The VR Conundrum


The Adventure Starts Here!
Well, we'll all have to be here on MoFo's 40th anniversary then, to see if you're right. I suspect you're closer to the truth than you might have intended.

"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."

there's a frog in my snake oil
So I'm building the least appropriate thing ever for a 'painting blobs in the air' app. A pointy spaceship

And then I flew it around with my hand. Because, um, because puppetry is a valid art form alright
Virtual Reality chatter on a movie site? Got endless amounts of it here. Reviews over here

there's a frog in my snake oil
I'm getting somewhere.

You don't want to know where. But I'm getting there

there's a frog in my snake oil
State of the Game World: Passion Over Pragmatism

This developer quote sums up VR marvellously:

Unfortunately currently VR games don't make economic sense to make. The reason we had a huge spike of VR games was the Steam direct came out the same time as the Vive, so everyone saw a blue ocean and took a shot. Now that everyone has their first game out of the way almost everyone won't follow up with a second.

There are a few that are continuing to support their first game (Thrill of the fight, H3VR), there are a few that moved on from a semi successful game (Sword Master VR to Jet Island) but most everyone else who isn't getting funded directly has now pulled out.

That said I'm working on my second VR game personally.
Beware these painful realities though...

Subnatica added VR support and it was so much work/a support hassle they didn't even bother having the same implementation on their followup. One would assume the function was already complete but it wasn't worth the both of QA/support to release it even as a mod/hack for the expansion.

Apparently VR usage of Subnatica was roughly 1% of the user-base but they had a massive out sized amount of negative reviews/support requests. In all likely-hood all said and done adding VR to Subnatica might have literally caused them to generate less revenue, if the negative reviews/complaints caused even 1% of non-vr players to not purchase. That's not even counting all of the custom development work/QA/support that went to supporting VR, so likely adding VR support cost them a considerable amount of profit.

A VR mode, is not an easy thing, nor does it make sense in the current market for most game makers to do it. In many cases you are correct that it's relativity easy to implement a very bad VR implementation (as stated above you can even do it yourself on any Unity game you want).

FYI if you want to look it up then search for people making Ghost of a Tale act like Moss (2 different mouse 3d action adventure games).

The market proof of this argument is in the lack of VR remasters, the only company I can think of that's been doing them is Bethesda with Skyrim/FO4. Bethesda has been invested in VR since before the Oculus so they likely followed through in those releases because they started working on them before the market reality (not many PCVR hmd are used often even if there are many out there) had shown itself.
Also neatly summed up by the NMS expansion in many ways, driven by this type of fizzy giddiness:

HG are probably one of the few outfits in the position to allow themselves to get carried away and let the ROI numbers hang. Will be interesting to see if it has a mini 'killer app' effect in that sense. I kinda doubt, even if it sings, that it'll make the money bag guys perk up elsewhere. Might feed that passion loop that bit more on the dev front though...

there's a frog in my snake oil
Damnn, and here comes the first wave of new unique VR games... purely for the Quest :/

I imagine a lot of this stuff will get either a straight port or a glossy take for the PC market, but dammit. That means even longer until I get a couple of hours of physics fun at a reasonable sale price

there's a frog in my snake oil
Ok so I made a daft short with that Quill model. It's an Elite in-joke

(Riffing on this meme)

The Adventure Starts Here!
That's fun. Love how the GameSpot reporter kept hedging on whether he'd ever buy one or whether he thinks gaming would eventually go in this direction.

Of course it's going in this direction. Now, how long it'll take to become pervasive is another question, but it's clearly going to go this way.

there's a frog in my snake oil
This is intriguing...

A puzzle shooter with a nifty looking gravity-flipping mechanic. Probably one for vets with their VR legs, but the quick flip transition actually looks like it might not be too punishing.

Another early access indie, yay


Oh and for posterity, NMS is both thoroughly rad in VR, and incredibly sketchy

General VR blathering starts here on the NMS thread

there's a frog in my snake oil
Some VR-related musing from NMS:

On the VR, an interface issue of note is the galaxy map. At the moment the game literally moves me the opposite way to which I'm pointing... Which I can just about fix by holding my hand behind me like a dorsal fin and slowly proceeding forward . But I suspect there must be a better way... (I think you're supposed to grab first and then extend your hand out like superman in the desired direction. It's just not really working...)

Kinda leads me too...

Retro Ponders:

VR play is making me feel like a kid figuring out a hacked game again. And it's kinda a gameplay strand in its own right

It's partially the grainy, lower-poly graphics that are triggering some fond nostalgia, and partially butting wits with defeatable bugs. But also VR ports come with this expanse of unexplained and/or untested interactions and oddities.

I don't blame them for not having comprehensive guides, or for all the edge case stuff and semi-bodged functions that don't translate neatly. (The new tutorial missions are actually pretty slick here). And thankfully it's actually kinda fun conducting physical experiments on myself to figure things out . Rocket Boots? Ok not convinced right now - being catapulted sideways at speed when landing on slanted ground is fairly disconcerting...