Drifter Entertainment, the studio behind Gunheart (2017) and Ready Player One: Rise of the Gunters (2018), is taking the reigns of porting Epic’s impressive arcade shooter Robo Recall (2017) to Oculus Quest. In an Oculus blog post today, the studio showed off a bevy of screenshots, and gave a peek into just how difficult it was to bring the PC VR game’s photorealism to the standalone headset platform.
Epic’s Robo Recall is by all accounts a fun game, but the robot-smashing arcade shooter also played a big part in showing just how good games can look and feel in VR, setting a visual bar that few have approached even two years after its release on Rift.
“It’s going to push the platform extremely hard,” says Drifter CEO and co-founder Ray Davis, speaking about the task of bringing the title to Quest.
While Oculus maintains the gameplay experience is set to be identical to the PC VR version, albeit with the ability to gank robots in it full untethered, 360-degree glory, there’s undoubtedly going to be some sacrifices in the visual department.
“Our core principal was, ‘Do not change the gameplay,’” Davis maintains. “We want complete parity on Rift and Quest.”
Bringing the game to Quest required methods such as lowering polygon counts, and utilizing Multi-View, a rendering technique typically used to lighten the load of CPU-bound applications on Oculus Go and Gear VR; this is done by rendering objects once to the left eye buffer, then duplicating them to the right buffer automatically with appropriate modifications for vertex position and view-dependent variables such as reflection.
The studio says addressing the game’s photorealistic style, bloom effects, and depth of field all proved to be especially challenging.
“We had to find ways to bring back the feel of those things while still hitting our performance targets,” Davis says.
Robo Recall is set to be a day-one launch title for Oculus Quest when it releases at some point this spring. Drifter worked closely with the Platform Team at Oculus and Epic Games to bring Robo Recall to Quest.