Well, hello there! It’s been a while since our last blog post, but I’m here to tell you we are still very much alive!
One of the most exciting things about working with VR is the state of flux everything is in right now. In just a couple of months time Oculus has been acquired by Facebook, the DK2 has arrived, completely new VR devices are being created, lots of great new VR experiences have been developed and last week the Oculus Platform and the awesome DK3 “Crescent Bay” have been revealed. On the software side Unreal Engine 4 has been released with Oculus Rift support out of the box and now Unity has revealed they will be working with Oculus to have official support in their engine. It’s obvious VR is here to stay and that things are improving rapidly. It’s truly an amazing time!
As a VR developer it’s all about anticipating the future. What engine will have the best support for the current and upcoming VR devices? When will the first consumer version of a VR device launch and which devices will we support? Will mobile VR become huge, and if so, do we have to keep that in mind while developing? What kind of experiences will work best on current and future tech? You try to make educated guesses and steer in that direction.
On the engine side we’ve decided to keep working with Unity, because although Unreal Engine 4 looks very sexy, we have confidence that Unity 5 will close that gap (but we won’t mind if they finally released it). But it’s not all about the looks. We will choose frames rate over eye candy any day. What good is eye candy if you get sick after 10 minutes of playing? Currently UE4 requires a far beefier system to run things smoothly and we would like to support the systems out there without a GTX 980 in SLI.
Now, what have we been working on this past year? In March we decided, after much consideration, to put Linger 2 on hold for now and focus all our attention on a completely new and exciting project. Why? Because, like I said, it’s all about anticipating the future of VR. Currently there are already quite a few truly magnificent and spine-chilling horror experiences in development. Horror is also kind of a niche category. In our experience most people enjoyed the excitement of being in space, exploring underwater or even riding a roller coaster, but are very reluctant to try out being locked up in a house with potential jump scares around every corner. Horror works perfectly in VR, but maybe it works too well. If you don’t enjoy horror movies or games you won’t enjoy the far more realistic experience VR delivers. We are a small team of only 3 at the moment, so we have to think carefully about where and how we spend our resources. So in March we switched gears and started working on something truly unique, something which anyone will want to experience and something which can only be experienced fully in VR. We hope to share some of the first screenshot teasers and information with you shortly.
Finally some news about DK2 support for Iceland and Linger. Some people have asked us if we plan to support the DK2. And yes, we would love to support the DK2! In fact, we had preordered and received two DK2’s weeks ago, but we were disappointed by the state the current Oculus SDK for Unity is in. Especially when developing on OSX the current version of the SDK 0.4.2 still isn’t stable enough in our opinion. Lately we’ve seen an increase in Unity based DK2 compatible VR projects though. So, we plan to reevaluate the state of things soon!