Duck Hunt VR at NJIT's Minicon

Here's a clip of some guy playing my Duck Hunt VR game at NJIT's student-organized Minicon on the HTC Vive. Minicon is a gaming and anime convention hosted on campus. Each year, there's an indie game expo for students and alum to showcase games/experiences they make. There's a few commercial games, but usually it's just hobby projects and "experiences". I brought Duck Hunt VR along, and made some fun upgrades for the con as well, like adding a real NES Zapper!

Adding the Zapper

Nothing beats the tactile feel of the NES Zapper trigger, so I knew I had to put this together.

First step was making the NES Zapper wireless, which was pretty simple. I used two RFDuino DIPs over GZLL to just send a button down and up event whenever the trigger was pressed. The receiver RFDuino would then relay the event over USB and fire the gun ingame.

I literally threw this all together the night before, so the perks of having this hardware just lying around are great.

Desk is a mess.

Solder joints from 1985. That's whack.

Gutted everything, replaced with RFDuino and battery pack.

The battery pack is way too big, but it's the only one I had on short notice, and I wanted to be able to change the batteries if they ran out during the con without taking it apart.

So now with the trigger bluetooth-enabled and sending events to my computer, I taped the Vive controller to it for some ghetto tracking. I mean, it's actually pretty slick, the way I mounted it is hella optimal. Once you're in VR you just see the gun anyway, right?


So, I'm a huge gamer too. I didn't really have time to sit around at my desk because I usually go pretty far into the bracket for Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments. Once you get into quarterfinals you just have to hop from game to game with no break in between.

That's me! On the left! With my super slick Qanba Q4 fight stick.

Anyway, at the event, a few people tried it out. Here's a picture of a friend, Adam, who tried it.

Sick, right? I wasn't around manning the station, my friend was helping out, so I didn't take many pictures or get much feedback. From what my friend told me, though, everyone had a great time and it was all super intuitive for users! Aside from some very intermittent frame drops due to my thermal setup, everything went super smooth. There were also some lighthouse tracking issues at the beginning, but once I recalibrated it and moved one of the lighthouses to another table, everything went great. Lessons learned for demoing in a room full of people walking around and messing up your tracking space.

Interesting aside, some people would hold the controller in front of their chest with both hands, very low on the body, instead of holding it up like a gun. I can't think of a reason why, maybe too much torque on the front end making it heavy for certain people, but I personally didn't think it was very heavy.

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