Oculus Rift Demo given by Mark Desmarais

oculus-rift-review-10This week many of us got a chance to try out the Oculus Rift. The Rift is a virtual reality headset that uses stereoscopic images to give users the experience of real depth, and the feeling of actually being in the game space.

Mark Desmarais, a Champlain alumni from Gameloft, was kind enough to bring over his copy, and had downloaded some games from riftenabled.com for us to try. First we tried some horror games, and watching people freak out when a ghost or spider appears right in front of their face in the game sent spouts of laughter from everyone in the room.

Gamers still use traditional keyboard and mouse controls to play each game, but some developers have gone out of their way to make full use of the new medium. One game in particular, Epic Dragon, allowed the player to tilt their head in the direction they wanted to move, all while riding atop a giant dragon. You could even tilt your head side to side to do rolls around in the clouds.

 

The beauty of the Rift is that if you tilt your head, the world around you tilts as well. If you look down or up, that is exactly what part of the world you are seeing. It takes a bit getting used to, but it is astoundingly immersive and has a tendency to trick your brain into thinking you are really falling or flying at different points.

 

More and more developers are even pushing support for the Oculus as time goes on, predicting an expansion of the market. Developers have already announced plans for engines like Unity or the Unreal Engine to support the Oculus Rift in the future. We definitely savoured our time with the Rift, and hope as the technology develops we will see the Rift soon on shelves at your local electronics store.

 

– Ryan Leslie, Game Art Major and Montreal RA, Fall 2013