Features Include: 3D, FOV, Warp & Tracking
Aside from being a great new approach to the VR helmet, one of the really exciting additions to the Oculus Rift after the Kickstarter is the support that has been gained from Valve. The possibility of having even a fraction of the Steam Store ready to play on the Oculus Rift is terribly exciting for anyone eagerly awaiting one. At this year’s Game Developers Conference, the fruits of this collaboration will exist in the form of an Oculus Rift-optimized Team Fortress 2.
Key members of Valve and John Carmack make up a short list of partners that Oculus has been collaborating with in order to build a proper developer kit for Rift. If you follow him on Twitter, Carmack has been raving about Oculus Rift, while Valve has been fairly silent about their work so far. The Oculus Rift team has been quoted as saying that building a game for Oculus Rift requires a different approach, such as removing some of the flat screen realism elements like a player character that bobs up and down while walking. At GDC this year, Valve’s Joe Ludwig will be hosting a presentation he has dubbed ‘What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality’ to discuss the work that has gone into the port so far.
As one of the more popular shooters available today, having Team Fortress 2 available to play on the Oculus Rift is enough to make any gamer happy. These presentations will also give developers a rare look into Valve’s development process. The successes or failures that the team met along the way will either help dozens more develop for the platform, or give the Oculus team a reason to make some potentially vital adjustments to their platform. To compliment this presentation, Valve’s Michael Abrash will be holding a separate presentation named ‘Why Virtual Reality is Hard,” which could provide further insight into the problems that lay ahead for developers looking to bring Oculus Rift support to their games.
It will be interesting to see, between the two Valve developer presentations, if there are more problems found with porting an existing game versus developing a new one. Developing a new title specifically for the Oculus Rift shrinks your demographic considerably, but offers you a loyal and dedicated audience so long as the game is engaging.
Given the volume of Kickstarter supporters, plus the users who have signed up for the pre-order that is now available on the Oculus website, it’s difficult to say how Valve views this ever increasing audience