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The Modern Zombie Taxi Driver is More Than a VR Spin on Crazy Taxi

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Modern Zombie Taxi Driver

Again with the virtual reality. Companies seem determined to overcome the barf-inducing limits of VR gaming and put you behind the wheel of virtual driving games.

Another effort that’s gaining some recognition is The Modern Zombie Taxi Driver, an in-development game from Vitei Backroom that supports the Oculus Rift VR headset and was a big hit at the recent BitSummit in Japan. In it, you drive a taxi and take zombies down to the pub. Unlike most taxi games, there’s no time limit and no way to “lose” the game.

Modern Zombie Taxi Driver

Developer Chris McLaughlin told Gamasutra that the initial concept for the game was to “make something stupid.” They programmed a quick demo with a ragdoll passenger, and people were so amused by how the passenger flopped about in the seat that they added a full taxi simulation.

Modern Zombie Taxi Driver

Developer Peter Traylor told Gamasutra that the games cartoony graphics are in part a response to the low-resolution and pixel smearing of the early Oculus Rift hardware.

“There really were a bunch of factors that culminated into that decision. The need for objects to be easily readable from a distance was crucial. The dev kit version of the Oculus leaves a lot to be desired in pixel resolution. Large, simple silhouettes and colors help mitigate that limitation. Second, being a two-person team, building out an interesting city requires a lot of variety. Not having to worry about normal maps for every single objects saved a lot of time.

Personally, I like the challenge of not using ‘realism’ as a crutch when designing a game’s aesthetic. Considering also that VR is a very new medium for most people, I think realism might actually be a bit intimidating, especially for a person who is not hardcore into ‘gaming.’ With a non-photorealistic aesthetic, we are free to create something that is more visually inviting for a larger audience,” Traylor said.

Neither developer was deterred by the recent announcement that Facebook would be buying the Oculus Rift.

“The most interesting thing to me, is not about whether Oculus has sold out, or if Facebook are, or will be, the bad guy or the benevolent dictator or whatever, it’s that this deal has already changed how people are talking about and looking at VR.

Overnight the (tech) world has gone from talking about VR as a cool but niche advancement in video-games to looking at it as the start of some sort of internet-plus, like the Metaverse from Snow Crash. This conversation is no longer confined to academic halls or sci-fi convention, it’s now a serious consideration for our future, and the near future at that,” McLaughlin said.

See more about the game at its official site:

http://modernzombietaxi.com/

[Source: Gamasutra]

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