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3dRudder for PSVR : Q/A with Stanislas Chesnais

The PSVR has had a terrific few years.

While the tech might not stand up to beefy PC counterparts it has won over many users with accessibility and low cost investment. We are no strangers to PSVR here at the site and its fair to say we are constantly surprised by the improvements being made in PSVR games. BVlod and Truth, Farpoint and Astrobot spring to mind. Something exciting on the horizon with future Australasian distribution is the 3dRudder.

One of the key issues that has dogged most experiences has been locomotion and with that often the attached feeling of nausea. There is a solution and having kept an eye on it for a while we thought it was time to lift the lid on the 3dRudder. A purpose built peripheral that is currently on a slow-burn, but gaining traction and fans. As a feet-on experience it makes the difference and fills a gap. Anybody that has tried been challenged by movement in PSVR versions of Skyrim or DoomVFR  (already on PC) would agree, if they were integrated 3dRudder would change the game.

I am waiting patiently for mine to turn up.

In the meantime enjoy a few candid questions we had the opportunity to pose to Stanislas Chesnais the CEO of 3dRudder.

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Where did the inspiration for the 3dRudder come from? Was it through a moment of clarity or seeing an obvious gap in the peripheral market?

The original idea comes from my co-founder, Valerio Bonora, who is an architect by trade and wanted to get rid of the 3D mouse he was using. He was looking for a more intuitive way to navigate digital model, and thought his feet could do a great job while his hands would be free to design. His idea proved right.
We went to CES in January 2015 with a proof of concept, and left with a “Best peripheral for virtual reality” award from Tom’s Hardware, although we had shown absolutely no VR. Their claim was we had nailed the way to move in 3D and it would do marvels in VR.
From my first experiences with PSVR. It was very apparent that locomotion was more of an issue if the player wasn’t ‘in something’ – like a vehicle. Would you agree with that and does 3dRudder go some way to resolving this?

It depends if you talk about motion sickness. This issue has a lot to do with the frame rate of the headset and more importantly how powerful the graphic card is. It also has to do with individual user’s experience and learning. Finally, having some points of reference like the dashboard of a car helps. And many people tell us, the 3dRudder wipes out what’s left of motion sickness.

However, I don’t think motion should only happened in a vehicle. In many games, ex. The Wizards – Enhanced Edition, motion is just amazing with the 3dRudder. And the feeling of having your hands free to cast spells etc is just astonishing.

With PSVR the lack of thumbsticks on the move controller makes locomotion and turning more complex than it should be. Obviously the 3dRudder aims to improve this, how well has the device been accepted and integrated by the developers?

The PSVR developer community is very supportive. We have as of today 57 games integrated or in integration (about 30 live on the PlayStation Store). And that number is rising every week. Our aim is to be supported by 100 games in June 2020.
The arrival of some AAA PSVR games you’ll be able to play with the 3dRudder will have a major additional impact on the developer community.

How complicated is it to get support for the device into some more high-profile titles? For example No Man’s Sky?

We all wait for NMS support of the 3dRudder. It would rock.
Integrating the 3dRudder takes about 2 days. A very interesting program from the PSVR Chat Show talks about the experience of 10 developers in integrating the 3dRudder in their games.

To gain more traction, is it a question of a bigger install base or feedback from the consumers?

It’s a combination of installed base, games compatibility, players’ feedback. I would add it’s also a question of marketing means. We’re a startup and rely on the support of Sony and some other big names in the industry to get known. The more people share their experience with the 3dRudder, the better.

Obviously the device has more implications than just PSVR ‘games’. Is it safe to assume it can enhance other software like SculptrVR or Dreams (given the chance)?

Think of CAD and one of our first VR demos: Tilt Brush. Yes the 3dRudder can impact those tools that one day will be a large part of the market because VR won’t just be about gaming: think design, tourism, museum, sports and esports…

Now the device is in the wild and the development cycle successful, what is next? Do you have bigger and better ideas for VR application?

First we’re bringing add-ons to the device, turning customer feedback into practical solutions. Next is also the Oculus Quest and whatever other console manufacturers are preparing.

We’ll definitely be very busy in 2020.

3dRudder - RUN THE GAME
Our thanks go to Stanislas for taking the time to answer our questions and hopefully pique some interest in the 3dRudder. Knowing The Wizards and wishing No Man’s Sky integration was on the horizon can’t wait to give it a spin. Literally.

Now, DoomVFR – time to lift your PSVR game.

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