PGD Home

Oculus Rift and VR Development

by on Aug.30, 2015, under Astral Realms, On Game Development, Spiritus Astrum

I have decided to start developing Virtual Reality Games using the Oculus Rift. I had originally intended to purchase the Rift Dev Kit 2, the most advanced version currently on offer, but given the fact that the Consumer version is supposed to be out in Quarter 1 of 2016, and offer higher specs, I think it would be best to wait for that.

I have always been passionate about Virtual Worlds and Virtual Reality, and most of the research I have done and Projects that I have worked on have had at least some relevance to that field.

I have got some experience with VR headsets and shutter glasses, and my experiences so far have been disappointing. I have had poorly fitting glasses, I have received headaches, and generally felt no immersion or advantage to VR devices at all. This is why I am so late to the Oculus Rift game. However, based on the research that I have done recently, I think the rift is, or at least soon will be, successful in providing a true VR experience. This could be a game changer in the way we immerse ourselves in games.

I think there were two main reasons that the older devices I used failed to achieve this affect, namely,  low field of view and low resolution.

The Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 has a Field of view of around 100 degrees. This seems to be more than adequate for proper immersion, even though the edges of the display are visible in the users peripheral vision. It is not clear if the release version, or future versions, will widen the FOV.

Most of these older devices had resolutions around the 640×480 mark, and fields of view that made the user feel like they were looking through a telescope. In addition to causing headaches and nausea, these devices could not produce believably realistic images, and have a noticeable “screen door” effect. The Screen door effect is when the user can see the individual pixels in the screen, due to their eyes being so close to it. These makes the image look like it has a kind of mesh, or screen door, in front of it. The lower the resolution, the worse this effect is.

THIS very useful simulator shows the difference between the Oculus Rift Dev kits 1 and 2, and the release version (Consumer Version 1, or CV1) and also, by means of comparision, a 4k resolution mode. The Dev Kits have a visible screen door effect which, in my opinion, makes them virtually unusable for longer periods. This is not a problem, since they are clearly advertised as Dev Kits, not finished products, they are intended to allow developers to create their games in time for the release of the consumer version, and are not designed for long term playing of VR games.

The Resolution of the CV1 is much higher (2160×1200, split over two displays). This is usable, but, honestly, it’s the bare minimum. There will likely be a noticeable screen door effect, which will be distracting. However, the resolution is just about adequate, and may not be suitable for longer periods of gaming (over an hour, for example) or for complete immersion.

4k Resolution is a different story. I think at this level, the screen door effect is really a non-issue, and this is, I feel, where a real paradigm shift could occur in the way we play games and immerse ourselves in Virtual Worlds. I don’t know what OculusVR intends to do with the future of the Rift, but I am confident that a higher resolution model will eventually be released. The fact that the consumer model is called the “CV1” is strongly suggestive of the intention to create a series of progressively more advanced models as the technology matures.

I am very excited to be getting into what I think may be the “next big thing” at such an early stage, especially since my skillset is geared almost completely towards it. I think I could do a lot with this technology.


Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!