IAMA Oculus Rift Developer, Ask me anything about our game Ambient Flight and what the future of Virtual Reality holds
Chris here from Wild Child Games, I am developing Ambient Flight for the Oculus Rift, where you can fly around photoreal landscapes in VR as an Eagle, Hawk or Falcon. We are passionate about the environment and are donating 10% to the Raptor View Research Institute so please consider joining the Alpha as that also gets you the game at half price when it releases at the end of this year.
VR is incredibly immersive and am looking forward to its consumer release later this year. Ask me anything about what the future holds for Virtual Reality, our game and the challenges faced with developing for VR.
Oculus is being quiet on a release date. If i were to guess, i would say towards the end of this year... and releasing with Half life 3!
but thats pure speculation.
When do you think Virtual Reality will really become "mainstream"? It's looks very interesting to me but at the same time complex and still a few years ahead of its time.
I feel it will catch on very fast, having tried several VR headsets since the 90's, i can understand why it hasn't caught on, the resolution and latency just wasn't there yet. I can assure you that the latest prototypes from the Oculus team are mindblowing!
Relating to it being mainstream, How do you think it'll be priced in the mass market?
They haven't confirmed a price, but it is widely believed it will cost the same as the development version. Around $300
Would it be possible, to see through the eyes of all insects in the world, at the same time?
I have prototyped an Ant view demo, and its pretty cool and frightening walking up to a spider or a wasp the size of a house, so im sure there will be games developed that are insect based.
Are you planning on making an Oculus that is compatible with fedoras?
I will upvote you for making me chuckle :)
Will I one day get virtual reality porn? This question needs to be answered, BaseDeltaZer0.
Of course! Check this thread out
How does developing for VR like Oculus Rift differ from normal game development?
Size is really important, having something like a phone in a room thats just 10% bigger makes it look very wrong due to the depth perception you have in VR.
HUDS will disappear, as they are distracting in VR, so i think you will see HUDS incorporated in the environment such as a watch you look at to see a minimap or health information.
I think HUDs like the one Iron Man has in the movies would be juuuuuust fine.
OH imagine an Oculus Rift game as Iron Man.
Do you think people with motion sickness will ever be able to use OR?
One of the CEO`s at Oculus, Nate Mitchell couldn't have the Rift on for more than a few minutes before getting sick, but has said that the latest protoype has completely eliminated motion sickness. I believe this is partly due to having full positional tracking and the new oled low persistence screen.
It was actually Iribe, not Nate :)
my bad, you are correct
Do you think a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (VRMMORPG) will ever be created that works in real time? Like the anime Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, Accel world, etc. If so, how long do you think it will take to create it?
I heard that the new everquest will support the Rift. I dont know of any other, but a lot of big developers are keeping their projects secret
No question. Just saying I like what you're doing.
Thank you, that means a lot!
What's the gap in difficulty between developing an Oculus Rift game and, say, a console game, in terms of programming/art/etc?
Not that much, but you do have to develop for the rift or you end up with a subpar game. Scale that may look right on a screen will be off on the rift if its not exactly like it is in real life. HUDS don`t work. Menus need to be in 3D. Motion needs to be perfect or it will make you sick. For instance in half life you are sprinting everywhere and its very uncomfortable. head bob doesn't work. cinematic cut scenes that take control of your head, will make you puke.
I think there will be many existing game ports, but the ones that will truly be amazing are the games designed from the ground up for the Rift.
Is there really as much interest in VR being utilised by the adult entertainment industry as it seems?
Given that online porn and the like tends to force tech to evolve faster than it might have otherwise, Do you consider this a good thing or would you rather see the focus on VR placed elsewhere?
The future looks bright for Vr Porn check out this nsfw video
Wow, that's both interesting and kind of creepy at the same time.
Are you happy to see VR going that way or would you prefer to see the bulk of the development going into other applications?
Its not my cup of tea lol, i personally wouldn't get aroused by a 3d model, but some people may. This i believe has more potential, which is filmed with a 360 degree camera setup
Wow, clearly there's been more work done in this arena than I thought.
There is a subreddit for VRPorn with many examples, but i believe the ones i linked are the most promising
What do you hope for the Oculus to become in further stages. Thanks so much for the AMA!
The first release will be 1080p at least with positional tracking only while you sit in your chair. the next release will have 4k displays and true walk around positional tracking, then there will be an android version that lets you experience lighter VR games, but wirelessly or even stream it to your rift from your pc.
Beyond that i am imagining something like a Virtual_retinal_display which beams a laser directly onto your retina.
But all of the above is just a guess and what i hope for
That sounds amazing and painful at the same time
As scary as it sounds, at the end of the day its the same kind of photons that hit your retina every day.
What do you think about Virtuix Omni?
My wife would never let me buy one!
Do you think VR will pick up as strong as mobile gaming has to the industry?
Oculus has mentioned that they are looking towards future rifts being powered by Android. If they can significantly reduce the size of the rift and let you drop your phone into it, then yes I do.
