Former Firewall: Zero Hour developer Adam Orth thinks that standalone headsets like Oculus Quest could mark a turning point for the VR industry.
Speaking to Game Daily, Orth revealed that he has “three or four” VR projects “in the stages of being greenlit.” One of those includes work on a potential Oculus Quest game, though it’s yet to be approved by Oculus itself.
Orth left his role at First Contact Entertainment shortly before the release of Firewall, our 2018 VR Game of the Year. Before that he also worked on Oculus Rift launch title, Adrift. Now he’s back to working as an independent VR developer. He admitted it’s a risky business, but the arrival of standalone headsets should improve VR’s prospects.
“As a creator, I’m super okay with taking that graphics hit because I’m very comfortable and believe in designing and creating with boundaries,” Orth said. “I’m willing to take that hit because I believe in the freedom of wireless and the things that you can do there.”
He later added: “You’ve got to take risks right now if you want to do big things in VR. It’s the price of admission for developing [in VR]. But when you think about the Oculus Quest and the standalone headsets? Everyone’s going to have them at some point.”
Standalone headsets feature all the necessary compute power inside of the device itself. That means there’s no need for an expensive PC or smartphone. Headsets like the Oculus Quest also deliver six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positional tracking. Breaking down barriers to entry such as this has many hoping standalone headsets will increase VR adoption.
As for his projects, Orth has high hopes. “I have some ideas that I’m really excited about, probably more excited about than my other VR games,” he said.
Orth will be speaking at GDC 2019 in San Francisco next week. He’s one of a handful of talks VR devs shouldn’t miss.