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Thread: There's a VR HEADSET on my FACE! :D

  1. #1151
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I was home with a cold yesterday, so I took a bit under an hour to watch The Great C, a Philip K. Dick story adapted into a VR animation. There's no interaction other than you looking wherever your want to look, though the film also moves the camera itself, albeit slowly. In terms of VR nausea, I expect it should be okay for most people.

    While I only paid very little for it, I still came away disappointed, mainly due to the writing and much of the character animation. The environments look nice, there's some great texture and lighting work that makes objects look solid and tangible, but the character design is mostly quite generic, the protagonists aren't particularly expressive, and the animations definitely more like a CGI TV series than like Pixar. This is compounded by the story; I don't know the PKD original, but I suspect it's a bit more ambiguous than the adaptation, which comes across as your bog-standard YA dystopia. The world as we know it has ended, a shadowy entity called "the great C" requires obedience and yearly sacrifice from the survivors, the boy who's supposed to be this year's sacrifice and the girl who loves him rebel because this is what being human is all about. It's all so vague and generic and it goes exactly to the places you expect in exactly the ways you expect.

  2. #1152
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I've only watched some short VR films, but none really did much for me. There was a lot of hyping of VR as a film-medium early on, but by now I think we can say that it doesn't really work as well as conventional 2D-movies. I did like The Invisible Hours tho, which took a Tacoma-like approach of letting you move around a big area and spool through time to piece a story together.

    I've played a bit of my Xmas presents from Malf and Thirith, GORN and To The Top, respectively. Thanks again!

    GORN

    There's a nice bit of physicality to this, in how your weapons have weight to them and interact in a solid way with enemies, tho I suspect it's already been surpassed by Blade & Sorcery and Boneworks in that area. (haven't played either) I liked the few matches I played tho I'm not sure it's something I'll return to many times as arena fighters aren't really my thing.

    To The Top

    I was really surprised by how this controls. I was expecting something more conventionally physical, like Sprint Vector or The Climb, but the controls in this are considerably more gamey. Your arms don't behave like arms so much as just laserpointers which you use to point out spots in the environment where you'd like interactions to happen. There's no arm-swinging required to swing yourself from object to object, so it's not as much of a workout as those other games, but instead it does mean it'll be something you're likely more inclined to play just for fun. Once I got past the initial weirdness of the controls, I got really into it. There's a great sense of freedom and speed in bouncing from object to object and I ended up replaying some levels several times just to improve my time. I can see why this is such a well-regarded VR game, I'm sure I'll be returning to it many more times.

  3. #1153
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    There are some VR short films that I really enjoyed and where I thought that VR added something, such as Traveling While Black (basically a documentary about the restrictions on movement for African Americans throughout much of the USA's history - some very effective use of perspective), Alumette (there's a 'realness' to the visuals, which come across as very claymation, which works very well with the diorama-style presentation - you're looking down at this small world, which made me relate to it differently than if I'd just watched it on a screen) or the Aardman/BBC cooperation We Wait about refugees and their experiences trying to cross the Mediterranean. I even like the anarchic silliness of Old Friend, whose exuberance has much more immediacy in VR.

    But yes, I think there are plenty of VR short films that simply don't do all that much with the medium, where I expect that the 'trendiness' of VR (honestly, have these people never read John Walker?!) was the reason they decided for that particular medium rather than any actual idea why VR was well suited to the style, material or themes.

  4. #1154
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Just played through Freediver: Triton Down.



    Kind of an underwater Lone Echo. It's a story-based adventure thingy with quite good movement mechanics (besides grips on surfaces not always registering). Very polished production, only draw-back is that at 45 min it's short as hell. If it was a few hours longer it could be one of the great VR games. Instead it feels like the first chapter of a great VR game, one that ends just as it was about to get going. Still, worth picking up in a sale, I'd say.

  5. #1155
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It does look interesting, though I've got so many unplayed VR games, I'm hoping to finish some of them before moving on to anything new. Until Alyx comes out, that is.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed that coop escape room session! The game's got a bunch of bugs and design flaws, and the puzzles aren't altogether logical (though I felt that after a while I got better at understanding their logic), so I doubt I'd get much fun out of them alone, but with others - in this case henke and Jeshibu - I thought it was a cool way to hang out and have fun. It looks like at present the only other VR-enabled escape room in the Tales of Escape series is "Sleepy Hollow", but I'd definitely be up for that at some point.

