Technolust is one of the most interesting experiments currently in development for Oculus Rift. Made by the team IRIS VR, this is the first cyberpunk immersive experience for the device invented by Palmer Luckey. The project has been funded on Kickstarter, where it achieved and double the set goal is. We got in touch with Blair Renaud, the game’s developer, who told us his point of view on the creation of virtual reality games.

How did you get the idea for Technolust?
It was a combination of things really. First was the need for cyberpunk in VR. It started off as a smaller idea about a security guard in a dystopian building following Oculus’ “Best practices for VR” document very closely. Kind a cyberpunk, VR version of “Papers Please”. The more I worked on it, the more the scope expanded though. I write a lot of short stories, and I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from older work. It’s also obviously influenced by popular cyberpunk fiction from the 80s and 90s.

How was your creative process influenced and changed by Oculus Rift?
I think designing an experience for the Rift is a lot different from a standard game. I like to think of it more as writing a holodeck program. I think to myself, “What would I like to do in this world?” or “what belongs here?”. The game is constantly evolving the more I work on. Some days I don’t even know where it will take me.

technolust 1

Which techniques did you use to create a sense of immersion in the user?
I think some things that are very important are things that you would normally take for granted. Things like lighting, and sound design as well as a general feeling of a place being lived in. Everything is dirty in real life. Don’t beleive me? Lean forward and take a look at the cracks in your keyboard. See! Dirt! Haha. A simple layer of dust floating between your eyes and a TV screen is enough to trick your brain in to thinking it’s there.

As a game developer, which are the things that you can do with virtual reality that you wouldn’t otherwise do?
I think the main thing you can do in VR that isn’t possible normaly is that sense of presence and awe just from being in a cool location. You can see this from many of the current demos out there. A lot of the most popular stuff is nothing more than a cool location that you can visit.


In the photo, Blair Renaud, developer of Technolust

And, on the contrary, which are the obstacles and the challenges derived from virtual reality?
The most obvious challenges are mostly technical. It’s pretty dificult to make something look realy great and maintain 75fps (95fps for CV1). Aside from that, first person control in VR is still not completely figured out. Different control schemes effect everyone differently. Something that makes me completely comfortable (using a mouse) may make someone else feel ill. I don’t think we’ll really know what works best until VR is out there for everyone to try.

Which games do you think are best suitable for the Oculus Rift?
Adventure games, exploration games/experiences, racing games work well. The socail stuff is great too. Haha.. I don’t know. I guess everything that works well in real life.

Do you think that VR games are going to become as popular as traditional games in the future?
My personal opinion is that VR will be more popular than traditional games, film and social media combined. It really is the last media anyone should need to buy. (holodeck pending).

What is your dream project for the Oculus Rift?
I’m working on it right now. I would also like a good futuristic racing game. Radial-G is a good example.

Which future do you see for virtual reality? Do you think is something that can change the way people live? If yes, how?
I think it will change everyones lives in one way or another. Think how much life has changed since the iPhone. The adoption rate for realyl great technology is getting better all the time. Hopefully there will be a rift on the heads of poor children around the world soon. Enabling them to learn and explore places they otherwise wouldn’t be able to dream of.

A proposito dell'autore

Guglielmo De Gregori
Editor ­in­ Chief

Dopo aver visto ogni fotogramma di Ghost in the Shell e Blade Runner, la sua vita non è stata più la stessa. Crede nel transumanesimo, aspetta ogni giorno l’arrivo della singolarità e il momento in cui potrà sostituire il suo corpo con una controparte sintetica. Nel frattempo, inganna l’attesa con la fantascienza, i videogiochi e, naturalmente, la realtà virtuale.

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