NVIDIA has officially stepped into the realm of video game design and it's timing couldn't have been better. No, NVIDIA probably isn't going to crank out triple-A titles or become the next Bethesda with iconic franchises under its belt, but NVIDIA's VR Funhouse title for the HTC Vive comes at point when virtual reality needs some killer content to go along with early hardware solutions. It's also free!
That's right folks, unlike real live carnivals, there's no admission here. VR Funhouse features seven different carnival games, all beautifully rendered with plenty of eye candy. While several early VR titles are rather rudimentary, NVIDIA wanted to prove there's an added level of immersion when using things like advanced graphics, haptics, and realistic physics, all of which are part of VR Funhouse.
"VR Funhouse also demonstrates to developers the possibilities of VR, and when the game is open sourced later this summer they’ll be able to peek under the hood, learn from our work, and apply the same techniques and technologies to their own games. Moreover, enthusiasts will be able to develop and release their own minigames and mods for the VR Funhouse," NVIDIA said.
Even those these are minigames, NVIDIA is using some advanced technology to make players feel as though they're actually in a carnival. There are a number of GameWorks visual effects incorporated into VR Funhouse, including NVIDIA FleX, a highly accurate and detailed particle-based simulation system that most notably was used in Tripwire Interactive's Killing Floor 2. In VR Funhouse, FleX helps create the messy green goo in the Clown Painter level, as well as to add realistic pieces of cloth throughout the Funhouse.
Pay close attention and you'll spot some of NVIDIA's other technologies being used, such as HairWorks for more realistic looking fuzzy creatures in Whack-A-Mole and Mole Boxing, and PhysX Destruction in the Shooting Gallery, Cannon Skeet, and intro area to render accurate looking deformations and destruction of ceramics, wooden planks, and other objects.
To play VR Funhouse, you'll need a reasonably well equipped PC. NVIDIA breaks it down as follows:
- GPU: GeForce GTX 980 Ti, Titan X, 1060, or 1070
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4790
- GPU: GeForce GTX 1080
- CPU: Intel Core i7-5930
- GPU: A single Geforce GTX 1080, or a 2-Way GeForce GTX 1070, Titan X, or 980 Ti SLI setup
- GPY PhysX: Also requires a GeForce GTX 980 Ti, or greater, to be dedicated as a PhysX GPU in the NVIDIA Control Panel
- CPU: Intel Core i7-5930
And of course you also need an HTC Vive headset. If you meet the system requirements, you can grab VR Funhouse from Steam.