- Fans are creating their own mods for the popular game Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) to play in virtual reality (VR) on their headsets.
- One enthusiast, "Silent Chill", has combined a full motion simulator with an Oculus CV1 and the game for an immersive, in-game driving experience.
- Despite the challenges with camera control, the results provide a unique and exciting view of Los Santos.
You VR enthusiasts just can't keep away from GTA 5, can you? The recent release of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift has sent ripples through the gaming industry. The massive boom of VR has once and for all silenced those voices that claimed it to be a passing fad with no place in the mainstream. Despite the relatively limited compatibility with non-specifically developed VR games, the devices have pretty wide libraries.
Why? Modding. Fans and enthusiasts who know a thing or two about coding have managed to get non-VR games running on various VR headsets. GTA 5, Rockstar's massive juggernaut of a game is among the most frequently modded for Virtual Reality. This probably stems from the fact that there is no official VR version available - nor will there ever be - and that the game is extremely popular.
However we've seen GTA 5 running on VR before - it's not exactly spectacle anymore. Combining it with a fully functional motion simulator replicating the sensation of actually driving a car? While in VR? That's spectacle.
Simulation enthusiast and GTA 5 fan who goes by the online moniker "Silent Chill" has recently MacGyvered-together a large 6 degrees of motion simulation rig with an Oculus CV1. He's also modded the game to be compatible with the VR headset.
The result? Something that would be amazing for certain users and absolutely nauseating for others. Not only does the Rift's head-tracking make looking around feel real, the simulator makes the user feel like they're actually in the car that they're driving in-game.
Of course, this presents some issues. The headset's motion tracker also registered the movements of the 6DOF rig, making camera-control nigh impossible during complex maneuvers. The project could be following while it was in progress on the XSimulator.net website.
Among the various tools used to make this become reality is Vorpx. The Vorpx software is what is used to make games that aren't VR capable on their own compatible with the Rift and Vive headsets, though in some cases it takes more than a little elbow-grease to get working.
The video features Silent Chill trying out the 6DOF-VR hybrid with GTA 5 for the first time on camera. As is the case with many games not designed for VR (as well as those which are, in some cases), he needs some time before he gets his grips with the world around him.
Playing as Franklin, he quickly gets into a car to try out the 6DOF rig (which even has a flight-stick installed!) and gets into some high-speed crashes. The camera set up pointed at the motion simulator shows just how animated and... violent the machine is, shaking Silent Chill up pretty good.
To top things off, at the end of the video, he hops into a small plane to test the contraption out with. That flight stick we mentioned earlier gets used here to full effect. Some beautiful shots are to be had of sunset over Los Santos - right before our enterprising player gets wasted.
Much of the video shows off how the motion simulator works with GTA 5 driving. Using similar machines with a monitor secured to the front, moving along with it just doesn't convey the same sensations as this approach, making it truly novel.
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive took the gaming industry by storm, raking up impressive sales and overwhelmingly positive response from both the press and the public. Many AAA publishers quickly jumped on the VR bandwagon with a game of their own in order to plant the proverbial flag upon this new and fertile land. Rockstar - and Take-Two, for that matter - have yet to do this.
Would you sit into the rig shown in the video, or do you prefer playing GTA 5 from the couch with a regular display?
Certain images courtesy of this blog.