With the introduction of Google’s Cardboard headset, developers will soon have the ability to see themselves on the screen.
In the past, these virtual reality headsets have only been available to a select few in Hollywood.
Now, VR developers will be able to test out their work and get feedback from users and the wider gaming community.
However, many game engines are not ready for VR yet.
There is a large amount of work to be done before these systems can be ready for general usage, according to developer Mark Kern.
Kern is the founder of Kern Labs, an online community dedicated to bringing new game engines to the VR space.
He told Polygon that many games have been delayed by a year or more, so VR is the best time to start.
Kern says the time for VR is “when the technology can really get to the point where we can actually build a game that works on it, rather than waiting for someone else to make a game.”
“The way we’ve been working is to figure out how do we make VR feel as natural as possible, while also delivering a great experience to the user, and I think the way we’re doing that is by using the right tools and by making sure we’re really careful about the quality of the VR experience,” he said.
Kern also said that VR developers should be “doing some research” into their engines before they launch them.
Kern said the first major VR game that will launch in the coming year is “a very ambitious title, but that’s still a little bit out of our reach,” adding that “there’s a ton of great work going on right now in VR.”
Kern says VR is currently “a much slower-paced, slower-developing area,” so developers need to “do a lot of research” before they start working on their VR projects.
“It’s the time where we want to start to really figure out what the best path is for the game,” he added.
Kern believes the biggest impact of VR will be in the way games are played, and that “if you’re playing VR right now, you’re probably going to play it more like a movie.”
He said he believes the best way to get VR games to the masses is to make them “really easy to play,” but also “really hard to play.”
Kern said that this means that “it’s really important for game developers to be making games that people can get into and play quickly and play them in a way that they can really play.”
“If you want to play VR games, you have to make those games easy,” Kern said.
“And we want those kinds of games to be very fun.”
Kern added that VR “is going to change everything about how games are made.”
For example, “you’ll be able, with VR, to really get into a VR movie experience in a very different way than what you can do now in a normal movie,” he noted.
“So that’s the whole point.”
Kern is working on a new game called The Martian, which he says will be “a VR adventure that’s much more immersive and much more visceral than anything you’re already doing in VR right this minute.”
Kern also believes that VR will “open up all the doors” in game development.
“We’re going to see huge amounts of innovation in game making, because you’re going not only going to have new kinds of storytelling, but you’re also going to be able more easily build multiplayer games, so that’s really exciting,” Kern added.
“You’ll also be able make games that have some very different features to what you’re doing now.”
Kern’s goal for The Martian is to be “totally immersive, with very different gameplay experiences,” but he is also “trying to make it really accessible, but still have fun and still be very accessible to the widest possible audience.”
“It has a lot to do with the fact that you’re not just a developer, you also have a fan base, so the whole audience is going to need to be really involved,” Kern explained.
“If we can really create that level of involvement, we’ll be a much bigger player in the VR arena.”
Kern believes VR will allow people to “really explore a lot more and get into games in a different way.”
“There’s a lot that’s happening right now and that’s going to happen even faster than I thought possible,” he concluded.
“Because I think VR is going be so transformative, the entire industry is going at it in a really exciting way, so we’re just getting started.”
Kern, who has previously created games for both Atari and Sega, also believes the potential of VR is so huge that he believes there is a “genuinely good chance” that games will be ported to VR.
“The idea that VR can be a way of exploring new kinds and exploring the world more