With EVE: Valkyrie set to make the jump to our universe sometime this year , at least one big question remains clearly on-screen. How will pilots in the space shooter react when using a headset like the Oculus Rift? CCP Games CEO Hilmar Pétursson tells Wired in a recent interview (opens in new tab) that, so far, the experience should be "very natural."
Pétursson focuses on an important point for people curious about the possibilities of virtual reality, but who've maybe never had the chance to see if they have an issue with motion sickness. What exactly will it feel like to simulate zero gravity in VR? Pétursson says sickness isn't a problem for Valkyrie.
"Many people dread motion sickness doing this but what I think is, because you're in a spaceship sitting down and space is weightless, the gravity and turns, even though there would be [G-force] in space, you don't feel it [in-game] as much as if it were an aeroplane," he says. "It works out super nicely."
He attributes the "super" result to the game's UI, frame rate, and the fact that the shooter was conceived from the beginning to take specific advantage the Oculus Rift. In describing the potential of headset technology, Pétursson also commented on virtual reality and gaming more generally: "Our goal is to make virtual reality more meaningful than real life," he says. "I think we're making good progress! Certainly something like a VR headset helps a lot with that. When we said this first in 2008 people just looked at me like, 'Hilmar, that's weird—don't you have a family and things like that?' Of course.That's not what I mean about real life. But think about how poorly designed real life is."
With so many problems—big and small—affecting the planet, Pétursson says one thing technologies like virtual reality can show us is the possibility for a "better" alternative.
"Putting people together through computers in massive immersive experiences seems so much more enjoyable than some of the stuff our reality is offering us," he says.
An ambitious goal, to be sure, but one that somehow seems appropriate for the company that brought us EVE: Online and its massive , player-driven sandbox. While the sentiment above rings true, I'm also just looking forward to getting my hands on a, hopefully, well-made and cleverly-designed space shooter. That would mean a lot to me.