RUSH has been thrilling adrenaline junkies on Gear VR since its initial launch in May 2017, and with last week’s debut of our first standalone VR headset, a new generation of daredevils have been able to take to the skies with Oculus Go. Today, we’re excited to announce that the high-flying extreme sport title that topped Digital Trends’ list of the best Gear VR games is now available on Rift!
To celebrate, we sat down with The Binary Mill Studio Director Ingmar Lak for the inside scoop on this pulse-pounding single- and multiplayer flying game.
Can you give us a fly-by on RUSH and why it’s such a thrilling race experience?
Ingmar Lak: As the name suggests, RUSH is a wingsuit racing game about chasing that adrenaline surge. The player soars down the mountainside trying to beat their opponents to the finish. Winning means cutting the finest line between success and failure, threading the tiniest of needles, and cutting the ground as close as possible to shave milliseconds off your time. Wingsuiting is one of the most intense extreme sports in the world. Add the competitive racing element, plus a fierce desire to win, and it really goes off the charts.
How has the VR community responded to RUSH’s take on VR racing?
IL: The reaction has been overwhelming. For most of us, wingsuiting is a whole new experience. With RUSH, it seems we’ve captured the sensation of soaring down a cliff at breakneck speed. The community has really responded to it, and we’ve gotten a thumbs-up from a few experienced wingsuiters, so we feel like we’ve done our job.
Why do you think extreme sports and VR make such successful bedfellows?
IL: There are many barriers to entry with extreme sports, like prohibitive costs, high skill requirements, and, most importantly, a risk to life and limb. Until VR, the real excitement of extreme sports just didn’t translate well to video games. But with incredibly immersive systems like Rift, VR is now an excellent way for anyone to experience these intense thrills without putting their lives at risk.
How did you optimize RUSH’s core flight experience for Rift?
IL: We spent months refining flight controls to maximize the use of the controllers. The added immersion afforded by Touch really takes the game to new heights—pardon the pun. They allow a level of control and precision that adds more skill to the game, and the fact your arms are now closely mimicking the act of real wingsuiting adds so much to the experience.
Did you alter (or add) any tracks to take advantage of Rift’s six degrees of freedom?
IL: Most definitely. In addition to adding comprehensive Touch support, the freedom of 6DOF head tracking lets the player look around independently without affecting their trajectory. It may not sound like much, but this adds an insane amount to how the game feels. You can take in RUSH’s gorgeous environments while experiencing amazing situations, like when you’re seconds from the finish line, neck-and-neck with your friend, and you turn your head to watch as you nose them out for the victory.
Beyond enhanced flight dynamics and movement, did you add anything RUSH fans may find surprising?
IL: Indeed we did! We created a completely dynamic weather system for RUSH on Rift—from full real-time day/night cycles (you’ll see the sun rise or set as you race down the mountain) to comprehensive rain, snow, and even full-blown thunderstorms. If you’re brave enough, you can take a jump at midnight in a thunderous storm. It really takes wingsuiting to the next level!
We added many toys and activities for the player to interact with while in the lobby or waiting for friends by the campfire landing zone. Stacking cans has become something of a game within a game for our developers. The lobby/campfire is a full-body experience, so players with larger play areas are able to walk around and interact with their surroundings and other players.
We’ve also added multiplayer support for up to 12 people in Rift. If you really want to understand why the game is called “RUSH,” take a jump with 11 friends and you’ll have your answer.
What’s been your personal high (or low) while playtesting the game?
IL: While we were deep in multiplayer testing, I got into a serious head-to-head battle with one of our artists. During one race, we were neck-and-neck the whole way, but I was hitting all my grinds, hit a great race line, and towards the end of the race, I’d managed to pull a few seconds ahead. I was out of boost, but the finish line was in sight and I was feeling good.
It was a straight sprint to the end with no need to steer, so I took a moment to look around me. I couldn’t see anyone and was already celebrating, when suddenly the artist in question drifted down over my right shoulder like a scene from Top Gun. He was right next to me, close enough to touch. His avatar gave me the peace sign with his left hand, hit boost, and shot forward to steal the race. It was incredible, and once I stopped swearing I had to give him props.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Ingmar. We can’t wait to take the RUSH experience to the next level.
While we weren’t able to get into any specifics, The Binary Mill did reveal that they’re all in on VR. Check out their VR entries in the Gun Club franchise on Rift, Oculus Go, and Gear VR or experience flight at near-terminal velocity with RUSH on Rift today!
— The Oculus Team