing I would want to do to chill out to…

6. Proton Pulse (Like Break Out for VR)

Break out for virtual reality.  No motion sickness.  This is lots of fun.  Great music and energising.   I found my self bobbing my neck to the beat whilst playing 😀  Imagine lots of smiley faces bombarding your brain.

7. Hydra Deck (Real Time Strategy Demo)

Really interesting concept.  RTS…. how the hell would this work in Virtual Reality?  I use to be the biggest StarCraft fan.  If you’re into RTSs then check this out.  Very much like Gulliver’s World.  I would love to see a re-enactment of a real battle in this format.  I.e. Can see how this could be such a great educational tool…. e.g. Battle of X starts in real time and then pauses when key events take place…. the battle pauses and a google maps type marker appears in the place where key things are happening.  You then crouch down and touch the marker (like pressing play when a video is paused)…. etc etc.  Can’t wait to see more!

8. Cover Shooter (First Person Shooter Demo)

If there can be favourites with VR games then this is mine.  INTENSE 😀  I loved it.  This is so much fun.  Some key things that made this awesome -> POSITION TRACKING!!!! (Left hydra on chest and right hydra in hand).  Love the fact that I can look in one direction and shoot in the other or duck under cover and then just wave my hand above the crate to shoot at the enemy like a true coward.  Oh, dodging bullets is also cool.

9. Wheels (Wheelchair Simulator)

Ever wondered how it feels to to be in a wheelchair?  Lots of interesting concepts in here such as how “movie” type scenes can be handled.  Bit motion sick from the experience, but there are so many ideas in here that I would recommend you give it a go if you are looking for inspiration 🙂

Man, the VR community is awesome!  There are so many little indie demos out there and there is such a high density of highly innovative stuff! Woohoo! 🙂  If there was a hand gesture being pro VR I would be doing it now…

I just noticed that there is a Meetup in London and the guy who wrote the 2 position tracking games is going to give a talk.  I may just have to go and buy the guy a beer 🙂

Becoming l33t?

Immediate thoughts:

A. I’ve played waaaay too much MineCraft these few weeks. MineCrift is going up the TOTRY list… I have to get a video of G freestyle rapping as she plays…

B. I am super excited about Oculus Rift with Android… or with a Mini TV Stick… (see link below)

Wowsers it’s been busy again! Big time respect to games developers. There is soooooo much to cover if you want to make a 3D game. So how much does it take to get good at something like game making??

(Skip to the bottom if you just want a list of interesting Virtual Reality/Oculus Rift related links I found :))

I recently bought a box of granola from Tesco called “10K”. The marketing spiel on it was so douchebag-like that I just had to buy it. Unfortunately, I ate it and recycled the box before remembering to take a picture of it to share. It’s basically regular granola with caffeine. Check site here if you want to know what I mean. It’s cheeseball central. The premise is that you eat their cereal to become amazing at whatever you want since it will buy you extra hours. The idea of only considering the hours required to become “l33t” sparked some interesting thought experiment discussions with my other half. I could write a very long posting on this topic, but the caffeine is wearing out so I will not…

Moving on… I’ve taken a strategic decision to sharpen my 3D Blender skills rather than go with Maya. Maya is an AutoDesk product that costs almost £4000 (!) whereas Blender is… wait for it… free! I used both products about a year ago and preferred Maya at that point. However, after looking at Blender again now I’ve concluded that it can now do more than what I need. Either the open source community made some significant breakthroughs or the support around the product has grown – I am not sure, but it just feels right. Below are some YouTube channels I recommend you check out if you want to evaluate Blender for yourself:

VScorpianC -> Very clear style, friendly, patient -> Great for anybody new to Blender and just wants to see what it can do. She also has an extensive range of videos. Probably my favourite Blender channel at the moment.

BlenderCookie -> Lots and lots of vids…

Andrew Price -> Long detailed tutorials to get pro results! Rar!

Interesting Links

1. vorpX -> Another utility to make your old games work with Oculus Rift

2. Android on Oculus Rift? Plug in my phone? Plug in my Android Mini TV Stick???

3. If you haven’t seen the MTBS rollercoaster demo videos… you have to check them out:

More roller coaster action with this KickStarter too if you are interested: Theme Park Studio

4. Check out this channel if you are interested in motion capture for body/face and UDK. It’s rough and ready, but I find it useful to see things that are rough round the edges.

5. A London Meetup group for Oculus has begun in earnest 🙂

7. And of course, Virtuix Omni finally went for their KickStarter -> And they’ve absolutely nailed it! Well done 🙂

I leave you with words of wisdom from the back of a 10K cereal packet:

“20 hours a week. 1000 hours a year. For 10 years. 10,000 hours is the level of practice required for you to become elite in your chosen field.”

I love easy to remember numbers…