We'll finally get to see Valve's VR version of Team Fortress 2 in March.
Organizers of the Game Developers Conference in March have announced that Valve scheduled two talks during the week, one of which focuses on porting Team Fortress 2 to virtual reality goggles. The company will also talk about the research and development challenges associated with head-mounted displays and tracking systems.
"Several people at Valve spent the past year exploring various forms of wearable computing. The wearable effort included porting Team Fortress 2 to run in virtual reality goggles. This session will describe lessons learned from Valve's porting experience," reads the description of Valve programmer Joe Ludwig's 'What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality' session.
Topics Ludwig will cover include an overview of what stereo support entails, rendering 2D user interface in a 90-degree field of view display, dealing with view models and other rendering shortcuts, and how mouselook can interact with head tracking in a first person shooter.
Michael Abrash of Valve will also conduct 'Why Virtual Reality is Hard (And Where it Might be Going).' which will discuss the hardware challenges that lie ahead and possible solutions for virtual and augmented reality. This talk will include "technical content involving head-mounted display hardware and its interaction with the human perceptual system."
For those of us who got to test the Oculus Rift headset during CES 2013 last week, all this talk about VR goggles is crazy exciting. You really can't get the grasp of how this tech will change everything until you look through the lenses, move your head instead of the mouse, and just wander a virtual realm.
In the case of Valve, it looks like we'll get to see what the company has been up to in a few months. The company's talks are part of the Programming and Design tracks of the GDC main conference that will take place March 27-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.