Are you able to defend your honour when challenged to a duel with a flintlock pistol?

In Historic crafts VR – The flintlock duel you will learn how to load and shoot an 18th century flintlock pistol. A detailed tutorial leads you through the steps- before you enter the duel to defend your honour! Luck favours the brave!

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What is Historic Crafts VR?

Historic Crafts VR explores how VR can be used to disseminate historic crafts and skills. By using VR we hope to inspire interest in historic crafts and activities, help spreading knowledge of historic crafts and providing a fun experience making more people interested in history.

Historic crafts VR – The flintlock duel is the first VR of what we hope will be a series. The other experiences will be:

Oculus Quest

The app is currrently only available for Quest through Oculus App Lab. You need the link above to access it.

Oculus Rift

The making of The flintlock duel

The making of Historic crafts in VR- The flintlock duel has been a two-part process which has come together in the VR experience. In both parts we have worked closely with historians and experts to ensure that what you see and experience is as close to reality as we can make a digital experience.


We wanted the interactions in VR to simulate as closely as possible the physical interaction one would have and the experience of handling a flintlock pistol in the real world. This is also why we decided to have no animations and little to no auto completing objectives. Each step in the loading process is as realistic as possible, e.g. if the bullet is not wrapped in a piece of cloth when it is pushed down the barrel it will fall out if the player later points the gun downwards.

3D graphics

The flintlock pistol is a copy of a m1772 Flintlock in the Armed forces museum’s collection. We first used photogrammetry to document the pistol. Based on this, we made a 3D model. The model was made in 3Ds Max with 360 images of the original pistol used as reference. A lot of work went into making sure all the pieces of the 3D pistol were mechanically correct and moved in the same way as the pieces of a real flintlock pistol. The model consists of many different parts that move independently of each other. It was then textured in Substance Painter.

The 3D model of the m1772 is published on a cc-by-sa license and can be downloaded for free.

Historic context

The term flintlock describes any firearm that uses a flint striking ignition mechanism. It may also apply to the mechanism itself. This firing mechanism was introduced in the early 17th century and gradually grew to dominate firearms until replaced in the first part of and mid 19th century by new technologies. The flintlock mechanism was used in pistols, muskets and rifles.

Flintlock pistols were mainly used as self-defence weapons. Their range was short, and they were often used together with a sword. In this experience we have recreated the m1772 flintlock pistol. This was the most common flintlock pistol in Norway in the last decades of the 18th century. Muskets and rifles were used for longer shots, and thus used in military conflicts and hunting.

In Historic crafts in VR - The flintlock duel you learn to use a flintlock pistol so you are able to defend yourself in a duel. According to the historian Ryna Ordynat duels were a highly ritualized activity practiced mainly by the upper classes from about 1500 to 1900. It was an affair of honour, a crucial concept in the period, which was closely tied to a person’s reputation. Duelling was illegal throughout Europe and North America, and so was held in private, often at times or places which made discovery difficult.

Further reading

If you want to read up on this subject, here are some good starting points:

Contemporary sources:


Historic crafts VR is made by Tidvis. We are a Norwegian company consisting of historians, designers and game designers exploring new ways of disseminating history. It was made possible with financial support from Regionalt forskningsfond Viken. The following people and institutions have been involved:

Many thanks to: Ola Johnsgaard Moen for advice on flintlocks, the firing of these and uniforms. Elizabeth Svarstad for advice on the role of duels in polite society. Armed forces museum for letting us study the m1772 flintlock pistol, advise on weapons and uniforms.

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Tidvis AS does not collect personal information from children under the age of 13.

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