Duck Hunt (1984) inspires frustration in anyone who plays it, and for good reason. After a while the ducks are just too fast, the ammo supplies too low, and that dog. That smug little dog. It’s enough to make you want to retire your NES Zapper and never touch it again. That is, until we found the perfect recreation in virtual reality.
Duck Hunt Life VR was created by indie dev Joseph Delgado for Global Game Jam 2016, and long-standing fans of the classic NES title can testify to just how much it captures the original. Like all entrants into the yearly game jam, Delgado only had 24 hours to create the game.
Original sprites taken from Duck Hunt were ‘voxelified’ to preserve the original 8-bit style while giving 3D depth to game assets. The characteristic NES Zapper also makes an appearance, along with the obligatory ‘black frame/white flash’ – an optical effect used by NES games to determine where the shot was fired.
The tech demo features an Oculus DK2 headset and head-mounted Razer Hydra (that silly green orb on his head), which gives the player virtual hands. Although tracking is still an issue for the nearly decade-old controller, some devs continue to make due with older systems in lieu of an HTC Vive or Oculus Touch dev kit.
“Ducks spawn at random spawn points placed behind bushes and tree branches so they can’t be seen spawning, and then fly around in a radial pattern around the field the player is in,” explains Delgado.
“Shooting a duck nets you 50 points, and each remaining shot at the end of the round nets you another 50 points. Each day you have a goal for ducks shot. If you miss that goal, it’s game over! If you manage to last all 7 days, you win the game..”
Delgado say that he’ll be pre-ordering the HTC Vive and posting updates on his blog in the meantime.
And no, just like the original console game, you can’t shoot that smug little bastard.