Virtual Reality in Gaming

Huntn

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First weekend I got it I stayed up late and played for hours. The next couple of days I felt really weird. When I was looking at flat monitors at work the text would seem to shift around. It was like everything was floating, and when I reached to grab something off my desk the distance would seem slightly wrong, as though my hand wouldn't connect with it. A bit worrying, to be honest, but it never happened again and I'm fine with it now. I guess I've got my VR legs.

You can't see your hands unless you're holding the Oculus controllers, so keyboard / mouse is probably out. The controller should be similar to what you have in the game, if you see what I mean. Elite with a stick and throttle is perfect, I have every in-game function mapped to the buttons so I never take my hands off them. I find using an Xbox controller for driving games to be a bit strange, though. I'm thinking of buying a steering wheel.

I have a Nostromo too, but see above. Using inappropriate controllers sort of breaks the immersion.

Oculus has a mic and headphones built in, works really well. The multiplayer game I tried, Echo Arena, handles voice on its own. It has directional audio, you just go close to somebody to talk to them and it feels/sounds like they're standing in front of you. You get two sensors with the package, I think the third is for if you want it to be able to track your hands while you have your back to it, which hasn't been a problem for me so far. It can still track your head but obscuring your hands makes it lose sight of them.

Only three, unless you buy an extra sensor. Depending on your motherboard it can saturate your USB 3 controller, it requires huge bandwidth. I had to buy an extra PCI USB 3 card. Also, your 970 is the minimum spec (!) so you won't be able to ramp up things like supersampling that make the image a lot sharper. The hardware requirements are what will prevent this being truly mass market for now.
Thanks for the info!
In most of the games I play, I eventually memorize buttons, but for VR, what until then? The most challenging example for myself would be playing a game like Smite, where there are 30+ Gods you can play, all with different attacks.

In ED in the space ship controls there were side navigation panels to do things like request docking, or to set a course. Those little hand controllers don't seem up for the task, and a joystick/throttle, you'd be memorizing buttons, correct? Now if they had a virtual interface which you could use to select different functions that could be cool, or have a small in-game screen where you could insert and display a device key map for the buttons you have to memorize.

What surprises me a bit, is that even with a 3D pan, moving your display from a 32" monitor to a 3x5" display would ramp up graphic card requirements.
 

garnerx

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Thanks for the info!
In most of the games I play, I eventually memorize buttons, but for VR, what until then? The most challenging example for myself would be playing a game like Smite, where there are 30+ Gods you can play, all with different attacks.

In ED in the space ship controls there were side navigation panels to do things like request docking, or to set a course. Those little hand controllers don't seem up for the task, and a joystick/throttle, you'd be memorizing buttons, correct? Now if they had a virtual interface which you could use to select different functions that could be cool, or have a small in-game screen where you could insert and display a device key map for the buttons you have to memorize.

What surprises me a bit, is that even with a 3D pan, moving your display from a 32" monitor to a 3x5" display would ramp up graphic card requirements.
I'm guessing a game like Smite just wouldn't work in VR. As long as the controls are reasonably intuitive, like in Elite, you can get along with it. Those hotas setups are designed so fighter pilots don't have to take their hands off the controls, so they're more than adequate for typical flight / space games.

ED's navigation panels - first thing I did in the beta was set up buttons for that on the throttle, it has always worked great for me on a monitor and it's the same in VR. Alternatively I think the default controls make the nav panels pop up when you look towards them, but I didn't like that because it sort of spoils the view.

It's not the size of the monitor that murders your graphics card, the VR headsets have two screens so the game has to draw the entire scene from two different viewpoints simultaneously and ideally it should never drop below 90 frames per second. I used to run Elite with supersampling to take it up to close to 4K resolution, and the gpu would be fine with that at 60 fps, but VR at a lower resolution completely maxes it out.
 
