The last two days saw the conclusion of the Steam Developer Days, a 2 day invite-only conference for devs and Steam colleagues, and the SCS team attended!
Here’s a good writeup of the happenings, which mostly do not concern trucking games directly, BUT the implications of Valve’s predictions and advisement to developers, not to mention Valve’s VR prototype and the new Steam Controller, not to mention some of the best minds of the video game industry getting together to talk about their games and experiences could mean a lot for the future.
Oculus Rift released a platform-wide Recommended Practices (https://developer.oculusvr.com/best-practices (PDF)) documentation intended to shape the development of VR games. According to Valve, within the next two years we will be seeing a generic VR system on the market. Oculus and Valve are working together to accommodate future games.
“Stop thinking about porting existing games.” – Oculus founder Palmer Luckey
I can imagine Pavel Sebor going home to the Prague office after the event and telling everyone in the office: “get ready to make our first VR trucking game in 2 years”.
Okay I might be wrong, but the implications of a working VR system for truck sims, let alone every other type of PC game are staggering. Not only will be probably have our own avatar in the game, the ease of driving will be incomparable to today’s standards. Many people in the trucksim community already utilize a headtracker system like trackIR, the inclusion of a VR headset will make these systems redundant.
“Everything we build requires head-tracking.” – Oculus founder Palmer Luckey
Palmer thinks experiences such as “Hearthstone VR”, “Fifa VR” and “Sims VR” will be crazy succesful. What about truck simulation? If ETS2 was any indication, a Virtual Truck Simulator could be one of the first games on the new platform to change the way people look at and perceive VR.
User-Generated Content. We all know how fond SCS is of modders, and modders of Euro Truck games. Valve’s released numbers about a shared UGC hub like the Skyrim Workshop imply that there is a huge audience and demand for this kind of online content-sharing. The current system of free mod distribution has its drawbacks, but SCS is definitely going in the right direction with their modding tools and plans for a global united community under the hood of World of Trucks. Sharing mods could in reality be much easier though.
“People are going to mod a successful game anyway, so it’s best to help them out and improve it for everyone.”
We’ll see what the future brings, for now, just imagine that you put on your headset and simply lie back to use an intuitive visual interface to log in World of Trucks VR (c) SCS, select your favourite mods to drive with a few motions and fly in Matrix-style with your driver to land next to your truck, the next haul awaiting. You look up to the driver’s seat, glance around the sunny morning, then climb up and start the engine, enjoying a full 360′ view in every direction. Yep, VR is coming.
Many thanks to the good folks over at the Steam Database Blog for their excellent coverage!