Please make a Doom game. That'll be sweet.
With John Carmack on the Oculus Team, i think your wish might come true
What's the one video you would recommend I show to someone who has no idea what the oculus rift is?
Is the oculus rift going to be compatible with people who have to wear eye glasses? I owned a headset from virtual I-o.... it was just considered a "virtual big screen" and I loved it. That was almost 20 years ago, it was qvga and cost me $500. If the oculus rift works with glasses I'll be buying one as soon as possible.
There is a good chance that it will have adjustable lenses so you wont need your glasses
When do you think the final version of the oculus rift be out? Will there be incremental updates of the oculus rift VR headset?
Towards the end of this year, and if they are smart they will do like apple and have a new better model every year.
With the massive amount of interest coming this thing's way, I'm curious to see if any current games will get a "Rift Edition" re-release. Do you think this might happen? I know that Half Life and Team Fortress both have support, so the idea is certainly out there.
Games that aren't made for the rift have issues unfortunately, for instance in half life the cut scenes make you want to puke and in Team fortress, running at that speed gets a similar result. So i do hope we wont see ports, but true made for VR games
What's the most interesting thing that you've learnt by developing the OR?
The most mundane things (on a normal monitor) are super interesting :)
What do you see for the future of VR? What do you see it becoming? Thanks!
Samsung already has a 4k protoype phone screen and resolution is very important in VR, beyond that i believe Direct Retinal Projection will be the future of VR. A laser can scan your eye at much higher resolution and frame rates with complete 180 degree field of view and a tiny form factor.
Just don't play in a thunderstorm :)
Has there been any talk with major gyms about using these? It would be neat to go bike riding in the alps or hiking in the rainforest and it would allow non gamers to find value in vr.
quite a few bike riding demos out there the only problem i see is that it gets awfully hot wearing it. Lets see what the consumer version brings and if it has better ventilation
will the Rift get smaller in size, like the Google smartglass? and what about the tossed around idea of 'drug induced entertainment' which i hear will work by manipulating dreams, do you think this is possible or bullshit?
Yes absolutely. Although it looks big, its very lightweight, similar to ski goggles. Packing in electronics into a tighter area is very feasible and im sure on the cards.
Not sure about drug induced entertainment, but let me assure you, the rift doesn't need drugs, its quite a trip on its own :)
What are you planning on developing next, If you are developing something, Is it to enhance the oculus rift?
Oh my, once you have tried it, your mind goes crazy with "Wouldn't it be awesome with the rift" ideas.
I have narrowed my ideas down to 3. Cave exploration, Free running ala Mirrors edge and being insect size trying to survive in a jungle (Lawn) with spiders and wasps the size of houses. And yes, in the rift they really do feel that big.
How do you think VR tech in the gaming industry will be changed for military uses? I think they may use VR headsets for drones and other unmanned robots but I'd like to hear your ideas on how the military might use the tech.
The military already uses tech as good as the rift, they have been for years, its just that it costs 35,000 and up and is bulkier. The navy are experimenting with the rift
If theres one big complaint I have heard about the OR, its that the low resolution creates a "screen door effect". I have also heard you are developing an HD version to combat this. How big of a price increase will there be to get the HD version?
Yes the screendoor effect is definitely there, you do forget about it when you get into the game, however the prototypes shown at CES has a much higher screen resolution so i am certain that it wont be an issue with the consumer Rift. People who have tried both, compared it to night and day
How are you going to handle knockoffs of the oculus rift and what would you like to see VR incorporated into?
Oculus has some of the brightest minds in the industry developing the Rift such as John Carmack and Michael Abrash from Valve is closely working with them, so i don't believe that any knock off company can compete.
Please incorporate motion controls into your game. You already show the wings to the sides of the camera, why not map them to the arms of the player and use the input to steer the flight or change altitude by flapping/moving them.
Also, THUNDERSTORMS! I can't stress this enough. Flying through a wall of rain and clouds with lightnings striking the mountaintops would be awesome beyond words.
i have a kinect, tried what you are suggesting, arms got really tired after 10 minutes haha
What are your thoughts towards Sonys VR device they are developing?
Considering that its just an updated T3 with head tracking, i dont think Oculus has anything to worry about. The T3 is bulky, heavy and only has half the field of view, also selling at 3 times the price of the Rift
Is the Oculus bad for my eyesight?
What kind of impact does it have on my dreams? (Nightmares...)
What is the next aspect of the Rift you are trying to improve?
Is it wise to buy it when the Endconsumer version comes out or should I wait a bit?
I would advise waiting for the consumer edition likely coming out later this year. Your eyes are focused on infinity so you will get no eye strain, and there hasn't been any proof that sitting close to a screen permanently damages your eyes. Granted if you stare at a TV very closely you'll get eye strain, but this is a different story.
As for dreams, there hasn't been much research into such things as VR is fairly new to the world. At least on a consumer level.
And this developer is not working on the Rift itself, but a game. For the consumer Rift, we'll likely see 1080p - 1440p resolution, full 6dof tracking, adjustable optics. That kind of stuff.
what this guy said!
