Developer, web designer, indie game enthusiast, and I am actively pursuing game development. Along with that, I do a (soon to be) bi-weekly radio show with my roommate called Seeking Infinity. We talk about games and game design, play some cool VG tunes, and generally have a good time. Give us a listen! Entertainment guaranteed or your non-money back! Zero Hour Productions is my portfolio site and general repository for stuff. It will even be my game company some day!

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Hey everybody,

Thanks to the arrival of our Oculus Rift dev kit, I've had the past week or so to experiment with it for more than a few minutes at a time. Like my thoughts immediately post-PAX, I can (re-)confirm how awesome it is.

First, some backstory:

I have to be pretty careful about my PC game and hardware selection, the largest reason why is that I use Linux almost exclusively at home. Compound that with setups that Linux is not exactly well- or positively-known for (like multi-display setups and HDMI audio...or sometimes, audio, period) and the field narrows. That's also why Valve's foray into SteamOS (a Linux derivative) is so exciting.

And it's also a pretty big reason as to why I'm excited about the Rift, too. While I can't claim a very broad test - a lot of Rift-enabled titles are Windows-only - the stuff I have tried is very compelling. And that the Rift has a cross-platform SDK, testing and setup utilities just further seals the deal.

First, let's get an obvious candidate out of the way - Minecraft. There is a significant mod out there required (titled, appropriately, 'Minecrift') based on 1.6.4. Even setting aside the head tracking not working for me (almost certainly a setup issue on my end), just having the VR portion is a significant change. Sure, there's 3D displays without a head-mounted device and all that, but nothing really beats eye-level display - true 3D! It took a bit to get used to where I was, in relation to the world, but the transition was brief and mostly painless. Focusing on objects at varying distances is a noticeable strain, compounded by the ever-present HUD, but it is totally worth it. I actually jumped (more than usual) when a creeper exploded near me.

The other title I played extensively as a test-run is a small game produced for the Seven-Day FPS game jam (#7DFPS) called 'Discoverie'. This is mostly an exploration game, where you walk around, collect a few things, and generally take in the world. There is a very minor 'shooter' component, where you're given a crossbow to defend yourself. Now, let me disclaim, this is not a polished game by any stretch (if 'seven-day' is any indication), but that the Rift was successfully integrated in such a short period is heartening. And the world itself - a very voxel-ish, blocky style - automatically looks better given the VR treatment. Looking up and down has never been more fun.

First-person-type games are clearly an obvious 'win' for VR, but the reality is that any game where you can take 3 axes of directional control off a player's hands is a huge plus. Even just side-scrolling or top-down games where you can move the camera around a central point would benefit. To that end, I am excited to think about our own in-development game(s) in terms of VR. Given the actual market saturation for VR is exceedingly low, it probably won't make the cut for a long time, but it's at the very least a neat add-on. And there's nowhere it can go but up.

That's not to say there aren't some limitations. In both of the tests above, I was relegated to a chair, in front of a keyboard and mouse (I could have opted for a gamepad), so there's some definite strides to be made in 'immersion' on that level. But this is definitely a step (haha) in the right direction. I am not ashamed to game with a peripheral attached to my face, especially one of this caliber.

If, by chance, you also possess a Rift, and are looking for some things to try out, take a look at RiftEnabled - not comprehensive, by any stretch, but a good place to start. I would also be remiss to not mention, again, Enemy Starfighter and Aztez, and though I have not yet been able to test Rift support in it yet (Windows-only, for now), Strike Suit Zero.

Before I end today, I have a review-in-the-making for Dragon Fantasy: Book I. Our friends at Muteki Corp were kind enough to give us a review code, so review it we shall.

That's all for now.

Zero Hour Productions

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 13)
HitmanV Nov 29 2005 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Shadow_Walker Aug 8 2005 says:

What is Unreal Tourament?

+1 vote     reply to comment
mb_zhp Creator
mb_zhp Oct 21 2004 says:

If many people would do the'd be great times.

Thanks, man.

+2 votes   reply to comment
GAMESOULjA Oct 20 2004 says:

well all i can do is be a fan of ur mod and wish u even more luck :D

i will be on ur forums from now on since i have more time on hands now,so imma talk to ya there then

+2 votes     reply to comment
mb_zhp Creator
mb_zhp Oct 20 2004 says:

No, I've got the help of two other people, a skinner and a sound tech.

Sometimes I wish I was doing it on my own, no communication failures, no missed deadlines...but then I realize that I don't know how to get the sounds.

+2 votes   reply to comment
GAMESOULjA Oct 19 2004 says:

man why mad for...**** happenes k?

tsk im jus happy things are workin out u know?

are u seriously doing this on ur own with aint nobodys help?


+2 votes     reply to comment
mb_zhp Creator
mb_zhp Oct 19 2004 says:

Yeah, lots of progress, now that most of the "dead wood" is out of the way. Guess I can't count on people to help out, you know?

Strategy-X has seen better days. I moved to BeyondUnreal because of all the server crashes.

+2 votes   reply to comment
GAMESOULjA Oct 18 2004 says:

hey look they've decided to unban me..actually we had a deal and now im back!
so...i see u makin alotta progress with pd :D gettin recognized :D
and what happened to x-dev?

+2 votes     reply to comment
LOC Mar 27 2004 says:

nothin really...just talk to them straight and act like they can't do nothin to me...but then they go and ban my *** cuz they think they THE **** LOL :D but it's cool now,they ain't sweatin me and i stay the hell outta they way ;)
it's good thatchu don't post on them forums...cuz they a buncha crazy weird peoples on there
aight stay cool :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
mb_zhp Creator
mb_zhp Mar 27 2004 says:

What do you keep doing to get banned?

+2 votes   reply to comment
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