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gkarris

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It's not the size of the monitor that murders your graphics card, the VR headsets have two screens so the game has to draw the entire scene from two different viewpoints simultaneously and ideally it should never drop below 90 frames per second. I used to run Elite with supersampling to take it up to close to 4K resolution, and the gpu would be fine with that at 60 fps, but VR at a lower resolution completely maxes it out.
When I had my PSVR headset working in Steam, it would depend on the game greatly.

House of the Dying Sun looked gorgeous in VR and worked fine - but the graphics are a bit simplistic.

EVERSPACE has gorgeous graphics and VR was added in later. My RX 470 choked in VR even on "lowest quality" and people with slightly better cards were complaining as well. That program requires something more along the lines of an RX Vega 54 or GTX 1070...
 

Huntn

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August 2017- Ok, I took a spin on the Oculus Rift at the local Microsoft Store, here's my report. :D
25Aug Update: The Xbox 1 controller is no longer included in the latest package and only one sensor vs two. The original package was actually two packages combined, but that is no longer being offered.
  • The Ms Store had only one working game, a Spider-Man game which included a tutorial, I did the tutorial. I told the manager, if they wanted to sell these things he needed a flight/space sim like Eve Valkyrie or a survival sandbox, like Subnautica.
  • When the Software is cranked up, you find yourself standing in a pleasant environment which is supposed to be your new VR home, first impression it felt more like being at the mall, but I can see this as a cool family room. :)

This image sharper that what I saw in the OR​

I noticed immediately the resolution was not where I expected to be. I imagine before hand there would be amazingly sharp graphics, but they were not. The VR unit is very sensitive to where it sits on your head. Adjusting that, and adjusting the eye spacing for the lenses, helped but it was still grainy.
  • Controllers- I liked the OR hand controllers because I could point my finger and select, or grab something. The hand controllers had two triggers and two buttons, and a hat switch each. I was told the unit includes an Xbox controller which is used in some games. That is probably a great option for many games. I think you need a joystick for a flight dim.
  • Mic- Where is it and how is it controlled? I did not get that answered. Is there one?
  • The screen- When using the OR, it's not like a 360 degree screen that goes into your peripheral vision. There is a black band around the edge of your field of view, which from a potential nausea issue, I found anchored me, actually that's great news. :) But if you look behind you, it's like having a 360 degree view, just not all at once.
  • VR environment- In the Spider-Man game, I found myself on a rooftop with targets like bottles, and such so I could shoot them with my webs. Behind me was a ledge, and looking over the edge, I could see the street below. That was cool.

This image looks better than what I saw in the OR.​
  • Nausea- there are reports of some users getting nauseous. However, when I shot my web at an overhead crane and pulled myself up very fast, the good news is that the motion did not make me nauseous.
  • Conclusion, I think I'm going to wait for the next generation of VR. I've watch many trailers for current VR titles, and most don't impress me, and the killer was that I was dissapointed in the resolution. However, I can see why I could fall in love with this. Yes guys, I'd love to try Elite Dangerous with it. :D

 
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gkarris

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August 2017- Ok, I took a spin on the Oculus Rift at the local Microsoft Store, here's my report. :D...
  • Conclusion, I think I'm going to wait for the next generation of VR. I've watch many trailers for current VR titles, and most don't impress me, and the killer was that I was disappointed in the resolution. Yes guys, I'd love to try Elite Dangerous with it. :D
Disappointed in the resolution of the games or in the resolution of the headset?
 

Huntn

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Disappointed in the resolution of the games or in the resolution of the headset?
Resolution of what I saw, what the headset provided. Now maybe it would not be as noticible in space (Valkyrie or ED). :)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculus_Rift
Officially it's Graphics 2160x1200 (1080x1200 per eye) @ 90 Hz. That should be pretty good, but it did not look as good on a small screen as anything on my monitor. Maybe you or someone can explain why it seems that way to me?
 
