Virtual Reality Porn Game 'Wicked Paradise' Comes to Oculus Rift

Jun 18, 2013 12:00 PM PST

IRVINE, Calif. —A new virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift, has inspired mainstream game developers to team up to produce an interactive erotic adventure game, Wicked Paradise.  

“It’s hard to compare it to anything because it’s entirely new,” the project’s leader, Jeroen Van den Bosch, told XBIZ. “The best way to describe it is an adult virtual reality experience. You pretty much have to experience it to really explain what it is. But the closet thing you can think of is it’s like being inside of a movie. And instead of watching the movie, you’re actually playing inside it.”

Van den Bosch said that while there have been many attempts to create virtual reality porn, the resulting products have all been “really bad.”

He believes that previous efforts have all failed because developers have approached the novel product using an outdated, static attitude.

“They tried to create adult video games by just turning porn into a video game, but that doesn’t work because porn is something that you look at and videogames are something that you are doing,” Van den Bosch said. “So that’s where I think they did it wrong.”   

The Wicked Paradise team, comprised of eight gaming industry veterans with titles like Call of Duty and Madden under their belts, is attempting to circumvent that problem by making the game experience “as immersive as possible.” They used the game Heavy Rain as a conceptual springboard for their product because of it allows players to get “into the skin” of the main character and make executive decisions.

The official website describes the game, “Imagine playing Leisure Suit Larry but instead of watching a screen, you are inside the game. Imagine the world and its inhabitants look highly realistic. Imagine walking into a bar in Wicked Paradise, noticing a beautiful lady, talking to her and seducing her. Imagine playing your cards right and having passionate, wild sex with her.”

The group is also drawing on technical methods lifted from the film industry and are using the same technique used by Beowulf to create their digital replicas.

Van den Bosch attempted to create a similar, Rift-compatible erotic adult game called Sinful Robot last year, but abandoned the project when he had trouble with the main investors.

The new project is in pre-production, so specific plot details and sex act descriptions are scarce, Van den Bosch said. Because the primary market for the Oculus Rift and Wicked Paradise is primarily men, the first edition of the game will simulate heterosexual sex from a male perspective. However, Van den Bosch said it is his “full intention” to expand development to include parallel versions for women and the LGBT community.   

Wicked Paradise is also communicating with the heads of RealTouch and the Vstroker and is experimenting with integrating external products into the game.

“The bottom line is, we’re trying to simulate real life as much as possible,” Van den Bosch said. “And trying to put the people inside the mind of a virtual person who, in virtual reality, is having all sorts of crazy adventures, so people can really experience it as if they’re doing it themselves.”

To do this, Van den Bosch believes the Wicked Paradise team must cross the “uncanny valley,” which, in tech speak, stands for the negative affect people feel towards characters that are not quite convincing or realistic enough.

“And it’s really difficult to cross that valley because the way to do it requires very expensive motion capturing techniques,” he said. “But it’s the only way to do it right because if you don’t, you will never have a very appealing virtual person inside your virtual reality. And that’s obviously a total deal breaker when you’re trying to create an erotic atmosphere.”

Wicked Paradise is slated to release alongside the Oculus Rift towards the end of 2014. The commercial version of the Oculus Rift will cost around $300.   

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