Work on Zelda VR has been continued

It’s been quiet a while since I last posted about Zelda VR. Summer is here and work kept me busy. After a long day of coding at the office I just didn’t feel like coding even more at home. So not much progress has been made until last week.

With the DK2 right around the corner I started getting hyped about VR again and decided it was time to get back to the project. First thing I had to do was update to the 0.3.x SDK (let’s hope the next version won’t mess up to much). Which surprisingly didn’t take that long due to the excellent examples and libraries floating around on GitHub. Once I got that out of the way I continues work on the main goal; Loading and emulating the Zelda ROM.

People might wonder why I am using the ROM as a base instead of ripping the assets from the original game and drop them in an engine like Unity or UDK like several other projects do. Let me explain why I take this approach:

Legal issues. One of the main main reason. Ripping models, sounds and other assets from a game and distributing them is not allowed. By loading all the assets from the ROM I try to bypass this and basically do the same as any other N64 emulator. With the only difference that my game will only work with one single game and contains a lot of custom code to fancy up the graphics and make everything VR compatible. For the user this means he needs to own a copy of the ROM and place that in the games folder.

Learning something new. It’s a challenge to get all this working. Especially because I’ve never tried to do something like this before, but have always been interested in Emulators and how they work.

Amount of work. The amount of work to get everything running is gigantic. I need to be able to emulate every part of the game. But doing it this way also has an upside, once you got one part working, for example loading one map, all maps will work. So instead of having to rip every single model, I’ll have to make sure I can load one map and all of them will automagically work. The same goes for the Actor scripts (all interactive elements in a map), audio and collisions.

That’s basically it. I hope you are as excited about this project as I am and maybe one day you’ll be able to play my favorite game in VR.

Majora’s Mask VR

The engine I am building for Ocarina of Time is also able to load Majora’s Mask, the two games use pretty much the same file structure. Even though I love this game and I like the dark atmosphere a lot. I won’t be doing anything to optimize the engine for this game. In my opinion MM’s gameplay doesn’t fit VR very well. The Deku, Goron and Zora masks have powers that I think don’t work in VR without getting nauseous (swimming, rolling and hopping). But I still wanted to share a screenshot with you guys.

zelda_vr_clocktown

VR the future of gaming

I’ve not been active in the GTA Modding community lately. My interest has changed. I’ve got a full time job as a software developer, so I don’t have much spare time to work on my own projects. Recently something different than GTA has triggered my interest. The Oculus Rift, since the day the kickstarter launched I’ve followed it with much interest because it’s always been a dream of me to be “inside” the game. My girlfriend bought me a developer kit for my birthday <3 and I love it. It’s everything I thought it would be. It still has a couple of flaws but I think it can change the way people see gaming and watch movies. I personally can’t wait for DK2/CV1 to arrive.

What I’ve been doing with the devkit

There are a lot of demos out there that are really showing the power of the Rift, I showed it to all my friends and they all think it’s amazing even the friends that are not into gaming. As a developer I wanted to build something for the Rift myself. I started working on a small project to get the Rift to work in C# using OpenTK. You can find it on my Github account if you want to know how I did it. Using that project as a base I started working on a game, a game that I’ve always wanted to experience as if I was actually there, my favorite game of all time (maybe you can guess it already) The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I’ve played and completed that game hundreds of times on the N64 and Gamecube, but I could never have thought I would once play it in VR. I’ve been working on a project that loads the N64 Zelda rom and makes it playable with the Rift. For now it only loads the map and gives you the ability to walk around. The rendering is still a bit off, but don’t worry about that, I will get it right eventually. Enough talk, here are some screenshots:

 

Oh and that’s not it. I want it to be a full VR Experience. I’ve backed two more kickstarter projects that I think are amazing and I can’t wait for them to arrive. The Virtuix Omni will make it possible to walk around in Hyrule and the STEM System will make it possible to swing your sword and kill Ganondorf once and for all.

Thanks for reading, I’ve created a project page with a roadmap for this project. Also I should give a lot of credit to spinout182. His website contains valuable information regarding Zelda64, without his website I wouldn’t have known where to start.