Anybody considering picking up an Oculus Rift..?


Asmo

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So far a reasonable i5 machine with an Nvidia 680 series seems about the lowest spec at which people don't complain too much, as far as I can see. Lots of stuff is pretty undemanding, or will let you dial back many things to speed it up: but some of the fancier games and demos only have 'meh' or 'holy crap' graphical options. And meh looks meh, if you've seen the alternative..
 
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gadgetoid

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All this has happened before, and all this will happen again. The boom and bust of half-assed VR tech is inevitable. You'd think the spectacular flop of 3D TV sets, and the subsequent jump to "curved" in a desperate bid to give idiots a reason to upgrade their TV, would give you some clues how technology in these sectors works.

I have an Oculus Rift DK2 and Leap Motion setup at home currently, and I've played pretty much every worthwhile title, and far too much Alien Isolation with it. I can confidently say that it still has a long, long, long way to go. Not only does it suck quite profoundly and tend towards nausea inducing 4th wall shattering graphical problems, but developers simply haven't stepped up to the plate and figure out how to make VR work yet.

Not one single game really played with the idea that you could fundamental distort the wearers perception and really screw with their mind. Even the much touted Sightline: The Chair was lukewarm at best, despite it's clever omission of any controls other than simply looking around.

The silly immersion breaking hand-held split analog controllers are just nonsense. I just can't get excited about the idea of VR being used Call of Duty: Crappy Teenage Wank Fest.

The best experience I've had thus far is when the Leap Motion/DK2 combo really felt like it was working. In the demo "Weightless" you're floating inside a space station, and fiddling with random bits of junk floating around with you. It uses the Leap Motion mounted on the front of the DK2 to track your hands, and under exactly the right circumstances it's very, very profoundly disturbing and hauntingly realistic. You can hold your real hands in front of your face, and see your virtual tendons flex ( actually it's probably just shoddy animation, but it looks good enough ) as you bend each finger and thumb in turn. Out of all the junky pointless jump-scare tat demos out there, this stood apart as something truly and profoundly indicative of what's to come- in 10-20 years, not 1-2.

Yes, the horrible shoddy over marketed, cheap jump-scare ridden, idiot youtuber promoted godawful shite that constitutes VR technology is, unfortunately, the gateway to the real stuff we'll be using in 10-20 years. That's a sad but inevitable truth of progression- remember Windows Mobile? You've got to trawl knee deep through shit before you get to the gold.

I can only hope that Microsoft paying attention to VR will solve some of the complexities of getting it fired up, and perhaps replace all the disparate technologies with something to canonicalise on, like DirectX: VR. I could live with that. At the moment, the spaghetti mess of wires, and the shoddy awful software that gets the DK2 up and running is taxing, and having to pay for more dubious third party software to get VR in games which don't explicitly support it also sucks.

I've no idea how any of what I've said relates to the bulk of this thread ( I didn't read up, booo! ), but that's my two cents on VR. Those of us who buy into it earlier are dealing with pure suckitude, but it will encourage the market to make something worthwhile.

Why OR/Facebroke haven't bought Leap Motion and integrated it right into the Rift beats me. Although you can't even plug the Leap Motion into the Rift's auxiliary USB port since the bandwidth just isn't up to scratch and it just craps itself.
 

Caine

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I think it was Richard Garriott who once described in an interview that whenever new technology comes out, game design resets itself to the basics. The technology itself becomes enough to sell games. It then takes several years before game designers need to "fall back" to creating immersive and innovating content to sell their games again because at that point everybody is using the technology to its full extent.

I think there is much truth in there. VR technology is in that stadium now. It's "new", people are curious and they are willing to buy just whatever crappy content gets pushed out using it.
 

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I think it was Richard Garriott who once described in an interview that whenever new technology comes out, game design resets itself to the basics. The technology itself becomes enough to sell games. It then takes several years before game designers need to "fall back" to creating immersive and innovating content to sell their games again because at that point everybody is using the technology to its full extent.


I think there is much truth in there. VR technology is in that stadium now. It's "new", people are curious and they are willing to buy just whatever crappy content gets pushed out using it.
That's a damned good point. It's in some way refreshing to see that a few people are pushing the boundaries, if only slightly. But, yes, most of the DKII content is crap that uses the VR gimmick as its sole selling point.

