Thoughts on VR and Uru

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

Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby Sirius » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:45 am

All in good time ;) First I need to practice with Unreal, which means getting Kemo to be AT LEAST Uru-quality (although I won't bother with animations and sounds just yet).
Then make it room-scale VR. Then, porting the Myst library, since I already have a fully textured version of it.

Then maybe I'll go with K'veer, since it's small enough to allow me to try out all sorts of cool stuff - maybe some very fancy lighting like in your Darka room ;) I'm eager to see that level of shading in VR (although my PC definitely won't like it).

I'll be honest though, my dream is to have a fully playable Uru on Unreal and in VR. So right now my priority is porting a big chunk of the game to Unreal without big visual upgrades but with room scale VR support. Then make it fully playable. Then, add more Ages, etc. Real, big visual upgrades will be after that. Last will be re-releasing the game under the realUru name :lol: Just kidding.

Well, you know how fantasies go - just porting the base Ages Beyond Myst meshes might take weeks. But assuming I don't run into anything bad, I might just make it.
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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby Wamduskasapa » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:58 am

Please consider those of us who want and desire the VR experience BUT who do not have the ability to experience it if it is not playable while seated
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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby dendwaler » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:31 am

Sirius wrote:Well, you know how fantasies go - just porting the base Ages Beyond Myst meshes might take weeks.


Yes possibly, if you consider this as a start.
But as soon as you want to get replacements for multilayer texturing you are busy in phoshop like programs for weeks.
I suggest to download as many free materials as you can for unreal.
Very often you can replace the textures inside the material with your own ones.
The difficulties lies in a correct node based material layout. That can be tuff.
For example " detailed textureblending using heightlerp and vertexpainting " is a must have ability and very well described here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dghCetkArJI
The only thing he forgot is to explain how to pack 3 different texture layers into the colorlayer of only one jpg file.
But after a long search i found out how if necessary i will make a tutor, its not very difficult but not described or wellknow by photoshoppers.

Furthermore i suggest you to download
https://github.com/kmkolasinski/AwesomeBump
Its a good free and very fast alternative to bitmap2material and makes heightmaps, metallness, roughness ambient oclusion postfix etc. besides the diffuse, normal, and specular maps.
i think you need this anyway, it will be usefull for Unity as well.

And i assume we all want to have a multiplayer posibility, there are new tutorials for ready made blueprints available here.

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/IN ... index.html
Its not easy i am afraid.
Even more difficult when you combine it with vr.

And what i find very annoying is the speed of the characters, this have to be slowed down a lot to make it feel natural.
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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby Sirius » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:47 am

Wow, thank you for all the links, Dendwaler, this will definitely be useful at some point ;)

The good news is that all these years tinkering with Plasma made me learn tons of things about 3D, rendering, multiplayer and stuff - and while the technology isn't exactly the same, some concepts carry over to newer engines. I even learned to use Gimp along the way. So Unreal shouldn't be too hard, I hope.

Wamduskasapa wrote:Please consider those of us who want and desire the VR experience BUT who do not have the ability to experience it if it is not playable while seated
Oh, don't worry - I myself like to play seated or in bed sometime anyway ;) Either way, making an Age means you have to hit the play button every 5 minutes to test things. Starting play mode means I must disconnect my normal screen, move my PC away, stand up, connect the headset, power on the tracking stations, turn on the controllers, put on the headset, and then start it all over because SteamVR will have crashed by then.
Nah, whatever comes out of this experiment will have options to play seated or without a VR headset, simply because it's more convenient that way.

But don't forget right now I'm just experimenting with stuff. There is no way I could ever release that without Cyan's authorization, and that will take more than just dumping the models in another engine. Which is also why multiplayer is pretty low on the priority list right now.
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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby dendwaler » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:10 am

Which is also why multiplayer is pretty low on the priority list right now


Agreed with cyan ages, nearly impossible to release without getting into trouble and its not fair anyway.

But its not the same with fan ages, they can be made in the same style, without interfering any rights,
Thats why i want to learn how to set up a multiplayer game and integrate MP blueprints as soon as possible.
I gues MP for only 10 to 15 players is enough.
For me in fanages , the gamestyle is more important then an cyan environment copy.
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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby Karkadann » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:29 am

Wamduskasapa wrote:Please consider those of us who want and desire the VR experience BUT who do not have the ability to experience it if it is not playable while seated


I don't think that will be to much of an issue, I had a small sample of the head sets its frighteningly realistic, it was kinda interesting being slobbered by a tyrannosaurus, and they did have one Mime that caught my eyes
in addition im told there coming out with glove's to compliment the head set Kinda like adding a mouse to your computer, couldn't move around much in the sample that was running, as I was trying to jump over the edge
I almost bumped into the transmitted perhaps you can have a pc set up, add the head set and gloves, have the transmitter thingy on one end of a large open space and move role around in it..................................hmm
it almost sound like an early version of the Startrek hollow deck, In any case its a bit pricey for me at the moment and im sure its still got a few bug, In addition I was never one to be on the bleeding edge of technology.
Still don't have a cellphone but you wonder ...............where would we be without those who are contently on the bleeding edge of technology.

