NVIDIA ‘VR Funhouse’ Coming to Steam for Free This Month

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VR Funhouse, Nvidia’s physics sandbox revealed alongside the GeForce GTX 1080 in May, is coming to Steam this month for free. Nvidia is keeping mum on exact release dates for now.

nvidia-vr-funhouse-virtual-reality
See Also: Hands-on: ‘VR Funhouse’ Brings NVIDIA’s Most Advanced Physics Into VR

The suite of HTC Vive-compatible mini-games primarily acts as a showcase for the company’s GPU-based physics systems, wrapping in a number of visual effects available through the GamesWorks SDK.

According to the initial announcement on the Nvidia blog, the project is open source “so developers, artists and enthusiasts can learn how to make similarly compelling experiences with the power of UE4 and GTX 1080.” But even if you’re a layman, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the many carnival-style games such as skeet shooting, archery, and arcade basketball.

Nvidia’s GamesWorks SDK effects, which are made possible in VR by the increased processing power of the company’s Pascal-based GTX 1080, include:

  • NVIDIA Flow — Grab a bow and arrow in our target-shooting mini-game. Set the arrow aflame and you’ll be able to shoot it at targets that burst into flames when they’re hit. Our NVIDIA Flow technology physically simulates experiences such as fire throughout VR Funhouse.
  • NVIDIA HairWorks — The whimsical feel of our colorful “The Mole the Merrier!” and “Knock’Em Silly” challenges is enhanced by NVIDIA HairWorks technology. Jab at your targets. Give them a knock and you’ll see their colorful hair bounce. Or pat them on the head to flatten their jazzy haircuts.
  • Physics for VR — Poke, punch, pound and explore. VR Funhouse is filled with objects that you can interact with in surprising ways using your hand controllers. Our PhysX for VR technology gives the objects in the game realistic physical behavior, enabling proper graphics, collision detection, and haptics force feedback.
  • NVIDIA FleX — In our “He’s Flexible” mini-game, you’ll be able to pick up gooey, colorful blobs — that stretch and jiggle in surprising ways in your hand — toss them at targets and watch them ooze toward the ground. You’ll find this next-generation particle-based physical simulation used all over VR Funhouse.
  • NVIDIA VRWorks Audio — Walk into “Flight of the Clown,” and you’ll need to use your ears to locate a stealthy drone. VRWorks Audio uses our Pascal GPUs to ray trace sound waves in real-time, realistically simulating how audio propagates and reflects across the room.  The reflections and echoes created by VRWorks Audio will test your skills in locating the drone.
  • VR SLI — The more, the merrier. If you’ve got two GPUs, this technology will let one GPU render images to your left eye, and the other to your right, maximizing performance and minimizing latency.

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  • Mysticeti

    Is it 1080 only or will it work on the 1070 too?

    • Badelhas

      I would love to know this also. Anyone cares tro answer, please?

      • L3v1

        Yes. 980 Ti is the minimum spec for this. 1080 SLI recommended

        • Badelhas

          Thanks. Source?

          • L3v1
          • Jean Thompson

            Gosh darnit!!!! I have the gtx 970. Tear. Looks like I’ll be getting the 1070 soon.

          • L3v1

            It’s worth it, just sell the 970. I sold mine just before the 1070 came out so it didn’t cost much to upgrade.

          • Jean Thompson

            I wouldn’t sell it. I have another PC with a 970 and would SLI them. If I can figure out how! Lol

          • L3v1

            970 SLI may not be enough. When you SLI 2 cards, their RAM doesn’t double so you will still only be able to use 4GB (or more like 3.5GB in case of the 970) and performance will be limited by that in VR and even newer flat games. Also, most games don’t support VR SLI, VR funhouse might be the only exception. If you want to try SLI anyway, you just need an SLI bridge to connect the 2 cards and enable SLI in the Nvidia control panel. The motherboard also has to support SLI but almost every gaming motherboard has it

          • Jean Thompson

            Well, right now that PC is running the rift just fine with 1 970. My PC is for game development so I would use the 1070. And would use 2 970’s in the other one. I mean if 1 970 works for VR why wouldn’t two?? Am I missing something??

          • L3v1

            It will still work obviously but it’s pointless right now. VR Funhouse is actually the ONLY game that supports VR SLI, but for that game even 970 SLI won’t be enough most likely. Other games will only use one of the 970s

          • Jean Thompson

            I won’t be using the funhouse on the other computer. Just the one that will have the 1070. So having 2 970’s in one PC will basically be the same as just one? It won’t help the frame rate at all?

          • L3v1

            That’s right. Traditional SLI doesn’t work with VR and like I said the only game with VR SLI support right now is funhouse. Hopefully more games implement it in the near future

    • Carl

      I’ve seen no one mention if this is suitable for the 1070, I’m assuming it is being pascal n all, but how about previous gen cards? All this stuff should be clarified.

      • “so developers, artists and enthusiasts can learn how to make similarly compelling experiences with the power of UE4 and GTX 1080.” quoted from nvidia and seems pretty clear so why would they then list dozens of weaker cards that would work too lesser degrees if at all?

        • L3v1

          980 Ti is the min and 1080 SLI recommended. Nvidia’s VR project manager said it.

        • snee mgee

          I wonder if he means UE4 will have implemented it in the engine by the time it’s released or if he means that individual developers will be able to set up VR SLI in UE4 through much work.

    • L3v1

      They said 980 Ti is the minimum, so 1070 should be fine, but 1080 SLI is recommended…

      • Mysticeti

        Thanks, man.

  • snee mgee

    I hope that SLI VR becomes the norm. I can’t imagine how else we can run games like Doom VR and other such titles.

  • Carl

    So the next question is, what are they gimping when using only one card? It’s a big difference between 1 and 2 in SLI, and in both circumstances they have to run at 90fps….
    And what about this single pass stereo technique? No mention of it. Kind of a big deal.

    • J.C.

      I think the real question is, if SMP can render the second eye “free”, where’s the benefit in VR SLI? I’m sure there’s SOME loss involved in SMP, but when you obviously lose access to it in VR SLI, *how much* actual gain is there from one card to two?
      I doubt we’ll know until both technologies are baked into UE4 and Unity. Hopefully someone does a benchmark at that point, testing both techniques.

      • Carl

        They haven’t even listed SMP in the VR technologies they’re using for this, which is very strange, considering it’s a big deal and something they’d surely want to leverage! Confusing indeed.