Courageous Cannonball Commander was the first 'person-shooter' for the original Oculus Rift Development Kits (i.e. DK1 and DK2). It was a VR-based ballistic physics platformer, and a kind of nausea-inducing flight simulator, inspired by the 'toss' genre of browser-based games (e.g. 'Toss the Turtle', 'Kitten Cannon', and 'Burrito Bison Revenge').

Users play as an office worker who is pretending to work, but who is actually browsing the website 'Faceboom', where they find a browser-based game called Courageous Cannonball Commander. The user launches the Faceboom game and is transported inside the CRT monitor of their desktop computer, where they assume the role of a human cannonball and are shot out of a cannon. They swim though the air, and use items to try and land on trampolines and other special surfaces, in an effort to perpetuate their flight as long as possible. The landings can get a litte rough!

The game begins in the player's messy office cubicle.
The user's computer serves as the game's main menu, which invites the user to ignore their boring work and play Courageous Cannonball Commander in their browser.
The player has been launched through the air, inside the CRT monitor on their desk, and tries to aim for targets and trampolines that might lengthen their flight, and increase their score.
Courageous Cannonball Commander was exhibited at InterActive Demo Day at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Spring 2014. Here we see Marc Destefano, one of the game's developers, demoing the game outside the EMPAC building at RPI.

I was the lead writer and narrative designer for the project, and also contributed as a level designer. The project was developed in three weeks for the Oculus IndieCade Game Jam, and was released in Fall 2013. Sadly, Courageous Cannonball Commander is now extremely difficult to run, for a variety of technical and practical reasons -- but its spirit lives on in the H3VR game mode Meat Fortress, where users can fire rockets at their feet and launch themselves into the air. (See the video in the tweet below, where fellow RUST LTD. developer Anton Hand 'rocket jumps' across the Meat Fortress level.)

Posted a week prior to the release of Meat Fortress, this tweet demonstrates how users can 'rocket jump' across the level. This is RUST LTD.'s homage to Courageous Cannonball Commander.

Exhibitions and Honors

  • Oculus IndieCade Game Jam (Invited Team), Santa Monica, CA, Fall 2013.
  • InterActive Demo Day, EMPAC, Troy, NY, Spring 2014