Oculus Rift boss on the key VR dev challenges

Oculus Rift boss on the key VR dev challenges
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

December 11th 2012 at 12:54PM

Palmer Luckey warns developers of the difficulties ahead for making virtual reality games

Speaking at today's Evolve Conference in London the CEO of Oculus VR has detailed the challenges he believes developers tackling making virtual reality games will face.

Palmer Luckey, who spearheaded the tremendously successful Kickstarter project that thrust the Oculus Rift VR headset into the spotlight, used his time on stage at the conference to provided a detailed insight into the history of VR, before offering developers an overview of difficulties they may face making games for virtual reality systems of all kinds.

"Developing good VR games is going to take a lot of work," stated Luckey, later adding "VR games need to be designed for VR; that is important."

"A bunch of rushed ports isn't going to be good for VR," he continued, revealing that he expects that aside from the output of a few indies, he foresees the first wave of games for the new wave of VR technologies will indeed be adaptations of existing games and IPs.

"One of the big things is that stereo rending is expensive," he continued, moving on to other challenges.

He explained that virtual reality works best in 3D, when separate images are deliver to each of the user's eyes.

"You need to target a really high framerate," he said. "The problem with VR is that the faster the game runs the more it feels for the player like they are really in the game.

"You have to start at 60fps minimum. That's going to be really difficult for some developers."

Luckey also set out to put developers' minds at rest with regard to the idea that VR causes motion sickness.

"There's been an association before with virtual reality and motion sickness, but that was because the hardware and software wasn't ready," he suggested.

Elswehere in his keynote presentation Luckey touched on the differences between AR and VR headsets, insisting the latter must block reality out, rather than tweak it. He added detail on technologies that could compliment VR headsets, such as galvanic vetibular stimulation, where the innards of the human ear are manipulated to trick the body into believing it is really moving..

Alluding to the fact the technology has not yet been confirmed as safe, Luckey joked that galvanic vetibular stimulation has generated "no proof it's bad for you".

Predicting that few triple-A studios will initially embrace making VR-only games, Luckey concluded by saying "A reboot from VR is coming. It's going to change a lot of things; it's going to change eduction, it's going to change training, and it's going to be very big for gaming."