Iron Man VR aims to nail the feeling of flying

Eric Abent - Jul 19, 2019, 12:46 pm CDT
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Iron Man VR aims to nail the feeling of flying

Back in March, Sony and Marvel surprised us all by announcing Iron Man VR, an upcoming game for PlayStation VR that puts us in the shoes (or rather the suit) of Tony Stark. Once the announcement was made, it was immediately clear that Iron Man could be a really good fit for VR if done right, and now developer Camouflaj has detailed how it plans to nail the feeling of being Iron Man – particularly when you’re using the suit to fly around.

In fact, Camouflaj explains in a post to the PlayStation Blog that a prototype of Iron Man flying in VR was what initially sold Marvel on this game, so we’re already off to a pretty good start on the flying front. A successful prototype and a fully realized game are two very different things, though, so Camouflaj ran us through a few of the ways it will make sure that flying is fun in the finished product.

The first way it’s doing that is by making sure that it observes Newton’s laws of motion. “Every frame we process includes calculations of up to a dozen forces, such as thrust, drag, and gravity – as well as our assistance systems – that output Iron Man’s accurate and believable trajectory through the sky,” Camouflaj director Ryan Payton writes in that blog post.

As an extension to that, there’s also the issue of momentum. Payton says thatIron Man VR will attempt to preserve momentum whenever it’s possible to do so, which leads to realistic-feeling banking and dogfighting.

There’s probably going to be a lot of trail and error in learning how to pilot the suit, so to compensate for that, Payton says that Camouflaj has “built an invisible system that cushions and guides the player around hard edges of buildings and other geometry.” When the game detects that a collision is likely, it begins “gently” applying collision-avoidance forces, which hopefully strike a good balance between feeling in total control and ramming into every set piece at full speed.

Finally, there will also be contextual cues that the game follows when determining the suit’s settings. For instance, if you’re trying to navigate around an enclosed area, the suit isn’t going blast you forward when you engage it thrusters. There still hasn’t been a release date set for Iron Man VR yet, but after hearing about all of the consideration Camouflaj is putting into flying, we’re definitely excited to see more.


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