20Q with Jon Hibbins developer of Crystal Rift

Posted November 3, 2014 by David in 20 Q

Welcome to our weekly feature where we ask some of the industry’s leading developers and personalities 20 questions.

This week we feature Jon Hibbins developer of Crystal Rift

Jon Hibbins

Jon Hibbins

State Your Name:

Jon Hibbins

What is your current Job / Role ?

Indie Developer of Crystal Rift

What are you most famous for ?

Squigs (Amiga Game), PopClogs and a number of SaaS Platforms

What is currently on the desk in front of you ?



DK2, G35, 3xiMac 27 inch, 3DS XL, Xbox Controller, Coffee Mug, iPhone 5, Lens Cleaner, Microsoft Mouse and a Wired Apple Keyboard (I like the keypad an no battery scenario)

What was your first VR experience ?

A Wizard game (Nottingham, UK 1990’s), and Dactyl Nightmare in London Trocadero in 1991, But for Oculus it’s Crystal Rift, I converted the WIP to DK1 and tried it.

Did you feel any sim sickness or do you ever feel any sim sickness ?

Yes, anything with movement, especially fast makes me sick eventually, I’m getting better but it still happens, Crystal Rift uses a-lot of techniques to prevent or lessen sickness, Snapping forward, comfort turns, allowing the user to just look ahead all help, a couple of bit’s it actually does something to induce it on purpose as a punishment for failure, falling off a plank into the pits turns you on purpose for example.

Crystal Rift

Crystal Rift

What’s the longest amount of time you have spent in VR in one play session ?

A Weekend of Crystal Rift in and out all day is quite regular

What’s the strangest experience you have had with VR ?

Other than developing a VR game which in it’s self is strange, Elite Dangerous, Flying to a Space Stations, getting within range, asking for permission to dock, being given a docking station, flying though the door, engaging the landing gear, finding the dock number, landing with a bump and docking into the stations computer is just the most strange fantastical experiences I have had in VR



What’s the funniest experience you have had with VR ?

Watching people jump at the first Crystal Rift scare, it makes me laugh every time

What game or hardware device are you currently working on ?

iMac 27inch 3.4Ghx i7 with 16gb ram and AMD 6970M

Do you have a release date in mind for your project ?

Summer 2015, we have just started our Steam Greenlight campaign, please support us by voting at www.crystalrift.com/greenlight/ we really need every vote we can, Greenlighting a VR game is very tough

What is the biggest surprise you have had since you started to work in VR ?

It constantly surprise’s me that VR game programming is not just a second thought, everything needs to be done differently from Height Maps on Textures to menus, eye focus, distance awareness, special effects and interactions, it’s awful when good games try and shoehorn into VR, it fails. I think the best games  will be the ones that are “Designed for VR”

Dungeon Master

Dungeon Master

If you could only choose one game from your childhood to be remade for VR what would it be ?

I can’t choose one, too many good ones : Dungeon Master, which is why Crystal Rift Exists, Elite (dream came true here),  World of Warcraft, Monkey Island, Mario Kart, GTA, Super Mario Galaxy, BioShock, Zelda and Portal

I don’t want to see: Call of Duty, Halo, Titan Fall etc

Besides games what do you think will be the most useful application for VR ?

Fun Experiences and Shopping/Product Configuration

What advice would you give to people on how to get into VR development ?

Test on a low spec machine and make sure that run’s at 75mhz first, then everything else will too

Lawnmower Man

Lawnmower Man

What is your favorite VR related movie ?

Lawnmower Man and i’m just reading Ready Player One

If you had a crystal ball and could see 10 years into the future what developments in VR do you think will have happened?

All households will have one because they will be affordable and the Games, Online Shopping, Web Browsing, Experiences and Education aspects will be so compelling.

Outside of VR what do you do to relax ?

I spend time in Finland at a family Mökki by a lake with plenty of Sauna’s

Elite Dangerous

Elite Dangerous

What’s your current favorite VR experience that you have not developed your self ?

Elite hands down. Alien terrifies me.

Sum up how you feel about Virtual Reality in 6 words or less ?

About Time (also my favorite movie)


Download Crystal Rift Here

Vote on Greenlight Here 



VR Cover

About the Author


David Whelan a professional web developer has been a serial early adopter of the latest technology. From an early age playing on a C64 he always dreamt of entering virtual worlds and exploring the endless possibilities that could be offered up by the platform.

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