The Oculus Rift has been a name on the game industry’s lips for a little while, with the Virtual Reality Headset converting developers and media into believers that virtual reality could yet have a very important part to play in the future of video games. There have been many games that have begun to be retrofitted for the device such as Skyrim, as well intent made by developers of Surgeon Simulator, Half Life 2, Minecraft and Doom.
One of the many first-person games with high potential for an interesting VR experience is Mirror’s Edge (some fans even went further and created their own ports) and in an interesting twist of fate, producer of Mirror’s Edge, Owen O’Brien, has jumped ship from DICE to CCP Games to work on the Oculus Rift title EVE: Valkyrie. The space combat sim is the first major title to be made specifically with the Oculus Rift headset in mind instead of just adding support to an otherwise standard user interface.
Speaking with GamesIndustry International, O’Brien explains his reasoning for taking the job of executive producer on EVE: Valkyrie:
“The opportunity to work with a focused, talented and passionate team at the forefront of game-changing technology is a dream scenario for me. But it’s not just about the technology. This was a project born out of a genuine passion for gaming, and that shows in what the team has already achieved.”
CCP’s senior vice-president Sean Decker previously worked with O’Brien at DICE and says his experience with Mirror’s Edge is what makes him the right fit for crafting a fast-paced first-person experience inside the cockpit of a starfighter in EVE: Valkyrie.
The game is taking its place in a distinguished, if not, retro genre. The idea of VR flight simulation is one that has been tried by many developers ever since the technology became accessible. Back when video games were still penetrating the living room, cockpit shooters and simulators were very popular with PC players – a series like Wing Commander being a prime example. Around the same time, designers were also trying to find new and exciting ways to interact with video games which is why games that feature flight are no stranger to being the guinea pigs of user input, such as joysticks that were modeled on the steering of jet fighters as well as earlier integration of VR in games like VTOL. Nowadays, with so few VR experiences and cockpit simulators being produced, most aero-themed virtual reality is used in training of highly specialized personnel like pilots and astronauts.
However, with EVE: Valkyrie and Star Citizen making a lot of noise of late, we’re on the verge of the resurgence of cockpit shooter games and Oculus Rift will have a big part in bring them (and VR) back to gaming.
EVE: Valkyrie is set to be released on the Oculus Rift for PCs in 2014.
Source: GamesIndustry International