The Average Gamer

Nolan’s Interstellar: Oculus Rift DK2 Experience in London

Interstellar Oculus Rift - Debbie's Face
As part of the promotion for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar sci-fi film, Warner Bros have partnered with IMAX on a 5-minute virtual reality experience that takes viewers through the Endurance spaceship from the film. No, it’s not very game-like but it’s Oculus Rift and that’s a close enough link for me.

Developers Thinking Box worked with the Framestore to recreate the interior of the Endurance for fans on the DK2 version of Oculus Rift – that means reduced motion blur, positional tracking and a higher image resolution than the original version of the hardware.

If you queue up today, Friday 24th October at the BFI IMAX in London between 11am and 9pm, you can experience the ship’s claustrophobic interior for yourself, free of charge. The first 200 people will also get a souvenir embroidered Endurance patch.

There will also be a free booth showing the experience at London’s MCM Comic Con this weekend, starting from 2pm tomorrow and running throughout the entire three-day show.

Interstellar Oculus Rift - Set-upI had a go on it myself yesterday. It’s very cool to be floating about in the spaceship, peering at the all the screens and levers. They’ve written it as an on-rails tour, so as you slowly drift through all areas of the vessel you can turn your head to see everything and look out the windows at a planet spinning beneath the station.

As a gamer, I found things a little disconcerting, because I had no body and no way to interact with the pens and notepads floating around me, though I really wanted to. When gliding through a tunnel, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my legs were going to collide with the narrow entrances and I’m fairly sure that my body drifted straight through a chair at one point. However, poking around a spaceship built from the film’s set is still pretty great.

Oculus Rift has a lot of promise and DK2 is a much better system than the original development kit. The positional tracking allows you to move your head naturally around without feeling like the world is moving with you. The higher resolution is noticeably smoother as well, though still a little spotty. As the hardware improves, immersive 3D experiences like this will only get better.

Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and a hojillion other people, will open worldwide on 7th November.

Read more about designing VR experiences from nDreams.