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August 8, 2013

Doom and Quake creator to work on virtual reality headset

John Carmack joins Oculus VR as CTO.

By Joe Curtis

John Carmack - copyright Oculus

The creator of Doom has decided to join a company developing a VR headset as its CTO.

John Carmack is famed for developing the first-person shooter genre and created games including Doom and Quake.

Carmack is set to join Oculus VR to work on its product, Oculus Rift, a VR headset which places two small screens in a goggle headset to immerse players in a game.

In a blog post announcing the move, Oculus said: "John is one of the brightest minds of our generation — pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can."

The Rift product has generated $2.4m funding on Kickstarter and the company has begun sending copies of the device to developers.

But no release date has yet been set for the headset, which uses the two screens to produce a slightly different perspective of the same scene, meaning players feel they are ‘in’ the game – if they shift their head, the scene will also change to view the new direction.

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Most movement will still be controlled by a traditional controller, and while the headset screens use a 640×800 pixel display in the demo versions, the product which is released on the market is likely to use high definition technology.

Carmack, an early supporter of the project, and the first developer to integrate the headset with a game, said: "Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today.

"It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them."

Picture: Oculus.

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