Within the realm of virtual reality, there have been exciting leaps and bounds taking place in the last few years in terms of VR hardware and games. Through the utilization of motion simulator technology, coupled with VR hardware options like HTC Vive or Oculus Rift (DK2 and now the CV1), the potential for a new level of gaming experience is quickly revealing itself. Virtual reality presents a type of gaming experience unlike any before it, in the basic sense that the entire VR interface is set up to be vastly more integrated into the actual world of a game than a previous conventional gaming system could possibly offer players. For the benefit of everyone interested in the amazing qualities of virtual reality gaming, information about the VR game called Elite Dangerous and other basic insights about how to build a great VR gaming setup will be offered here.
Elite Dangerous: A Virtual Reality Gaming Experience
Elite Dangerous is a VR game developed by a company called Frontier, and it was released on January 12, 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. As a space simulator based game, this is an experience that is extremely ethereal and exciting for the user. Racing around asteroid fields and other space borne environments, the player feels truly immersed in the varying cosmic arenas presented in the game. As far as the hardware for experiencing this game, optimally a player should have one of the high end VR headsets now available (Oculus Rift or HTC Vive) in order to play Elite Dangerous though the older Oculus Rift DK2 is also very effective. There is more flexibility when it comes to the available controller schemes which are compatible with this game, and those include the use of an Xbox controller or a mouse and keyboard. For a truly immersive experience, elite Dangerous supports the use of a special seats (e.g. playseat.com) with Hands On Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) which is essentially a joystick and throttle control. Additionally, foot pedals will allow the user to control yaw of the spacecraft. This is the perfect game title to explore for those virtual reality gaming enthusiasts who want to have an experience with playing a game which is based mostly in the concept of space adventure.
A player will spend their time completing missions, acquiring new equipment items and space ships, engaging in combat or chases, and other similar activities. It is possible to become engrossed in this game for long periods of time, and this is true for multiple reasons. For one thing, there tends to be a fairly steep learning curve associated with Elite Dangerous, as many players report that it does take a long time to become acquainted with the controls and overall interface of the game. Keep in mind that in VR, you will be able to see your keyboard but you’ll need to use up to 40 different controls. For this reason, a HOTAS system is highly recommended. Once a player understands how best to play the game, however, it becomes a galactic odyssey of epic proportions. It is certainly possible to let several hours slip by without even realizing it while playing this VR game, since the grand views of space and its heavenly bodies certainly have the ability to encourage a serene and peaceful, almost meditative state of mind. This peace is, of course, periodically interrupted by space combat which punctuates the gameplay with much needed action parts.
Under $500 DIY Motion Simulators
Having a motion simulator setup can make virtual reality gaming an even more immersive and realistic experience, especially in the case of playing Elite Dangerous. This is because a motion simulator is going to allow a player to feel the actual sensation of movement when they are maneuvering in their space ship while playing Elite Dangerous, and this has the potential to take the gaming experience to the next level. Although it can seem daunting to build your own motion simulator, it can be done, and sometimes for less money than one may assume. There are some DIY motion simulator builds which have been fabricated for less than $500.00, and for the ones that actually function effectively, this is a pretty great price. Basic motion simulators consist of a platform built from metal or wood, a pivot point U-joint which can be purchased from a junkyard and windshield wiper motors which can also be purchased second hand. Additionally, you’ll need some used power supplies from eBay, and a special control board (JRK or Arduino) which will connect your computer. These control boards cost less than $100. There is a free software package called Simtools which bridges the gap between many racing and flying games. For more info on how to build your own motion simulator, we suggest visiting x-simulator.net.
Although a game like Elite Dangerous is already exceptionally immersive in terms of providing a truly revolutionary space oriented gaming experience, adding the gameplay benefits provided by integrating a motion simulator can really take the game to a different level. It is one important leap to have the amazing optics provided by the latest VR headsets, but that can even feel stale once a player has been exposed to motion simulation. Regardless of the given hardware systems a player uses in their Elite Dangerous gameplay experience, this is a title which is sure to bring hours of engrossing fun. Anyone who enjoys the concept of playing a VR game in space is certainly going to appreciate this game.
Be a VR Pilot!