Virtual Reality in Gaming

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Huntn, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
  2. Garrod macrumors regular

    Garrod

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    #2
    I bought the Oculas Rift DK1 and DK2. The DK2 certainly was far more polished than the DK1 (including resolution) but for gaming (both on OS X and Windows 10 via Bootcamp) using either a keys and mouse combo or an Xbox controller I found some games that adopted the technology somewhat troublesome. Games such as Elite: Dangerous seem to have been developed to work perfectly with them though with a decent joystick. Also, Nolimits Coaster 2 seemed to have been designed just for VR, but it's not really a game, more of VR (and very convincing!) simulator.

    I tried Half Life 2 (OS X version) for a bit but the controls just didn't feel intuitive enough to make me continue playing wearing a VR headset. That being said, it was (and is still) early days and I'm sure developers will create for more acceptable user interfaces. There were many indie demos that I've tried that gave a great idea as to how good it can be though. I've spent many hours flying around a mountainous region that only required to you to look in the direction you wanted to fly to control for example. Another great one was where you were in control of ship that you could explore the solar system. You'd look at the ship's control panel and it would highlight where you were looking at, requiring just a mouse or space bar click to to reach your destination, set speed etc.. Alas, I haven't got access to that iMac right now and I cannot remember the names of the said demos.

    I'm receiving my first 'proper' Oculus kit in June (hopefully!) and I'll report back. Alas, my iMac probably won't be a contender for testing it properly but I do also (sadly) have a high-spec Windows gaming PC but that's kind of irrelevant to this forum!
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    Will like to hear more about it. My concern has been the control interface Bessie a possibility of vertigo.
     
  4. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    Any updates for Anyone? I'm surprised this topic did not generate more discussion.

    If I have a concern it is in relationship to the adequacy of controllers, and my sometime need for note references when playing multiple characters or complicated simulation with many commands Including MOBAs and MMOs where I don't necessarily have all the spell or attacks memorized by heart.
     
  5. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

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    I'm not because it is early on and it is expensive. I don't think a lot of people are going to shell out the kind of cash presently required for this stuff just yet although I'd expect as it is refined and prices come down it will become more common. My guess is most people don't care about this much yet for these reasons. I know personally that I have done little reading about it myself for the reasons cited above. I know SONY is working on this for the Playstation and it wouldn't surprise me to see that take off first if it works decently and is priced aggressively but that all remains to be seen. The big thing is the cost. For now, this is a toy for people with a lot of money, the people who play games with SLI Titan X's, etc kind of money. Most gamers are not going to pay six to eight hundred dollars for this I don't think.
     
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    Yes, but I thought for sure we'd have some fanatics in here. :D

    It's incredibly cool as long as it's not overly expensive, it does not make me puke, and I can utilize the controls without too much rote memorization. I'm playing Smite now with access to over 30 Gods each with unique powers. I use a cheat sheet to remind me until I get the controls down for that match. I don't see a way to do this with VR.
     
  7. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

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    #7
    I've never had any trouble with shooters and whatnot but I wonder also if VR would phase me or not. I imagine I'll find out at some point when it's cheaper. It does seem like something that's going to be a big deal in the future.

    I read the other day that Microsoft is investing heavily in VR technology. There was some mention of holodeck I think but I can't recall if they are using the term or want to make one or what. I've joked for years about wanting that experience. If it is possible, I hope I wind up being here long enough to experience it although they'd better hurry up for that to happen.
     
  8. Garrod macrumors regular

    Garrod

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    #8
    I'm still waiting for my 'proper' Oculus Rift but one thing I will say is that my mum, who is by no means a gamer and is in her 60s, was blown away by the DK2 - to see her experiencing it and the way she reacted made me realise that VR is going to absolutely massive.
     
  9. SiaGarcia macrumors newbie

    SiaGarcia

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    #9
    I also have oculus Rift, it is amzing for playing games.
     
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #10
    Welcome to MacRumors! What games do you play? I'm curious how you find the controllers? My interest has to do with PC games (not console although I'm open to console, have an Xbox 360) that have somewhat complicated controls, normally played with a mouse, keyboard.
     
  11. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    #11
    Right now there's nothing special about VR beyond it being a glorified computer monitor. I'd be more interested as games come out that could not work in any other conditions except VR, but right now the only VR-specific features I know of involve ideas like walking around a room, which has tons of limitations by itself and seems too gimmicky for its worth. So I don't understand the appeal or its future potential or why I should care in general.
     
