Chat With Crytek About VR and Back To Dinosaur Island 2 at E3

Back to Dinosaur Island 2 is the second tech demo helping to develop technologies for the game Robinson the Journey. The first Back to Dinosaur Island tech demo is from the perspective of sitting next to a Dino egg with the mother sniffing around. In version two the perspective is from an explorer climbing a cliff with Dino’s all around you.

Back To Dinosaur Island 2 Tech Demo

The demo uses the latest Crescent Bay prototype and starts off with me clinging onto 2 handles on the side of a cliff face. The handles are connected to pulleys used to hoist me up the edge of the cliff. Using the game pad controller combined with looking at a handle I grab the handles to ascend the cliff.
I decided to let go with my left hand and look at the wall, my hand reached out to the same spot and using the controller I rubbed some stones and leaves off the cliff face. Very cool and I can only imagine doing this with the half-moon controllers.

Using the controller combined with VR look I continue to ascend the cliff face. Flying dinosaurs that look like Pterodactyls are all around me, swooping down from above past my head. At one point what looks like a pissed off mother knocks stones off the cliff face and they come crashing down towards me, my natural impulse is to dodge left and right to avoid the rocks. 

Once I reach the top of the cliff I marvel at the scenic vistas and looked toward a massive space craft in the distance.

Demo was over but certainly not forgotten. Afterwards I had a chat with some the people involved in the project at Crytek.

What is it like developing for VR?

I asked Crytek’s VR Design Director Patrick Esteves on Back to Dinosaur Island what it’s like designing a game for VR versus a more traditional non VR game?

In Dinosaur Island “look” brings a whole new dimension to a game. When a flying dinosaur flies past your head, with a regular controller or mouse you cannot easily watch what it does while you continue walking or climbing. With VR what you see greatly enhances the game

Will you support both the Xbox controller and the half-moon controllers?

We will most likely support most available controllers. With the Xbox type controller touch will be guided by where you look but with the Half-Moon controllers you’ll be able to reach out and grab items without first looking at them.

I asked Executive producer Elijah Freeman, “what are the primary VR features you’re targeting”

Interaction with the environment such as swatting flies away from you or scraping the wall and watching items fall off. We plan to make interacting with the environment a differentiator.

I had a chance to chat with lead programmer Dario L. Sancho Pradel to ask some of my burning hardware questions.
What Video Card are you running this demo on?

Just yesterday we installed the lastest AMD Fury X cards

I next asked Dario "Crytek engines are notorious for pushing the limits of what a PC can do graphically. Often the term “can it run Crysis” is used all over the web. With VR the frame rates cannot drop too much otherwise presence is lost, so how do you plan to deal with that? Do you plan to create settings for the Oculus recommended hardware?"

Dario had no official announcement to make at this time regarding settings but suggested there will be settings to allow for easier set up of graphical settings.

From my own personal experience of playing Crytek games I have spent sometimes many hours tweaking the settings to get it just right. In VR when I lose presence if my settings are too high this would be quite frankly be sickening!

Here is a preview pic of Robinson the Journey. Looking forward to it…

Robinson the Journey
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