Infliction in VR?
So the game has been announced with small to moderate interest thus far. This is to be expected since I haven't invested more than a couple of hundred bucks in to marketing at this stage. There is one question that I'm asked fairly frequently though. "Will this game be in VR?".
The short answer to this question is no....but!
Wait a minute,... Why not?
Well, I started development on infliction in January 2016 in a part time capacity. The Oculus Rift came out around 3 months after development had started and I didn't get a headset of my own until around July/August 2017. To be honest I didn't care much about VR. I'd never experienced it and thought it was likely to be a fad. That is until I got one and experienced VR for the first time. My god, it's awesome, motion sickness aside.
Of course the first thing I did was start up Infliction in engine, throw on my rift and checked out the world I had constructed. There is nothing quite like exploring your own environment in VR. So after about 20 minutes of running around in there, I experienced about 2 days of motion sickness.
There is nothing like the threat of vomit to put you in overdrive to solve the issue. Down the VR development rabbit hole I went and I learned a great many things about developing for VR. First of all, You cannot, under any circumstances, have any kind of camera manipulation in VR like a walking head bob. That problem is easy enough to solve but the other major problem.... The game needs to run at a smooth 90 frames per second.
I get anywhere from 120 to 60 on my machine depending whats on screen and was targeting 30 fps as a minimum. The main reason Infliction is a resource hog is because of it's dynamic lighting and shadows. Dynamic lighting is built in to the games design and there are a number of assets that weren't designed with static light maps in mind. Several articles online have stated "avoid dynamic lighting in VR at all costs" due to the performance overhead.
In order to have Infliction running in VR, I'd have to dismantle the entire game, modify many of the assets and re-design one of the core mechanics. At 18 months in to development it's simply too late to do this and I really don't want to tack on some half arsed VR mode. If it's not up to my own standards, how could I expect anyone else to be happy with it.
This is all a blessing in disguise though. I want to develop my next game in VR so the solution is simple. I'd like to create Infliction VR. This would be a stand alone game that is very similar to the original but designed from the ground up with VR in mind. Of course I'd have to offer this for free to anyone that has purchased Infliction already and then bundle it with the original game for new comers.
So, When will Inflction VR be available? Well, these are all just ideas and plans at the moment. Because I'm a one man team it's impossible for me to guarantee a timeline. Life happens and priorities change. Currently the plan is to release Infliction on PC. Followed by a console port (Undecided on platforms as of yet). Once all that is done, begin work on the VR version which would target Rift and Vive with a view to port to PSVR.
Once I begin work on this version I'll update everyone with whats happening so chack back here or over social media for updates.