  12. Garrod macrumors regular

    Garrod

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    There are countless demos that have been released that are proof-of-concept that show innovative ways of using VR in gaming - you have to think outside the box; don't keep thinking mouse and WASD control systems for example.

    As for a glorified monitor? That's like calling a window cleaner a vision technician. VR is totally immersive visually - I'm yet to see a monitor that does such a thing.
     
  13. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    What kind of games do you play?

    VR is a developing technology, game inputs/controllers is the area that needs the most improvement, it's appeal is a very high level of immersion. Hopefully you can see that. ;) Many genres will benefit.

    One of my questions will be how many people will play first person vs third person. Two games, I'm currently playing Fallout 4 and ARK:Survival Evolved would be incredible in a VR setting. For most circumstances and situational awareness, I prefer and think I will continue to prefer 3rd person when VR reaches a state that I want to jump in.

    [​IMG]
    You won't be lookin through a monitor, you'll be there surrounded by the environment.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    #14
    Obviously it'll be more immersive than looking at a screen, but beyond that, it's that lack of a compelling input setup so far that's making it hard to take it seriously right now.

    I'm trying to imagine how I could end up playing different genres of conventional/current games, like a FPS or a massive open-world game, and besides just reinventing the games themselves, the only thing that makes sense to me out of all of the input approaches I've seen so far is a "virtual reality treadmill" like an Omni. But even that has its own limitations, like you aren't really able to physically take many positions asides from standing up straight and walking. Not that it isn't immersive but it cuts down on the potential that you would have in a more free-roam setting like what Valve's trying to do with room sensors. But I'm not even a fan of that approach because it's also limited in other ways, like how much room space you have, which limits what you can do in your games...

    I can imagine a lot of "seated" types of games becoming a trend, since you only have to worry about the player having a VR headset, so it's simpler and easier to anticipate for as a game dev if you want easy immersiveness but the kind that also makes sense. So racing and flying games obviously become incredibly immersive now for a lot less work than a walk-around type of game. Or maybe your game is more than just a racing game when you combine other elements, like Carmaggedon or Rocket League. And maybe the next big VR FPS stars a guy in an electric wheelchair?

    As for third-person, I could imagine a simple "toy-box" approach working just fine and working for a lot of games immediately.
     
  15. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    I tried the Oculus at Best Buy several weeks ago and also at a local Air Festival (the Civil Air Patrol got a complimentary(?) headset for flight training).

    The Oculus at Best Buy only had some demo and climbing game (lame). It does have potential.

    Using the set for flight simming was interesting. The only problem is that you can't see your hands reach for the controls you may have set up (the plane I was flying had the throttle different than were it was placed and messed me up not to mention flying a plane with a stick and using a yoke). Thought I think the best way to use a flight sim is to have a large screen or multiple screens in a wrap-around to match the cockpit views and being able to see your hands on the controls.

    I did just try the Playstation VR at a Best Buy. The way PS solves it is that you get a "virtual" controller as part of your view so you can at least see what you are pressing. I tried Battlezone VR and it worked quite well. Being a BIG TRON and Battlezone fan, it was great to see these worlds "merged together".

    The only thing is that the Battlezone environment is sort of easy to render (compared to say, Halo 5). The Playstation VR needed a "booster box" to do the VR. I think upping the game to the PS4 NEO will help a lot. The rep said that the NEO may still use the "booster box" for ultimate rendering (why not - you already get one with the VR headset so why not add it on to the NEO?).

    The VR would be great for visiting destinations and education, and games developed for it with VR in mind. Trying to adapt older games may be a challenge.

    Though the PS VR demo had a regular TV set for on-lookers to see what was going on so I don't think that Battlezone would be a problem to play in 2D. But Sony may want games to be VR only to help with the sales of the headset...
     
  16. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

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    #16
    I'm interested, but only when the prices come down and there's more support, more refined solution. A bit wary because I wear glasses, so it seems like it won't be very comfortable for me.
     
  17. gkarris macrumors 604

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    #17
    I would go and try them on right now as the company reps are taking notes as far as suggestions. I think the Oculus Rift had more room for glasses...
     