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gkarris

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Resolution of what I saw, what the headset provided. Now maybe it would not be as noticible in space (Valkyrie or ED). :)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculus_Rift
Officially it's Graphics 2160x1200 (1080x1200 per eye) @ 90 Hz. That should be pretty good, but it did not look as good on a small screen as anything on my monitor. Maybe you or someone can explain why it seems that way to me?
What kind of monitor do you have?

It also depends greatly on the game graphics.

Battlezone VR is rather simplistic graphics compared to Star Wars Rogue Mission VR or EVE Valkyrie...
 

Huntn

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What kind of monitor do you have?

It also depends greatly on the game graphics.

Battlezone VR is rather simplistic graphics compared to Star Wars Rogue Mission VR or EVE Valkyrie...
32" widescreen Viewsonic, games are usually at approx 1960x1060, something like that. I sit about 24" from the screen.
 

gkarris

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August 2017- Ok, I took a spin on the Oculus Rift at the local Microsoft Store, here's my report. :D
  • The Ms Store had only one working game, a Spider-Man game which included a tutorial, I did the tutorial. I told the manager, if they wanted to sell these things he needed a flight/space sim like Eve Valkyrie or a survival sandbox, like Subnautica.
btw:

Looks like that Spiderman game is available on Sony PSVR.

Doesn't look like a game I would play.

You need to try VR with games YOU WANT TO PLAY...

My first exposure to VR was with Samsung Gear VR at Best Buy. It was running some sort of Cirque du soleil demo - EXTEMELY CREEPY... :eek:

Well, that didn't sit too well with me.

Then I tried the Oculus Rift at Best Buy when it first came out - some sort of "rock climbing" demo and some sort of "virtual dinosaur museum" thing - boring...

I tried PSVR with Battlezone - now you're talking.

Then I saw that more Space Sims were out for it and since it was the cheapest and turn-key, I got the PSVR and love it for the Space Sims...

The first time I tried Star Wars VR on it - I was totally blown away, and my childhood dream was to pilot an X-Wing... now I can on a home console from my couch... :)

So, try to demo the headset with games you would want to play - ones that don't will just turn you off to the whole idea...

Finally sitting down to play EVE (only have an hour) - wow, it needs a whole afternoon- what a beautifully done VR game!
 

garnerx

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Officially it's Graphics 2160x1200 (1080x1200 per eye) @ 90 Hz. That should be pretty good, but it did not look as good on a small screen as anything on my monitor. Maybe you or someone can explain why it seems that way to me?
The sharpness is definitely not great, that's quite a big drawback at the moment. While it does sound like a lot of pixels per eye, for the most part you're only actually looking at the centre of the screen and a lot of it is rendered in your peripheral vision. Also it's right in front of your face, viewed through a lens that makes it look far away. It's a fresnel lens too, to save weight and size, so you get a bit of smearing and god rays with bright objects on dark backgrounds. A camera buff will tell you there's probably no way around that, in this VR generation or the next, thanks to the limitations of optics and all - it's either better / heavier / more expensive or cheaper / lighter / optically compromised.

I'm surprised they didn't have something better than Spider Man to demo the thing. Some of the freebies I got with the headset are great, there was a good tutorial where you interact with a robot and a shooting game called Robo Recall (I think) that's incredibly intense. You forget to look for the pixels if the experience is good enough.

Also, the mic is somewhere in the front of the headset, sound quality seems very good.
 
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Huntn

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The sharpness is definitely not great, that's quite a big drawback at the moment. While it does sound like a lot of pixels per eye, for the most part you're only actually looking at the centre of the screen and a lot of it is rendered in your peripheral vision. Also it's right in front of your face, viewed through a lens that makes it look far away. It's a fresnel lens too, to save weight and size, so you get a bit of smearing and god rays with bright objects on dark backgrounds. A camera buff will tell you there's probably no way around that, in this VR generation or the next, thanks to the limitations of optics and all - it's either better / heavier / more expensive or cheaper / lighter / optically compromised.

