A few weeks ago I heard of an opportunity to give an Oculus Rift a run for its money during some trials that were being undertaken at Blitz Games Studios. I quickly added my name to the list of potential candidates for the trials and was lucky enough to get a slot. I’d heard quite a bit about this Virtual Reality (VR) headset, mainly because of working in a gaming environment, however, the feedback I’d heard wasn’t all that good; it was mainly what it made you feel like during/after the experience, I’ll explain more later.
The slot I was given was at 10:30am on a Monday morning. I came into work feeling surprisingly good for a Monday morning; oh how that was about to change. I knew that quite a few people had been experiencing nausea from this device, but I was determined to prove them wrong and actually enjoy the experience.
The Museum of the Microstar
I arrived at my trail slot, placed the headset on and grabbed the Xbox controller. This experience was a project called The Museum of the Microstar. It contained a huge sci-fi museum which had a incredible particle generator in the centre constantly expanding and contracting. At this point I was totally gob-smacked and amazed at how responsive the moving of my head was in relation to the game moving in front of my eyes. I took a walk around, admiring the views and even dared to look over the edge of one of the, very high, platforms. It actually gave me the slightest vertigo.
The Tuscany World
My next experience was a demo created by Unity called Oculus World Demo. This was basically just a house on an island surrounded by a lake. By this time in the trial I was starting to experience the slight nausea that all those people had spoken about. The experience of this house was incredible still, however, it was the looking around the house and being able to experience the outside of the house moving around as well as the inside by me moving my head around – real life stuff really, but my body was not moving. Maybe that was the key to my nausea.
This was my third and final experience on the Rift, and it didn’t last long. By this time I was feeling incredibly nauseous and ended up staring at a wall for a couple of minutes to stop the feeling that the rift gave you. After trying to get back into the game again, it made me feel worse, so I decided to call it a day.
During my half-hour game play I went from feeling pretty good, too pretty miserable. And it didn’t stop there, for a good hour after my eyes were finding it hard to focus and I still had the occasional nauseous feeling. However, credit where credit is due, the whole experience was very good! It’s incredible how good the Rift is and once they find the issue behind the nauseous feeling and fix it, it’ll definitely be taking off! My advice: If you have the opportunity to give one of these a test, do it! You’ll not regret it.