What has your overall experience been with developing not only the oculus rift, but Ambient flight as well?
It is an absolute blast creating something and being able to walk or fly around it with complete immersion. I will never game on a monitor again :)
Ambient Flight has been a challenge because the detail i want to have makes for massive file sizes. for instance one of my maps is 1 gig of aerial imagery at .3 meters per pixel. if i want to either double the flight area or the resolution, then thats 4 gig... per map. Which is a lot to download for people with capped downloads.
I'm no game developer/programmer, but is it possible to do some form of procedural generation for textures?
i am thinking about this for close up detail textures
You could always release a high-res texture pack along with the standard game. Perhaps even make one thats super high-res for people that don't mind downloading ~20 gigs
hmm yes, good idea. now all i need is a hosting company that wont break the bank
For the moment do you receive a lot of collaboration from game developper ?
How much do you think the final product will cost ?
From where come this idea ?
The Oculus forum is a great place to ask questions, and you usually get help, which is nice, everyone is excited as you are with development and there is a lot of info being shared.
Ambient Flight will sell for 20, but you can join the Alpha for 10 now.
I have always enjoyed flight sims, but sometimes i don't want to get bogged down by controls and buttons. My game has very few controls and would be boring on a monitor, but in VR it is really immersive, you feel like you are 100`s of metres above the ground and get a good sensation of speed when hot dogging it down a mountain :)
Is there any development in the realm of eye-tracking?
Have you heard of Tobii? im not sure how it could be incorporated with the Rift, but the tech is out there!
Wow, can't believe I came in to an AMA early on for a change. I've always wanted to ask you stuff but... well, I'm kind of dry on ideas.
If you could have had full VR on any game in the last 30 years when it came out, what would it be?
Luckily Cyan is making a new game with Rift support. Woot!
Check out Obduction
What potential problems have you and the team discovered since working on the project that you didn't anticipate originally?
The amazing lush grass and flowers you see in games are billboards (flat objects with a texture on it) looks fine in 2d but in 3d they really look like cardboard cutouts, even weirder when you turn and they turn to face you. so 2d tricks cant be used.
Do you know why is the Oculus Rift so "ugly"? It's like a giant brick on your face. Will the release model be re-designed to a more curved design and etc. or no?
What you are seeing is a developer version, im sure with the 100 million in funding, the Oculus team will have a designer on board coming up with something more eye pleasing :)
What is it about VR that will justify its existence and not just be viewed as a gimmick (comparable to ColecoVision or the wii) that will just fade out in a few years?
Black Mesa creator tried Valves prototype out and was blown away and Oculus has stated that the Rift will meet or exceed the quality of Valve's demo. So i really do think we are on the verge of Virtual Reality exceeding peoples expectations.
I am sure most of these questions are game based or development based, but do you, or anyone on the development team, have any plans of how this could be integrated into other aspects of life? Example in medical education to actually be able to "perform" things that look real but absolutely no risk or even in cases of therapy. I just want to know if that is a consideration of this, or what adjustments you plan on doing to make this be useful in other fields. Thanks!
I believe there is a project working with PTSD
What's the cost? I can't seem to find it anywhere
Did you pay guys Pewdiepie to do let's plays using the Oculus?
Tell him! trying to contact him is like whispering in a tornado...
I am a last year med student studying to become a neurologist, and I was curious on what adverse effects have you guys observed with this device? I know the accelerometers recognize rotational components similar to our own semicircular canals with rotation around the X,Y, and Z axis. I had the opportunity to play it over last Christmas break over at a friends and I was amazed! However, I did get extreme motion sickness just minutes into playing. Do you guys recommend a certain length for gaming sessions?
The new protoype has positional tracking which i believe was the worst cause for Nausea and i think the amount of people getting sick from it will lower significantly. That said, if you make a game wrong it will still make you sick, for instance most first person shooters have you running around at 40mph, also simulated head bob will make you run to the toilet
Whats it like to watch pornography on the rift while using a fleshlight?
Just read a book recently called Ready Player One (fantastic, IMO) and part of the story talks about the protagonist becoming a character in a movie and getting points based on accurately reciting lines and stuff. Anything like that in the future?
Ha! that would be cool. Did you know the Author visited Oculus?
Is the price going to go down? Why are you guys not focusing on consoles?
Consoles get updated once every 8 years, VR is moving much faster than consoles can keep up.
I would love to both the Oculus Rift and your game! Any chance you could send me one? You can't blame a girl for trying!
I'm just a poor programmer :( but when you do get a rift, hit me up with a link to this comment and ill send you a game :)
As a PC gamer I really REALLY want a Rift headset. Youtube is full of examples of why I want one and I've come close to entering my card details just for one of the dev kits but I'm going to try and be sensible and wait for a final consumer product. (which I'm sure I read we'd have by now but obviously not) .
So..my question is this...how long until there is a final consumer product? As a side note, thank you for developing this and making VR a plausible reality for gamers.
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