Id Software on Quake Champions: “Spectator VR would be sweet!”

Chris Stead 21 September 2016

vr-spectator

Wouldn’t Quake Champions in virtual reality be sweet? Its creative-director Tim Willits thinks so, too.

There were no points for guessing what the most popular demo on the QuakeCon show floor was during the latest event in Dallas, Texas. It was Doom VR by a considerable length.

With around 30 games playable in the hall from a range of studios, the only queue of note was the one outside the VR stations. And it was long. Roughly two-hours long. I will write more detailed thoughts on Doom VR shortly (quick summation: epic) but during my interview time with Quake Champions’ creative-director, Tim Willits, I had to ask what VR experiences id software’s next game might offer. Here is how the conversation went…

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I just played Doom VR on the show floor, and it’s just so awesome. As that kind of positive feedback rolls in, do you see VR becoming more of a priority for Quake Champions?

"Right now, there is nothing on our development schedule about a VR component for Quake Champions, but if we did, I’m thinking Spectator support. I think you will start seeing VR Spectator support in arena multiplayer shooters coming up all over the place. Because it would be perfect! Imagine just sitting up by one of the objective points as players came in and fought while you watched them.

And you wouldn’t have to sit, you could move around as much as you want. I’m telling you, [VR] is all about Spectators. You could push that mode out to a million people, who could be at home, but in the game. Wouldn’t that be awesome? So we don’t know where that fits [in the development schedule], but we know that Spectator VR would be sweet!"

I cannot get across in this transcription just how enthusiastic Willits was about the idea of virtual reality Spectators in Quake Champions (and eSports in general). He is all over this idea and given his position and talent, you can be damn sure he will give it a red hot crack. Especially with the Doom team paving the way with their current VR experiments using Id Tech. Will all the puzzle pieces fall into place before the game’s 2018 release? Well Willits is certainly of the mind that many arena shooters will be doing it before then. I certainly hope so; it’s such a great idea that would be the envy of fans from “real sports.”

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