Virtual reality (VR) technology has already attracted some of the biggest talent in the videogame industry today. Legends such as John Carmack and Michael Abrash are working hard at Oculus VR, while Half-Life creator Valve is powering the HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD) with SteamVR. In terms of developers, big names like Insomniac Games and Polyphony Digital are already working. But there are still plenty of people to win over. One developer that has changed his mind on the tech is Bethesda Softworks’ Jeff Gardiner, Lead Producer on last year’s hit RPG, Fallout 4.
Speaking to Ars Technica, Gardiner noted that he had been ‘blown away’ by what he had tried in VR. “I was a little skeptical when I first put them on, but I have to say I was really blown away,” he said. “I felt emotions that I think were impossible to reproduce without that medium—a real sense of fear, a real sense of wonder.”
Based on his descriptions, it would appear that Gardiner was able to demo Valve’s own demo for the HTC Vive that used the fiction of its popular puzzle series, Portal. He talked of the moment in the demo when “they open up the thing in the bottom of the floor, and I honestly felt for a second… my gut reaction was a fear of falling. No matter how good you do on a 2D screen, you can’t reproduce that.”
Bethesda Softworks’ titles are often brought up when VR enthusiasts talk about dream projects. The company creates vast landscapes that can be explored in first-person. No doubt many are hoping that the studio will be looking to support the tech with its next videogame which, if history is any indicator, should be a new entry in The Elder Scrolls franchise. Such a title is no doubt years from release, though, given that Fallout 4 launched late last year and has an extensive DLC season currently mapped out for 2016.
Stay tuned to VRFocus for the latest on VR technology.