Racing games are different than other categorized games for many reasons. Throughout the life of a gamer, they are going to be introduced to many different racing games with many different themes. Just last night, I sat down and tried a new NASCAR game on my PC, and I was two laps in until I realized I was only going to be turning in circles the whole game. 

Death Lap is a new game coming from OZWE that will be exclusive to Oculus headsets, and its a game that is going to give racing a new life inside of virtual reality. 

Oculus sat down with OWZE CEO Stephane Intissar to get the inside scoop on this new game and what they are expecting from it as a studio. You can Check that interview out on the Oculus Blog, and we have also included it below. 


Did you draw upon any cultural references to come up with the character of Nitro Saint Payne?

Stéphane Intissar: Nitro Saint Payne is a fictional character inspired by a mix of famous 

supervillains—Arcade from Marvel Comics, a combination of an evil genius and a hitman; Mojo from Marvel Comics, a ruler, slave trader, and host of a deadly show; Dan Killian in The Running Man, a science fiction novel written by Stephen King; the Joker, the criminal mastermind and archenemy of the superhero Batman; and last, but not least, Cruella de Vil, the main antagonist of The Hundred and One Dalmatians, a pop-culture type epitomizing a person who is very, very mean and has an enormous ego.

Nitro is portrayed as a prodigious former racing champion who turned into a network host for a deadly racing game. He is originally French, but he toured the world, taking first place in every match, course, Grand Prix, and marathon. He suffered a tragedy of his own, but from tragedy, comes his one masterpiece, “Death Lap.”

How did you amp up the action on the track?

SI: Besides weapons, players can use items to get an edge over their opponents: traps, secret paths, and pickup items spread throughout the 3D environments. There is a general “if the speed doesn’t kill you, the driver beside you will” tone, giving the play a sweet dose of dark humor.

To spice up the game, players can be eaten by a colossal piranha, electrified by the malicious clown, and crushed by a giant dice over the ruthless rides.

There are five vehicles to choose from—each car has its own unique personality and character with gameplay variations and different weapons. Each vehicle features a variety of strengths, weaponry, and special abilities.

Nitro has created five devious tracks: a psychedelic desert, oil on fire in the desert, Las Vegas by night, an abandoned theme park, and a giant pinball.

Single or multiplayer, this game allows up to six players to fight each other with integrated VoIP enabling players to communicate with their opponents easily. Also, racers rank against others on the global leaderboard.

What best practices or lessons learned from your previous VR development experience did you draw upon while concepting and iterating on Death Lap?

SI: Despite our experience with locomotion in VR in the Anshar Wars series, we found that it was difficult to drive and shoot at the same time while players control their cars in first- or third-person view. The player steers the vehicle with the left controller (stick or tilt) and controls the weapons with the right controller. So a lot of iterations went on, making both actions easy to learn and master.

Racing in VR is also more complicated for comfort and performance due to the physics vehicle system, but we were able to come up with an innovative control scheme and utilize our technical experience in optimizing for mobile CPU/GPU to overcome those issues.

If people take one thing away from the game, what do you hope it would be and why?

SI: Shooting while driving is super fun in VR!

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

SI: I guess the only thing left to say is to keep an eye on us until Death Lap is released!


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