I'm surprised they didn't have something better than Spider Man to demo the thing. Some of the freebies I got with the headset are great, there was a good tutorial where you interact with a robot and a shooting game called Robo Recall (I think) that's incredibly intense. You forget to look for the pixels if the experience is good enough.

Also, the mic is somewhere in the front of the headset, sound quality seems very good.
Thanks for that explanation. I assume one of the controller buttons can be programmed to open the mic for multiplayer?

The guys at the store told me the package came with 2 sensors and a Xbox 1 controller. I looked online and that was not the case. Called back to the store and discovered that was the original bundle, which they were out of replaced by the new package with only one sensor and no xbox controller. :( My use of this device would be sitting at my desk. Would one sensor suffice?

Anyway I'm back to thinking about it. It's interesting that Occulus is calling it a limited time sale. I'll just take my chances and ponder some more. You are absolutely right, what they chose to show me was ok for learning how to use it, but then it was over, and they did not offer me something with actual game play. They might have been able to sell me a unit if they had played their cards right. :-/
 

garnerx

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There was no mic button in the one multiplayer game I've played (Echo Arena) it was always open. You can physically approach the person you want to talk to and it's like having a face-to-face conversation, very cool. People seem less inclined to be unpleasant to each other, it's the strangest and most friendly multiplayer lobby I've ever seen.

I think the original package had an Xbox controller and one sensor, which is what I got, then they brought out the touch controllers that come packaged separately with another sensor. So you might get those two boxes, depending on how much old stock they've got left, but the latest package is a single box with touch controllers and two sensors.

You don't actually need the Xbox controller at all, I've never had to use mine. It's a nice bonus to have for non-Oculus games but the touch controllers basically replicate every function of the Xbox one.
 
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Huntn

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There was no mic button in the one multiplayer game I've played (Echo Arena) it was always open. You can physically approach the person you want to talk to and it's like having a face-to-face conversation, very cool. People seem less inclined to be unpleasant to each other, it's the strangest and most friendly multiplayer lobby I've ever seen.

I think the original package had an Xbox controller and one sensor, which is what I got, then they brought out the touch controllers that come packaged separately with another sensor. So you might get those two boxes, depending on how much old stock they've got left, but the latest package is a single box with touch controllers and two sensors.

You don't actually need the Xbox controller at all, I've never had to use mine. It's a nice bonus to have for non-Oculus games but the touch controllers basically replicate every function of the Xbox one.
I've looked around and don't see the items available at a lesser price. If you buy the single headset and duo controllers separately, it will cost more than the current package.

I was thinking about flight sims, and it might be easily possible to program a virtual joystick. :) The tradional need of a joystick was to provide input, like a hat switch to swing your view. Not necessary in VR. With the Oculus Controller (left hand) one button could be used to toggle the joystick, with buttons to make weapons selections. There are two triggers. The right hand could be used to toggle the throttle on and off and other selections accessible through virtual buttons. :D
 

garnerx

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I've looked around and don't see the items available at a lesser price. If you buy the single headset and duo controllers separately, it will cost more than the current package.

I was thinking about flight sims, and it might be easily possible to program a virtual joystick. :) The tradional need of a joystick was to provide input, like a hat switch to swing your view. Not necessary in VR. With the Oculus Controller (left hand) one button could be used to toggle the joystick, with buttons to make weapons selections. There are two triggers. The right hand could be used to toggle the throttle on and off and other selections accessible through virtual buttons. :D
I meant if you buy the bundle that's $400 or whatever, you might get sent two boxes with all the stuff and an Xbox controller (which is the old discontinued package) or a single box with the same but no Xbox controller. It seems to be random, I got mine from Amazon and it turned up as two shipments a few days apart. I was lucky, I got some of the old stock.

There's no substitute for having a controller with proper physical feedback. I'm sure they could make a virtual joystick but it sounds a bit close to those awful 'wheels' you used to get for the Wii, where you'd just hold them in the air and pretend to steer.
 

