Oculus Rift Should Not Be Driving Force for Design – Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Creative Director

Creative director Dan Pinchbeck talks about avoiding gimmicks with Oculus Rift.

Whe magic of Oculus Rift, a commercial VR headset aimed specifically at games, is nearly upon us. We talked to Dan Pinchbeck, Creative Director of thechineseroom working on Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs on his thoughts regarding the device. He provided some insight on how, despite it seeming like the next step for horror games, it’s not necessarily the driving force for design in video games.

“Maybe, but I’m really shortsighted and those kind of devices, like 3D, screw with my eyesight and give me headaches, so I’m not instinctively drawn to them. I think my basic take on it is that I don’t think there’s been a case yet where 3D has made a bad film good, or a good film great.

“I think it’ll be the same with games. System Shock 2 is still one of the best, most scary games ever made and it’s pretty old, the graphics are pretty dated. But the crucial thing is you just don’t care or notice. If a game, or book, or film, or whatever is well designed, and gets under your skin, that kind of stuff is really just window dressing.

Oculus Rift

“At least for the time being. I’m sure eventually we’ll figure out how to make things that are super optimized for new tech, but it shouldn’t be the driving force for design.”

So while the technology may add to the experience, it shouldn’t be reduced to a gimmick in order to get over with audiences.


  • Dave

    Do agree that story, etc. Ultimately make the game. But this isn’t just adding 3D. It’s tricking your brain into thinking you’re actually there, which, in my opinion, is a game changer in the realm of scaring the shit out of your audience.

    • SchmeltZ

      I agree with you. Seems like this guy is missing the point of the Rift big time.

    • Garet

      Yeah…

      This actually makes me sad, I’d love to see this guy take the Rift into consideration. He’s obviously still thinking the Rift is no different then other 3D headsets.

  • http://profiles.google.com/externalmonologue Matthew Fuller

    He seems to think its marketing, which is great! So when he does in fact try it, he will reconsider his position giving the quality of the experience. Heck, even if its a few years down the road, by then oculus will have made better user interfaces (like data gloves) and higher resolution screens, and lower latency. This is actually promising.

    :)

    Also, sounds like the person in charge of asking the questions didn’t do his/her homework.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Denny-Unger/567351941 Denny Unger

    Hi Ravi! Denny Unger here. We just launched a game built specifically for the Oculus Rift on Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/494598080/the-gallery-six-elements . I have a few things to say about what the format brings to the gaming experience and I’d love to share them with you if you’d like a counterpoint to this article. Please get in touch :)

  • Bob dole

    He really thinks the difference is just that its stereoscopic? What a great idea it was to get the opinion who obviously knows nothing on the topic.

  • nt

    The guy is an idiot.

  • smemmo

    hopefully someone will tie him down to a chair and actually make him try it out. i haven’t tried it out but from what i’ve seen of what it’s capable of it is not just merely some new gimick. it creates full depth perception and tracks your head movements. you turn your actual head and the camera in the game turns with it. if a machine for pigs doesn’t get official support, at least maybe some people will reformat the game for oculus rift support. there’s only a certain level of immersion you can achieve with a monitor, no matter how big it is. the next step for immersion is head-tracking, simulated depth and visual isolation from your surroundings. everyone i’ve heard say anything about it always says one thing in common- “i’m IN the game”

  • http://mercetron.blogspot.com/ Dan E.

    Designing specifically for it is one thing, but making the Oculus work for it is another. I would love to be able to play Amnesia with it. It’s so fundamentally different than “just 3D” (which I have little interest for). It’s about total audiovisual immersion.

  • Isolation

    That guy is so retarded it hurts my eyes to read what he said. -_- “Blah blah blah, my eyes don’t like 3d, blaaah, I’ll probably never make it compatible, you got a problem with that? PFFFF” <– I hate him x)

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