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Sci-Fi Racer Distance Gets ‘Experimental’ VR Support

Since its release on Steam Early Access back in December 2014 indie developer Refract has made it clear that it intends to add support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) to it’s racing title, Distance. That support was on display PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington last month as part of the Indie Megabooth line-up – and VRFocus will have coverage on it soon – but Refract has now added it as an ‘experimental’ update for Distance‘s pre-release version.

Distance_1

Refract confirmed that it has released an ‘early version’ of the Oculus Rift support earlier this week. Players will need the Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2) to test it out.

The developer has also confirmed that much more is on the way in a post-PAX update on Steam recently. “Jason has been working his absolute tail off trying to squash physics and UI bugs, and we’re down to the wire in terms of fixes,” the team explained. “If you want to play what is essentially the build we’ll be shipping very very soon, go experimental.”

As noted by the developer, the new update will include:

– New physics engine
– Better overall performance
– Faster level loading
– UI revamp (including mouse support in all menus)
– Challenge and Soccer mode improvements
– Hundreds of bug fixes
– DirectX 11 support (if desired)
– Cockpit view
– Oculus Rift integration
– Lots of new editor assets

Distance is described by its developer as a ‘survival racing game’ and a ‘spiritual successor’ to a title named Nitronic Rush. Players steer a futuristic vehicle across twisted sci-fi landscapes and are able to make the vehicle jump, boost and even fly. Intriguingly, the title’s single-player campaign has story elements in it that wouldn’t usually be see in a racing title. The full version of Distance is aiming for a release in the remainder of 2015.

VRFocus will continue to follow Refract closely, reporting back with the latest updates on the title’s progress.