Joe Ludwig, head of virtual reality development at Valve, officially announced today that Half-Life 2 now supports the Oculus Rift.

The announcement came via the official Oculus Rift Developers Forum where devs can get together and talk about known issues and help each other out when developing games for the Oculus Rift. In order to use the Oculus Rift with Half-Life 2, you need to do a few things. First, you need to opt into the SteamPipe Beta, Steam’s new content distribution medium, and open the properties for Half-Life 2 in Steam, set your command line to “-vr”, according to Ludwig in his post.

As with all Oculus Rift products at the moment, bugs are expected, so Ludwig asks everyone to report bugs when they find them.

If you have an Oculus Rift and plan to use it with Half-Life 2, here are a few tips from Ludwig that will help you get everything running smoothly:

A few known issues:

  • The zoom UI shows up in a quad in the middle of the screen instead of on the edges of the screen.
  • The HUD is dim and hard to read.

All of the convars are the same as they were in TF2 with two additions:
vr_viewmodel_offset_forward – Moves the viewmodel back so the elbows are harder to see and it feels more attached to your body.
vr_viewmodel_offset_forward_large – Same as vr_viewmodel_offset_forward, but for the Gravity Gun.

I find these convars to be useful in the game itself, so consider setting them:
hud_quickinfo 1
hud_fastswitch 2

The calibrator isn’t up and running in HL2, but you can use the one in TF2 to generate the appropriate values. You should definitely do this to avoid eye strain and make the whole experience more pleasant.

  • Run TF2 and calibrate using vr_calibration.
  • Look at the vr_separation_user_inches convar and remember what it is set to
  • Run HL2 and set that convar to the same value.
  • Set vr_separation_toein_pixels to 0 in HL2

You should launch TF2 and run vr_calibration. See what vr_separation_user_inches is set to and set the same.

With big titles like Half-Life and Team Fortress already supporting the Oculus Rift, it is only a matter of time until other big studios jump on the bandwagon. Are you hoping to see the Oculus Rift supported in other big titles?

Source: Oculus Rift Developers Blog

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Nick C
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I’m Nick, a proud nerd and gamer. I rock my Star Wars tattoos like I’m a real Jedi, and I hope I will be making games first and playing them second in the future!