Computer science student Joseph Delgado worked on a VR Duck Hunt variant for the Global Jam 2016 event. It's an impressive little demo that uses Razer's Hydra, the Oculus Rift DK2 development kit headset, and some neat tricks with Python scripts and the Unreal Engine 4's voxel rendering of sprites.
Jump Radio did a quick write-up on the project by Delgado, who managed to snap some footage of the project when he went to pay visit to his parent's house. You can check out the footage below.
Joseph Delgado, a student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, used the sprites from the NES version of Duck Hunt and turning them into 3D voxels. This was only applied to some of the assets- mostly the moving ones and the background objects closest to the foreground where the 360 degree view could capture the feeling of a 3D environment, such as the hedges and the trees closest to the player's view.
Joseph Delgado mentions that frame-rate had become an issue and that it's easy to get motion sickness with the Oculus Rift if the FPS drops below 75fps. While there are people who will argue to their death that the human eye can only see 30fps, trust that in a VR environment if you're suffering from some serious frame stutter or dropped frames below 60fps, you will get sick. This is because the human brain is interpreting what your eyes are seeing and assuming that you're actually there, even when you aren't. This is one of the reasons why they tell you not to lean back when wearing VR headgear without tilting your head because your body is making motions that the VR tech may not pick up and it sends mixed signals to your brain, resulting in sickness.
Joseph Delgado ran into this problem a couple of times, as noted on his blog, where he explained that the Razer Hydra and Oculus Rift weren't always synching up on the same frame and the delay from the Hydra was, once again, giving him a bit of motion sickness. He eventually synched up the Rift and Hydra on the same input latency to limit the frame delay.
But as for the game maintaining 75fps – Delgado turned some of the backdrops into “billboards” or little more than one-dimensional cutouts based on a sprite plastered on a single vector face. This is the equivalent of putting a city on a green screen to cut down the costs of actually filming in a city.
From there, Joseph Delgado had a decently running VR simulation of Duck Hunt. He put the remix of the game's theme from Leonardo Zuccarelli on a 3D prop radio he designed – and yes, he did design some of the assets in the demo himself, mostly all the stuff in the starting hub cabin, including beds, desks and a few other props. He mentions that since he was playing Rainbow Six Siege he wanted to make it possible to shoot the radio... so if someone gets tired of the radio they can turn it off by shooting it.
As mentioned on the blog, the game faithfully recreates the inclining challenge present in the NES version of Duck Hunt, with each day offering fewer ammo pellets, more ducks to shoot and faster ducks. One of the things I thought was really awesome was the binaural surround effects that give users an idea of where the ducks are coming from, which causes users to have to listen closely as to where the ducks are in the play area. Very impressive stuff from Delgado.
Experiences like the one above will be available to consumers widely once the Oculus Rift starts shipping on March 28th, next month.