  18. panda76 macrumors member

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    #18
    A friend of mine picked up an Oculus Rift a few days ago.. he's already selling it. I couldn't try it out, but he said the pixels were far too big and that he just couldn't get used to the screen door effect

    I know it's just one person's opinion, but looking at the amount of these starting to appear on the 2nd hand market, I am wondering if VR is more of a love/hate thing

    Some people just don't seem to like it at all
     
  19. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

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    #19
    Yeah I'd need to try it first. Still wouldn't buy now; it's too early for an entry barrier vs cost.
     
  20. mw360 macrumors 65816

    mw360

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    #20
    We have an Oculus at work, mainly for video playback. We've tried out some games too of course.

    With regards to controllers, Oculus comes with an XBox controller and you can't get far without it. The Oculus home screen doesn't work with mouse & keyboard as far as I can tell. Some pre-VR games, with retro-fitted VR capability like Elite Dangerous do work with mouse or a HOTAS but you are somewhat on your own when it comes to configuring a usable setup. (Elite uses a ton of keyboard controls and you do have to sacrifice some in VR).

    For Oculus you are expected to be seated the whole time. With SteamVR you tell the system whether you are seated or standing in a small area, or standing in a large area. I've not been able to try any of that out though.

    The inability to see your keyboard is an obvious limitation though, in a short amount of time developers will learn the best solutions. At the moment we are in a transition period. Older games (eg Half Life 2 quoted above) may offer a terrible experience. HL2 is indeed absolutely awful. The very best VR experiences have been designed for VR from the start, respecting the strengths and weaknesses, and sticking to the 'rules' for comfortable use. Flying, driving, swimming, climbing all work great in VR. First personal shooters do not, yet, and are unlikely to for some time. Anything which needs you to refer to crib sheets will suffer until developers think to add an in-VR analog for you. How you'd write on it though I don't know...

    By the way with a DK2 it is possible to see through a small gap at the sides of your nose so you can find keyboard keys without taking off the headset. It's awkward to do that though, and does pull you out of the experience. I don't know if the consumer version has the same 'ability', but it's only a stopgap solution. Ultimately somebody may tie in with Leap Motion so we can see where our hands are, relative to a keyboard, but I think it's more likely that keyboard use will fall out of favour vs custom controllers and on-screen toggles/menus.

    Take all reviews of VR with a pinch of salt. It is clearly very polarising. Personally I find most VR experiences absolutely astounding (and I've been a gamer for decades, and worked in development for about 10 years). Complaining about the low resolution (or 'screen door effect') seems very petty to me, and we're going to be stuck with that for a long while until we have 16K displays. Yes the resolution is noticeably low, but the spectacular 360 degree field of view in stereo is more than adequate compensation (for me).

    I have seen one person playing Elite while looking straight ahead the entire time as if looking at a regular monitor. Quite strange to me, since the whole point is that you can look left, right, and up through the canopy, or even crane forwards and look down through the little windows by your virtual feet. I guess someone of a similar inclination wouldn't get any benefit and put their headset up for sale, or leave a negative review. Not blaming the user here, just noting that perhaps some people are immune to, or unmoved by, the illusion VR offers.

    One of us wears glasses and has no problem with the Oculus DK2 headset with his glasses still on. He often doesn't even need to adjust it.

    Regarding the PlayStation, according to a Sony employee I know, the 'booster box' which comes with PS VR does not provide any extra GPU power to the console. It provides a very specific VR related capability to ease motion sickness and smooth frame-rate judder. It's sometimes called 'reprojection' if you want to do some googling, and somewhat resembles the motion smoothing effect modern TVs can perform (but it's not the same). Oculus does it too using the latest drivers in Win10.
     
  21. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #21
    Thanks for the report! My impression continues to be that VR provides an astounding visual experience, but controls are still a work in progress.
     
  22. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

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  23. gkarris, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016

    gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #23
    I really can't see how you can do complex gaming controls without directly seeing them...

    I'm beginning to believe that multiple wrap-around monitors is the way to go...

     
  24. Huntn, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    I use a Razer Nostromo and Gaming Mouse, and when playing a game like Smite with multiple Gods having different abilities, I use a cheat sheet. If I play one God long enough, I do get their commands memorized, but it's beforehand that I need visual cues. I also see issues in VR displaying custom control templates based on the controller being used.

    That setup is impressive and looks expensive! Maybe it's the videos, but the game looks very flat on those monitors.
     
  25. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #25
    VR gaming existed for decades, always improving.

    What you are talking about is full visual immersion, THAT is what is new.

    HOTAS (look it up), could add voice control.
    Could also have glove controllers.

    Don't need an entire, immobile room.
     

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