Huntn

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I meant if you buy the bundle that's $400 or whatever, you might get sent two boxes with all the stuff and an Xbox controller (which is the old discontinued package) or a single box with the same but no Xbox controller. It seems to be random, I got mine from Amazon and it turned up as two shipments a few days apart. I was lucky, I got some of the old stock.

There's no substitute for having a controller with proper physical feedback. I'm sure they could make a virtual joystick but it sounds a bit close to those awful 'wheels' you used to get for the Wii, where you'd just hold them in the air and pretend to steer.
Do you know the Amazon Return policy on this? The MS store offers 30 day return.
 

garnerx

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Do you know the Amazon Return policy on this? The MS store offers 30 day return.
I have no idea, I've never returned anything to Amazon in 18 years of shopping with them. I've heard they're pretty good for that sort of thing though, you could email them to ask.
 

Huntn

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Question- is there any reason why VR must remain first person? I prefer a lot of my gaming, genres like RPG and MMOs from a 3rd person perspective and I see no reason why they could not do this in VR with the player maintaining an over the shoulder perspective.
 

garnerx

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I think 'presence' is an important thing in VR - the feeling that you're actually there, which you won't get from third-person. I've tried a few third-person VR games, so they do exist. There's a platform game called Lucky's Tale that comes free with the Rift, looks a bit like the whole level is on a table top and you're sticking your head up through a hole in the middle. Driving games let you use third-person camera. There's also a brilliant third-person shooter called Rez.
 

Flint Ironstag

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Question- is there any reason why VR must remain first person? I prefer a lot of my gaming, genres like RPG and MMOs from a 3rd person perspective and I see no reason why they could not do this in VR with the player maintaining an over the shoulder perspective.
Vive comes with the Steam demo / lab. There's an old school Galaga type arcade cabinet that you can play traditionally (1st person, you hold the joystick and mash the buttons) OR you can go into the Galaga cabinet's universe where you'll shift to a 3rd person view, and waving around your Vive controller in real space controls your spaceship in 3D. It's really cool and no doubt will be fleshed out into a standalone bullet hell title.

Believe me you'll feel present with swarms of enemies shooting at you :D
 
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gkarris

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Question- is there any reason why VR must remain first person? I prefer a lot of my gaming, genres like RPG and MMOs from a 3rd person perspective and I see no reason why they could not do this in VR with the player maintaining an over the shoulder perspective.
I don't know about PC VR Games but there are a few PSVR games that are platformers and 3rd person...
 
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jeanlain

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Since apparently Valve has worked with Apple on VR, it'd be nice if "The Lab" was ported to macOS. Most demos in The Lab use Unity, which will soon support VR on the Mac. Some use Source 2 (at least the Robot Repair demo does) and won't be VR-ready before Source 2 is ported to Metal (which may never occur).

One thing that's for sure is that we'll see at least one VR game on the Mac before long: Space Pirate Trainer. The devs already have a working version.
 
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Raketemensch

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I've been using a PSVR since Christmas, and have been looking forward to having the same experience on a Mac, but I always use laptops and the investment in a Rift/Vive AND an eGPU is probably going to keep me out of the running for a while.

The biggest benefit to the PSVR is the fact that you don't even have to think about game requirements, hardware, drivers, all that stuff just goes away -- kind of like what we expect of our Macs.

The biggest drawback is the Move controllers. Sony desperately needs a better controller for it. I'm really looking forward to Skyrim, and Sparc just came out yesterday, which is basically Discs of Tron, something I've wanted since the first time I ever read about VR.

Another thing I've really been wanting to try is VRDesktop. There is a version out for Mac already, but it only supports the Rift right now, and will apparently never support the PSVR (because of a requirement that you're also plugged into a TV). My main concern with the virtual desktops, though, is that you can't see your keyboard.
 
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Huntn

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The thing about Mac laptops, I'm not paying $3000+ for something VR game capable with Mac on the label when I can accomplish the same on Windows PC for one third the price, or even less on a console. :( I assume with an iMac you'd be still at twice the price or more of the competition.