VR Possibility

Anything that isn't directly related to Age Creation but that might be interesting to Age developers.

VR Possibility

Postby sdickens » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:34 pm

Hi I am looking into VR and want to know if VR is supported in the shards, like gehn?
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Paradox » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:20 pm

There's no VR-compatible version of Uru at the moment. A few people have done some experiments with the engine code to support VR headsets, but that would require a lot more work to be actually supported.
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Aloys » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:49 am

That's something I gave a bit of thought lately; what with Myst VR coming up etc.

And the core problem is that you can't really take a regular game and 'add' VR on top of it. Most of the time it just won't work. Or at least it won't be a great experience. It's something that needs to be integrated from the start, not added at a later time.

Now just for the sake of research; here's what would need to be done:

  • VR compatible 1st person camera -- probably the easiest part; or at least not the hardest
  • New User Interface-- both the KI, the menu and avatar customization menu.
  • Visible Hands? -- (that would be a *lot* of work) would sure be nice to have the KI there as an actual hologram floating above the left hand.
  • Visible feet? -- (maybe even the whole body?) that's not needed, but welcome.
  • Relto book interface -- Another UI issue. How do we do that? If we have the whole body visible we could just touch the book on our hip.
  • Solving the linking books issue -- Right now books (especially in Relto) just appear in front of you; we can't have that in VR.
  • Movement system -- this is the biggest issue. A 'simple' 1st person VR movement system is very nausea inducing for many people. Which is why many games use a teleportation system.

As Paradox pointed out, all of that is a lot of work. That's nothing impossible, just very long to do.
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Sirius » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:09 pm

There was some successful attempt to implement stereo rendering into Plasma, discussed here and there (there may be more, but I didn't search too long). I'm not sure why it never got any further. Possibly just a licensing issue. In any case, it had all the issues Aloys mentioned. (Still something you could play seated if you're not prone to VR sickness, though.)

An alternative is porting the game to another engine which supports VR, but it's going to be even more challenging for a lot of reasons (speaking from experience). And it's a licensing nightmare too.

Personally I enjoy 3Dvision as an alternative, but it has absolutely no headtracking whatsoever and the hardware for it is hard to come by. Not really on par with proper VR. Picture is cleaner than in a VR headset though. Not great overall, but that's the closest we can get.
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Tsar Hoikas » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:52 pm

The very few regularly active developers are spread really thin over a lot of priorities, and VR really isn't one of them. The guys who have done work on VR make very slow progress in an understandably uphill battle.
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Korovev » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:10 am

VorpX works fairly well with MOUL, CC and Myst V, although the controls are very janky.
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Sirius » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:06 pm

Huh, good to know. I always forget about that one, heard too many people saying the experience is subpar in many games. Not that it's VorpX's fault, adding VR support without source code is always going to cause issues...
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Korovev » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:36 am

It’s not like playing a game made from the ground for VR for sure ;)

The main issue is the control system: VorpX maps the cursor movement to the headset, and the buttons to the triggers. In MOUL, this means the right trigger (left button, by default) needs to be constantly pressed to look around. It’s a bit better in Myst V, where the camera follows the cursor, but you can’t use the slates without releasing the cursor.

There’s another issue with clickables like the Relto bookshelf or the Nexus, because the cursor isn’t aligned with the actual click spot except at the very centre, so e.g. to pull out the Nexus book you need to click on the wall next to the shelf.

Visuals are wrong by default, but that can be easly fixed by tweaking the FOV and the scale (by the way, scale is such a weird parameter: too much in either directions feels like being Gulliver :lol: ). Popups like linking books and stones have no 3D data, so of course they have zero distance from the eyes. Visual tricks are also much more noticeable, e.g. all the cloths are flat, and float in front of the walls they’re attached to.

So not the best way to play, but it does give an idea of how Uru would look like in VR.
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Re: VR Possibility

Postby Sirius » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:39 am

You have to bind headset movements to the cursor, even to look up/down ? Oh boy, that must be a horrible experience... :?

Wait. Apparently VorpX provides a C API for modders, which could be connected to a Plasma ModDLL. *In theory*, this means we could implement proper roomscale headtracking without too much hassle. I'll have a look at it later (still need to finish updating Drizzle). No promises though - C/C++ is not my forte.
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