Doom VR Executive Producer Marty Stratton sheds light on Doom VR, how Bethesda are approaching the project, what VR hardware they’re targeting and whether it’ll ever see a full release.

After thrusting a glimpse of a modern VR technology into the public realm 4 years ago at E3 2012 there’s a certain irony in Bethesda’s flurry of VR activity at this year’s show. 4 years ago, John Carmack exhibited a modified Doom 3 BFG running on a prototype headset that would eventually evolve to become the Oculus Rift. At E3 2016 however, after what felt like a 4 year embargo on anything VR, Bethesda brought it’s big guns to the show to convince everyone they were “all in” on virtual reality.

Ignoring any alleged legal strife between Carmack (now Oculus CTO) and his former employers, it was good to see not only a VR version of seminal shooter Doom front and centre, but Fallout 4 too! It was clear that both virtual reality experiences were very early prototypes, but as E3 2016 closed, it wasn’t entirely clear where id was going with Doom VR. Was it a PR exercise? Would the demo be released? Will there ever be a full virtual reality version of Doom we can buy?

John Carmack at E3 2012, now Oculus VR CTO
John Carmack at E3 2012, now Oculus VR CTO

In an interview with Shacknews, speaking at Quakecon 2016, Game Director and Executive Producer at id Software Marty Stratton has shed a little light on some of these questions and more.

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When questioned about fellow stablemates Bethesda and whether the Doom VR and Fallout 4 VR teams ever shared ideas on the projects, Stratton replies “Absolutely, there is a ton of collaboration. I can’t really go into the specifics of it, but it definitely is and has been a Bethesda initiative for a while now,” and finally “A lot of collaboration between the teams with the Fallout stuff and the Doom stuff. It’s been really nice.”

On the question of whether Doom VR would ever see the light of day as a fully-fledged product, Stratton is open about the project’s current status: “It is a kind of a public R&D project for us to an extent. To have VR, to take it to shows, show people the possibilities and the capabilities and get feedback to understand how they’re reacting to it. We made a lot of changes in what we did just between E3 and this,” clearly the development teams are iterating rapidly on the project – which is certainly a good sign.

doom-vr-bethesda-vr-e3-2016

As to whether that iteration would eventually lead to a final, purchasable product, Stratton was optimistic yet non-committal: “There is, I’m sure, a Doom product in there and we are kind of molding the clay right now as to what that becomes. I think the important thing is that we just don’t think of it as a Doom port to VR. That’s not the right way to go about it. It is about creating a Doom experience within VR that is made for VR.”

Hands-on: ‘Fallout 4′ on Vive Offers a Peek at the Future of ‘AAA’ VR
Hands-on: ‘Fallout 4′ on Vive Offers a Peek at the Future of ‘AAA’ VR

Finally, as both Doom VR and Fallout 4 VR were shown exclusively on the HTC Vive, what is id’s stance on VR platforms right now? “The way the technology is set up, we are fairly (platform) agnostic. We’ve been using the HTC Vive headsets for E3 and here, but we’re not really tied to anything in particular and I’m sure we will continue to look at all the possibilities as we move forward.”

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I think it’s quite positive that Bethesda are finally publicly demonstrating their commitment to VR as a platform, but even better that, both the Doom and Fallout teams are seemingly approaching the R&D process collaboratively and openly gathering feedback wherever they can.

You can check out the full interview video above or checkout the full transcript over at Shacknews here, but here are some of the highlights.

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  • Ed

    If you look with the mouse and keep your head still, you can (or at least I did, a while back) have amazing VR experiences with traditional FPS games and VorpX (I was on the DK2, async timewarp helped A LOT). I didn’t get motion sick except for when I moved my head around while I was movingrotating my view in the game world already, or when the settings were borked. I quickly learned how to play without getting motion sick and had the best VR experiences I have had, playing FPS games without limitation. That experience is there to be had. Can’t we figure out a way to bring it to the masses? VR gameplay is really struggling without proper movement. I want to move through a virtual world, not teleport through it.

    • CazCore

      i found mouselook to work beautifully. however jumping around a lot in an FPS that lets you jump really high, made me sickish within like 25 minutes or so. specifically the jumping motion. i think i would have felt fine without the jumping. but i can’t FPS without jumping. :)

      anyways, i’ll have a no compromise FPS VR experience eventually.

  • Wraith September

    I had a DK1 and didn’t get sick playing Doom, Quake, Quake2, Skyrim or Doom3. However, rollercoaster sims made my wife and I sick, almost right away.

    • I really need to look into finding out how to get that one Doom version up and running that works thru Revive… I thought it would make me super sick, but I seem to be mostly fine with trackpad movement…

  • Pistol Pete

    Can’t wait for this!!!

  • Anthony Kenneth Steele

    VR with a cable is a non-starter!. Be happy with Gear Vr and Google Daydream until that technology develops.

    • vladimir katerynchuk

      Just use the damn extension for now! because its gonna take another 5 years until wireless HDMI signal would become a reality

      • Anthony Kenneth Steele

        the cool thing about vr really is the physics side of it.. you dont need amazing graphics you just need hand controllers and physics which is whats coming with the introduction of google daydream.. and its wireless!

        • vladimir katerynchuk

          i’m not saying anything man, i 100% agree, Daydream should be awesome too, and not as expansive as Vive or Oculus, graphics is not a problem, smartphones getting more powerfull every year, 2017 should be the beginning of new era of virtual reality! all i’m saying is: wires will not gonna stop me from using VR! :)

    • Monty

      Gear VR is shit compared to the Vive.
      The FOV and lenses are terrible and not nearly as immersive. it would be nuts to wait until phones are powerful enough to play PC quality games on a smartphone!

      • Anthony Kenneth Steele

        when positional tracking and motion controls come to mobile vr i think it will blow people away.

  • RecoveR

    SKYRIM Special Edition VR PLEASSSEEEE!

  • Mane Vr

    teleporting sucks I have no idea y they not trying the Half-life 2 vr controls