Rogue Stargun, a VR space combat sim, arrives this week on Quest App Lab.
Created by DuGames, Rogue Stargun began development in 2020 and was designed from the ground up for Quest. Featuring a story-driven solo campaign across 24 missions, you can pilot five unique starfighters with an interactive VR cockpit, using virtual hands to interact with controls like the flight stick, targeting system and more. Promising large-scale fleet battles by the end of the campaign, you can see gameplay below:
Speaking to UploadVR, Larry Du tells us it was a childhood dream to create a game, having enjoyed titles like Tie Fighter and IL2-Sturmovik. Development began after buying an original Quest for Half-Life Alyx, stating that he was "surprised by the lack of in-depth games in the VR medium" compared to Valve's game. After debating whether to develop a PC, mobile, or Quest game, Du built two prototypes for mobile and VR. He explains that the VR version was "much more immersive and interesting."
Asked about the challenges as a solo developer, Du doesn't recommend making a Quest game your first project. Advising he coded everything, wrote all the dialogue and modeled most assets while also working his day job, we're told that the Unity Engine's Universal Rendering Pipeline (URP) had numerous bugs in 2020, like his first build failing to render the left eye's field of view. He also highlights difficulties in reaching 72FPS, particularly on the original Quest, stating how suboptimal code could kill the framerate and contribute towards motion sickness.
"I gradually learned to only test the features that required VR features using the headset and to test things like enemy AI outside the "VR world". The end result is quite good. There are space battles by the end of the game with over 60 starfighters and capital ships all running at 72 fps!"
Compared to other VR dogfighters, Du believes Rogue Stargun's strength comes from balancing cockpit interactivity with combat, saying others like Star Wars Squadrons and Space Salvage lean towards one side or the other. Stating the game should feel familiar if you played Ultrawings, Du advises you must manage your shield and engine power levels, put out fires in the cockpit and "fly through powerups to retrieve powerful weapons," which can be plugged into your ship.
As for long-term plans, Du hopes to introduce multiplayer PvP if Rogue Stargun builds a strong audience. Hand-tracking controls are also being considered for a potential Apple Vision Pro release, though he acknowledges this may take several years. Further improvements like localization for non-English markets are also being looked at, alongside replacing the AI text-to-speech tool generated dialogues with human voice actors.
Rogue Stargun reaches Quest App Lab on February 1 for $10.99, while a PC VR version is planned for Steam Early Access release in March.