The organisers of the annual San Francisco Game Developers Conference event have begun announcing some of the panels and exhibitions for the GDC 2013 event, with two of the talks detailed today revealing that Valve Software has been experimenting with adapting Team Fortress 2 to be played using VR goggles (via Polygon):
Valve employees plan to share details of the Team Fortress 2 VR port at a pair of talks at this year's Game Developers Conference. The talks, one from programmer Joe Ludwig and one from wearable computing specialist Michael Abrash, will be technical in nature. Ludwig's talk will focus on the process of porting Team Fortress 2 to virtual reality goggles, touching on user interface design and integration of head tracking. Abrash's session looks at the convergence of key technologies that make VR gaming more viable than ever and explores the future of the interface.The description of Valve Programmer Joe Ludwig's talk, although by no means a confirmation, suggests that Valve's has been calibrating the Source Engine for compatibility with the upcoming Oculus Rift head-mounted display, as it specifically mentions a 90 degree field of view, and Valve is known to have had access to a Prototype Rift device with the same horizontal dimension.
These efforts have included "what stereo support entails, rendering 2D user interface in a 90 degree field of view display, dealing with view models and other rendering shortcuts, and how mouselook can interact with head tracking in a first person shooter." Ludwig will also share ideas on how a game specifically designed for virtual reality could avoid many of the issues that Valve faced when porting Team Fortress 2.Epic's Unreal Engine, and the Unity 3D engine have already commited support for the Rift's output and interface requirements, as well as id Software's Doom 3: BFG Edition, so the Source Engine would be another big win for the crowdfunded device.
Sweet, got some big names in the industry working on integrating the Rift hardware, hopefully this will mean the first tentative steps into VR being viable long-term.