After a bit of disappointment that the Oculus Rift dev kits aren’t going to come with Doom 3 BFG edition supporting them, Valve has just announced that Team Fortress 2 will have a new “VR Mode” that supports the Oculus Rift, available this week. This means that TF2 will most likely be the showcase title for the Rift for a while and you will be able to play it for free as Team Fortress 2 is a Free to Play game. Valve apparently also created an exclusive new TF2 hat: the Oculus Rift development kit. If you backed the Kickstarter campaign at any level, or if you pre-order a Rift development kit from our website before April 1, 2013, you’ll receive a code to redeem your very own TF2 Oculus dev kit hat.
Valve is also planning on sharing what they learned bringing TF2 to VR in two GDC talks:
– Why Virtual Reality is Hard (And Where it Might be Going) presented by Michael Abrash.
– What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality presented by Joe Ludwig.
The team at Oculus promises that this week is going to be stacked with exciting announcements, including news about Unity, Unreal, and the Oculus SDK, so stay tuned. Meanwhile I’m still waiting to get the good news that my Dev Kit has been shipped, it is one of the 100 DIY kits and the order number is under 150, though it still hasn’t been shipped and these were originally supposed to be shipped earlier than the rest of the assembled kits. I suspect however that we are also going to get assembled kits shipped with the rest of the units as, then there are probably like 10 days until the package comes from the US to Europe, though I still wonder why these weren’t shipped from China to Europe, but had to go from China to the US and then get shipped back to Europe. And I do suspect that the people from Europe that backed the Rift project are no less than the number of people that did it in the US…
The game Alien Swarm was released for free by Valve and it it has turned out to be a real gem, not only because the game is good and fun to play, but also because it looks quite well when played in stereo 3D mode with 3D Vision. Alien Swarm is based on the Source engine and puts you into an epic bug hunt featuring a unique blend of co-op play and squad-level tactics where you can form a squad of four distinct IAF Marine classes with your friends. Plan your attack using an unlockable arsenal of weapons with countless loadout configurations against a wide variety of aliens and kill pretty much everything that moves. Blaze your way through an overrun, off-world colony, eradicating the alien infestation in environments ranging from the icy planet’s surface, to a subterranean lava-flooded mining facility… in a top view action game.
As I’ve said Alien Swarm looks very well in stereo 3D mode, however it is not perfect. There is not yet an official 3D Vision profile for the game, but with the default settings it looks very well as the game is better played with depth only and maybe just a few pop-out effects like explosions and aliens flying up to your face (you can try playing with convergence level). The HUD of the game in in 2D, but that is not an issue actually, you should only consider using up to about 1/3 of the maximum depth level as if you go above that the onscreen messages might be hard for you to focus on as they appear on screen depth and can seem doubled if you have too high separation in the game world. You can also notice a bit of ghosting in high contrasting objects, but that is not a serious issue as well, but you better try the game yourself and share your comments about it…