The development of the ultimate VR weapon

When you come to play with us, a fantastic VR weapon awaits you. It works flawlessly and provides the ultimate in-game experience. However, this was not always the case. The development of the weapon has cost us a lot of gray hairs. In this blog, we will tell you why.

Unfortunately, many parties that are involved in VR still use two controllers. The big disadvantage of these controllers is that your experience feels less realistic. In 2017, we quickly realized that we wanted to get rid of these controllers. Our mission was to approach reality as closely as possible in the game.

The first VR weapon that worked for us In 2017

There were no VR guns on the market yet. At that time, we only had one option: to create the weapon ourselves. The journey started, funnily enough, at the local toy store. A few years earlier, Playstation had launched a system called the Playstation Move, better known for its small glowing balls. By making some smart modifications, we were able to get these balls to work as registration points on our weapons. The cameras in our room were able to precisely determine the location of the weapon in this way.

Step 2 was to get the VR weapons to shoot. By mounting cheap Bluetooth mice, we managed to make this work. However, we soon found out that cheap is expensive. As we had 5 players playing at the same time, the 5 mice caused hilarious scenes. It was not uncommon for player 2 to shoot at player 4. You can imagine that sometimes we were embarrassed when we had visitors.

Technically, we saw what was possible with this first weapon, but it soon became clear that this weapon could not offer us a sustainable future. That's why we decided to also look at the next project.

The VR weapon that didn't make it (unfortunately)

The old gun had too many problems, so we looked for a new VR gun. This time, Bart Smit was our main supplier again. We were excited about this new gun because of a ridiculously cool recoil mechanism. This provided the right feedback when you were shooting. In addition, this weapon looked much better than our previous version at the time.

Despite the many modifications, we couldn't get the control of this weapon right. Parts came loose too often and it didn't work in practice as it should have. However, the data we were able to collect during this period was invaluable for the development of the next weapon. We still use the lessons we learned from this period for the development of our current weapon.

The VR weapon you want to take home with you

This time it had to work. During our search, we came across a gun developed for Android from China. The looks were spot on. We also quickly got the tracking and aiming right, this time without too many problems. And come on, isn't it a gem?

Today, this is the weapon we use in Amsterdam and Delft. Tens of thousands of people have defended the earth against aliens and zombies with this weapon.

We continue to develop for the ultimate VR experience We continue to develop both hardware and software continuously. This is necessary to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience. If we look at the effect the technology has had on our visitors, we see that they lose themselves in the game they play more quickly and intensely.

If you like our video and want to know more about the world of VR gaming, listen to the Lightning VR Podcast every two weeks: