‘Hawken’ Developer Offers Details On Virtual Reality Gaming

'Hawken' developer talks challenges of virtual reality

Hawken developer Adhesive Games has opened up on the challenges of virtual reality gaming.

Doom 3: BFG Edition is not shipping with Oculus Rift after all, but Adhesive Games has stepped up to the plate and offered its free-to-play mech game Hawken for inclusion in the launch of the VR goggles.

Hawken was on display at GDC (Game Developers Conference) to show off the virtual reality experience of Oculus Rift. The demo of Hawken was missing a few features, such as the HUD and targeting reticule (the cross-hairs most shooters offer to help you aim), part of many features that had to be left out due to the early challenges of virtual reality gaming.

Hawken producer Jason Hughes explained this to Shacknews, “We actually pulled a lot of things out of that demo. One of the most interesting things we found while getting this demo ready for GDC is how much is too much information for the player. HUD aspects are something that will take some tweaking because we need to figure out where is that spacing in relation to your eyes.”

Virtual reality is different from HD gaming on your flat-screen TV, in that the display technically has to be placed in 3D space, so anything fixed in place has to be a set distance away from the screen. After all, nobody wants to screw it up and make the next Virtual Boy. The depth of the cockpit has to feel right, says the Hawken developer, but first-timers will be more interested in just playing around, not taking anything seriously.

Jason Hughes said, “At first we tried to focus on the multiplayer experience, but then we realized that for the four or five minutes that someone is going to be sitting there, everyone seemed to be more interested in trying the goggles out than getting in there to battle, so we pulled a lot more stuff out for a better first-time experience.”

Hawken gameplay

The VR goggles will need a different HUD than the version you see on the flat screen HDTV, so a lot of things still have to be done, and even the goggles themselves are still in the planning phases.

How do you feel about the developer challenges of virtual reality gaming? Would you play Hawken on the Oculus Rift VR goggles?