Kart racing is something many have dreamed of doing in virtual reality (VR). Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) owners already have one such title to enjoy in VR Karts from Viewpoint Games. But those that own Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-based HMD have been missing out on the genre thus far. That’s set to change soon as indie developer Ben Wilson has revealed his entry into the ongoing Oculus Mobile VR Jam, which tasks applicants with creating new content for Gear VR. Wilson’s project is a new karting experience named WHEELS.
Many will remember Wilson’s name for having worked on an unofficial VR adaption of Nintendo’s popular Mario Kart series. The developer stopped work on the project to avoid potential legal issues, and is now focusing his efforts on create what he describes as essentially the same videogame but with his own assets. The result is WHEELS, which is entering the videogame category of the Mobile VR Jam. The current state of the project includes four courses in which eight AI racers compete with players.
WHEELS‘ colourful tracks include Cliffrock Coast, taking place on a peaceful cliffside, Mount Thundersmoke in which players ascend a massive volcano, Frostfreeze Forest, a winter environment and Cloudgate Skyline which was inspired by the classic Rainbow Road levels seen in the Mario Kart series. Items also feature, including different types of missiles, temporary boosts, slow-down weapons and a bear trap that hinders the target’s progress.
Mutliplayer support isn’t included in the VR jam version of WHEELS due to time constraints. That said, Wilson hopes to continue to work on the project following the Jam, releasing a more feature-complete version. The developer will also consider bringing the project to the Oculus Rift in the future. The developer will be updating progress on the project over on the official Oculus VR forums.
The videogame category of the Mobile VR Jam is offering a grand prize of $200,000 USD. Runner ups will secure $100,000, $50,000 and $10,000 respectively.