Later this month, Nvidia is releasing what it calls "its first game" onto Steam. That game is a short virtual reality experience called VR Funhouse. It's built on Unreal Engine 4, and it's designed to show off the graphical and physics-enhanced power of the company's GeForce 10-series GPUs, including the new (and more affordable) GTX 1060.
VR Funhouse is a short game built only for the HTC Vive, so Steam's SteamVR section is a natural home for it. Using the Vive's motion-sensitive hand controllers, players are dropped into a carnival scenario with bow and arrow target practice, balloon-popping with a pair of swords, and basketball throwing. It's actually really fun, and a great demonstration of the potential of realistic VR plus accurate motion control.
We've already tried out VR Funhouse at Nvidia's launch of the GeForce GTX 1080, running on the HTC Vive, and it's great fun as well as being surprisingly high-fidelity. One caveat, though, was that that particular experience was running on phenomenally powerful PCs with not one or two but three GTX 1080 graphics cards — two in SLI for graphics processing and one dedicated to the game's PhysX physics calculations. It'll be interesting to see how it looks and plays on a single 1080, 1070 or 1060.
The experience uses some of the new graphics architecture and software features enabled by Nvidia's new Pascal GPUs like VRWorks ray-traced, postionally-accurate audio and VR SLI, using one GeForce GTX graphics card to render each eye within a VR headset. Other tech, like Simultaneous Multi-Projection, distorts the frames being created by the GPUs to make them more accurately displayed through the Vive. Coming out later in July, Funhouse will be free.
From Nvidia: "NVIDIA VR Funhouse — the company’s VR carnival game — will be available for free later this month from Valve’s Steam digital distribution service. Developed on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, VR Funhouse will work on GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 GPUs and HTC Vive VR headsets. It will also be open sourced to developers and artists so they can create their own VR Funhouse attractions."