Former NASA engineer gives arcade game Donkey Kong a VR makeover
Donkey Kong

Former NASA engineer gives arcade game Donkey Kong a VR makeover

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Donkey Kong, one of the most successful arcade games, is all set to get an unofficial VR makeover.

Paul Nathan, a former member of Johnson Space Center’s VR Lab (NASA), is working on a virtual reality version of Nintendo’s Donkey Kong where players can play it on Oculus Quest 2. The VR version has the same storyline as the original one.

“Like a lot of people, I have a love for classic games. There’s an old-school arcade I started going to back in college, and I’d spend hours there. I wanted to see what a classic game would look like inside VR. Unlike other popular arcade titles, Donkey Kong has interactions that translate well into VR.” – Paul Nathan.

By using the Unity game engine, Nathan converted the arcade game from 2D to a 3D virtual reality environment. To run, players have to push the Quest thumbstick forward or backward, while to jump, players push the thumbstick in. For descending and climbing ladders, players have to move their hands down and up. 

At NASA’s virtual reality lab, Nathan helped create software and apps for the astronaut training program by using virtual reality. 

While the idea of a virtual reality Donkey Kong game sounds exciting, the game will not be released to the world. 

“As much as I’d like to make the game publicly available, Nintendo is notorious for shutting down fan games. If Nintendo ever wanted to hire me to work on an official title, I’d be honored!” – Paul Nathan.

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