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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby dendwaler » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:38 am

just for fun, the import of Kveer in Unreal went well.
The difficult part starts now, texturing. Its all multilayered and Unreal only handles 1 layer .
So lots have to be converted to normal, and heightmaps., to get something that looks about the same.

Here is a beginning.
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Those wonderfull Worlds are called " Ages" , because that is what it takes to build one.

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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby Sirius » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:49 am

dendwaler wrote:Thats why i want to learn how to set up a multiplayer game and integrate MP blueprints as soon as possible.
I gues MP for only 10 to 15 players is enough.

I recall this was something AndyLegate wanted to do a while back: make a base game with just a Nexus and access to Fan-Ages. Authors could then add their own Ages without too much efforts, and you could play it with other people on a dedicated server. He left the community before doing it, but I still think that's a great idea - and it avoids copyrighting issues with Cyan, which is even better.


Karkadann wrote:perhaps you can have a pc set up, add the head set and gloves, have the transmitter thingy on one end of a large open space and move role around in it..................................hmm
it almost sound like an early version of the Startrek hollow deck
In any case its a bit pricey for me at the moment and im sure its still got a few bug

Yeah, that's what the Vive is like (and Oculus soon, once they release their own controllers). It does make it rather difficult to play seated, though, since you have less mobility. But it's still possible to lean forward in your chair with it, etc.
And yeah, the technology is still rough around the edges - like I said, it's surprisingly good for a first attempt, but there are still issues like the image being blurry on the sides, the pixelization (although it's not really noticeable) and the software being prone to mess up between headset display and your own screen.



Meanwhile, I'm starting to learn UE4. Damn, that thing feels messy, when compared to Unity.

I don't think Unity is the right engine for state-of-the-art video games, but I have to admit it's stunning for one thing: simplicity. The engine is a black box with only the bare minimum of buttons on the outside: it's reliable, and will always tick the same way. Funnily enough, it also feels like an upgraded version of Plasma, since it uses an object→modifiers approach. Very reminiscent of the way PRPs work, yet intuitive.
Buuut, it does have shortcomings - just like Unreal does anyway, although these shortcomings are completely different.

Anyway, I'm still struggling with VR on Unreal. For some reason, Unreal simply won't render to my VR headset, even though it was a one-click process in Unity. Gah.

Also, I find the way Unreal handles FBX to be irritating. For Unreal, an FBX file is a single mesh, meaning you can't just stuff the full Age into a single FBX file like you do in Unity. And working with colliders seem harder. But I guess I'll find workarounds eventually.

dendwaler wrote:just for fun, the import of Kveer in Unreal went well.
The difficult part starts now, texturing. Its all multilayered and Unreal only handles 1 layer .
So lots have to be converted to normal, and heightmaps., to get something that looks about the same.
Can't you do something similar to multitexturing with the material editor ? Although I agree that might be a bit tricky.

Personally I think I'll try to copy the multilayering system from Plasma into Unreal, one way or another. This way I'm sure I will have something that looks 99% like the original game before I even attempt to improve anything.
This does mean I go through a painstaking process of reviewing the meshes in Blender first, though. Correcting normals and smoothing, uvs, making sure I know how the original multitexturing worked in the game by finding its Blender equivalent, etc. But at least this way I make sure I'm satisfied by the result :)
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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby dendwaler » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:15 am

Also, I find the way Unreal handles FBX to be irritating. For Unreal, an FBX file is a single mesh, meaning you can't just stuff the full Age into a single FBX file like you do in Unity. And working with colliders seem harder. But I guess I'll find workarounds eventually.


Import your fbx export as follows.!

There is an pull down menu in the next window , i placed the pointer on it.

Image

Then set " Bake Pivot in vertex"
uncheck " Combine meshes"
Rotate x 90 degrees
and finally import uniform scale 33 (if you imported in blender 2.49b and exported it as fbx as a whole without doing any aditional scaling)

Image
Now select all meshes you want and drag them into UE4.
Place the whole correctly in top and front view
that is it!
;)
Those wonderfull Worlds are called " Ages" , because that is what it takes to build one.

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Re: Thoughts on VR and Uru

Postby Sirius » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:28 am

Thank you Dendwaler ! That's the kind of thing that is rarely mentioned on the tutorials I found, so that will definitely help ! :) (although shouldn't the scale be 0.3048, since 1 Unreal unit = 1 centimeter ?)

Haven't made a lot of progress with things recently, due to Unreal being unable to render to my headset correctly :x Seems it has something to do with my laptop being too old for the render mode used by Unreal. I guess I don't have much choice but to wait for updates from SteamVR and Unreal, since I'm not buying a new PC before a while. Ah, shame. I guess I'll stick to normal gameplay, and sometime switch to Unity to try things in VR.
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