Two Eve Fanfests ago, CCP showed a space dogfighting prototype named Eve VR; such was the reception, they’ve since devoted a 30-plus team in Newcastle to the task of turning it into an Oculus Rift launch title: Eve: Valkyrie.
It’s a process the company are hoping to repeat at their Atlanta and Shanghai studios – where four contrasting VR prototypes are currently in development.
During the opening keynote of Fanfest 2015, CCP boss Hilmar Veigar Pétursson referenced a previous talk in which he’d dreamed out loud about hurling fireballs with his hands in VR.
“If I were to move my hand and there was a Kinect watching me, I could somehow make a fireball with my mind and I could shoot,” he imagined.
While it was “kind of crazy talk” at the time, a fireball-hurling prototype is now in development at CCP Atlanta, using a VR headset and a “jumbling of hardware and technologies” to track limb motion.
The fireball demo also includes physics-based box-kicking, and a hexagonal map of Iceland which can be pressed and pushed to produce ripples.
Atlanta are working, too, on a Tron-inspired disc-hurling game in which two players, tracked by two different cameras, face off competitively. But the real favourite for Eve fans will be the ‘ship spinner’ – which allows users to turn and examine large ships from the lore with their hands, before pushing their heads through the armour to inspect the bridge and engines inside.
Over in Shanghai, CCP have built Project Nemesis – a static shooter in which players man a turret on a huge battleship – moving their head to aim, and stroking or tapping the Gear VR’s side touchpads to fire. Hilmar describes it as a “mixture of Invaders and Missile Command.”
Nemesis currently runs on a smartphone, but staff have indicated that the prototype could go in a number of directions.
“Where [VR Labs] is going to go, we’re not entirely sure,” said Veigar Pétursson. “This is really rough, basic prototype stuff, [but] has the potential to go somewhere. We want to replicate the success of the journey of Eve VR.”
What sort of 3D excursions into space would you like to see emerge from CCP’s experiments?