Alien Isolation is beautiful though. If the VR tech weren't so grainy and awful, and the developers had actually finished it so your head doesn't pass right through the underside of tables, it would be something special. The game, when you first play it, is tremendously tense but sadly I've got to the point where I just don't care anymore, which ruins the effect. It definitely has a downward trend from Alien to Aliens, and the whole "here's another oppressively long corridor you have to sneak down while aliens rattle overhead" mechanic gets old quickly. But with VR... sheesh, I can see the potential, but we're not there... yet.
 

fusion_power

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Alien Isolation never was officialy made for VR, afaik it was just more or less a tech concept and never optimized and for that fact it indeed worked surprisingly well. I only have seen Videos of it but of course if a game is not 100% made for VR, it just will not work because for the effect, everything must be fit to the VR experience. Stuff like Cut scenes where you go in 3rd person or even off camera suddenly or wrong perspectives (motion reacker) breaks the immersion.
 

Haraldur

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Anyone tried GZ3DOOM with a head-mounted display yet? It is the first thing I intend to try when I get one of my own. Pinky attacks may even be scary!

If I am OK with that, I may then do Brutal Doom with the HMD. :)
 

ElPoco

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I think it was Richard Garriott who once described in an interview that whenever new technology comes out, game design resets itself to the basics. The technology itself becomes enough to sell games. It then takes several years before game designers need to "fall back" to creating immersive and innovating content to sell their games again because at that point everybody is using the technology to its full extent.
This is the same thing that happened with 3D movies (and before that with color movies and before that with talking movies, etc.)
 

Asmo

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Anyone tried GZ3DOOM with a head-mounted display yet? It is the first thing I intend to try when I get one of my own. Pinky attacks may even be scary!

If I am OK with that, I may then do Brutal Doom with the HMD. :)
Yes, I mentioned several pages back that I've been playing Doom and the Hexen games with it - but be warned, of all the things I've run on the DK2, the Doom games are the hardest to cope with (nausea) because of the frenetic movement and bobbing walk motion. Duke Nukem is a bit better on that score (avoid the CCTV viewers though, feels like your head has suddenly been frozen, unpleasant sensation). Mostly awesome virtual tourism wandering around 'familiar' levels that have become life-size. I'd love to have the original Tomb Raider's levels with a VR mode, I want to see Francis' Folly from the top that way....
 
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Haraldur

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I went to the Museum of Computing History in Cambridge some time ago. They have an Oculus Rift (DK2, I think) and the programs they had available were that Tuscan Villa demo and two rollercoaster simulators. The latter only barely made me feel sick -- about the same as a real rollercoaster. Would I be correct to assume that Doom would not be any worse than that?

I also wonder whether GZ3DOOM may be modified to remove the bobbing motion, I expect that it does not add much.
 

Asmo

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Would I be correct to assume that Doom would not be any worse than that?

I also wonder whether GZ3DOOM may be modified to remove the bobbing motion, I expect that it does not add much.
Rollercoaster demos, Wingsuit games - all the rest, gave me no problems at all. You get that 'sinking feeling' frequently, but nothing more than light-headedness after those. Having said that, some people do react badly to the flying ones too, but not me.

Doom is a completely different story. It's so fast paced and motion-packed (if playing properly) that it becomes hard to play (for me) after about 10-15 minutes. If you reduced the bobbing motion I suspect the pace of play might still prove overhwelming, but it's something that has to be seen, all the same, you just won't be playing any all-nighter sessions.....
 

Haraldur

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That is a bit of a shame -- I mainly had in mind for an HMD playing Doom, Heretic, Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior (source ports permitting), perhaps Quake too. I am usually, let us say, less than enthused about new games (give me opinions filtered through ten years of experience and reflection!), so for me the main draw of VR is old classics (whether I have played them before or not).

I suppose that The Dark Mod may be good with an HMD, though. It is unlikely that Thief 1&2 will work with one (through Wine, at least).
 

Caine

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Yes, I mentioned several pages back that I've been playing Doom and the Hexen games with it - but be warned, of all the things I've run on the DK2, the Doom games are the hardest to cope with (nausea) because of the frenetic movement and bobbing walk motion.
That makes me wonder what descent would feel like.
 

gadgetoid

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"Changes everything" ... ... *sigh* this pops up in the subject line of Kickstarter project spam emails so often I've become allergic to the phrase.
 

pmprog

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"Changes everything"? You mean the Oculus is no longer a VR headset? Instead has become some oversized goggles that you can't see through?
 
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