  6. #1156
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2010
    I was very disappointed with Boneworks after being seriously hyped for it. I thought the physics were very badly implemented and you wrestled against them and your weird physical body representation that rarely matched yourself and involuntarily bounced off every little thing you happened to bump into, while also having springs for arms making any climbing an exercise in dangling and frustration. The wonk extended to the objects in the levels too, items you could actually use/hold/carry behaved well enough if slightly off but things like cupboards and file cabinets you wanted to open were straight up lifted or dragged off the ground. Now sure, the game takes place in some VR within VR environment as its setting so you could argue that proto-Matrix didn't get its physics right but that was just annoying when even ancient by today's standards VR games got such basic interactions right without hyping their crazy real physics in the process. Then I found the actual level and encounter and overall game design which could make all this trouble worth it was non existent with juvenile puzzles you'd expect out of Half-Life 2 fan maps created in 2004 to test out its physics and gameplay elements that weren't at all thought out and trivialised other parts of it, like the slow motion not being a resource a la Max Payne but just, there, making every gunfight in the late game little more than a trivial annoyance. The less said about the progression/saving and how you lose all your stuff every level only to rebuy it with a clumsy manual system using your ammo as currency, magazine by magazine, the better. Months later we're still waiting for that big patch that would kind of alleviate this, while still being a half-measure as the devs admitted it would be too much work to restructure the game enough for a real fix to this. On the bright side, another game shows it's possible to succeed where Boneworks failed and incorporate physics into gameplay properly without overdoing it or somehow forgetting the last decades of 3D game and level design just because of the new interface VR offers. It too has moments of weirdness but they're fleeting as it generally works super smoothly and as intended.

    I think I'm very close to the end now. Save for the best in the Resident Evil series it might be my favorite zombie game (I'm probably forgetting of some cool game that should be above this but whatever, it's how I feel at the moment), warts and all. And I've not even watched the series it's based on (or rather read the comic book or whatever, since that's the license they have, not the TV show, hence the cartoony visuals, but trust me it's still super immersive and scary in game regardless, I literally HATE indoor locations, they're so dark and creepy, I just spent a game day in a ruined gymnasium looking for some folks but I apparently went so slow and inefficiently I found none of them before nightfall and will have to return another time, lol). Now, sure, it's not a big open world game (though it does have some elements that you could say are light RPG aspects) or something but it's not on rails either. It's very clearly low budget but the developers cleverly worked around their limitations to almost make them features shaping a very compelling game. I didn't even mind having to loot junk to craft more of my deteriorating weapons and consumables with, it felt natural and satisfying, not just necessary for survival.

    The world is basically segmented in micro areas you can choose to visit and explore at will, you visit one such area each game-day which lasts like an hour or less, I'm not sure as I haven't checked the time while playing because it's so engrossing, and you may do a story mission, a side mission, a loot run for crafting materials, or all at once if you're quick and efficient before night approaches and the endless hordes arrive forcing you (and every NPC in the area, so any dialogues and missions you didn't go through with are gone forever, you get one chance) to leave whether you achieved your objectives or not. Then you go back to your base and see if you can progress the story, maybe unlock new areas to visit or craft something new (or the same old stuff because yours are about to break or you used them up) depending on what you were just doing and repeat the process after a good night's sleep. At times it does twist this routine.

    Generally you play at your own pace with your own priorities, to advance the story by going after a primary objective or better your situation in terms of crafted weapons and survival items and upgrades by visiting the corresponding locations. The main story is pretty linear with certain points you can alter its course by choosing who to ally with and beyond that you just play how you want, side and main missions may also have 2 or 3 different ways to go about them (well, one of these "ways" is to be a psycho and just kill everyone so it hardly counts I guess, you don't finish a mission, just murder and loot, lol, but if that's your goal then it's not a bad thing, you didn't feel you missed out, just that you could care less about the people so screw them, but some times you stand to gain a lot from seeing it through) but nothing too complex, it's not an RPG just as Resident Evil wouldn't be an RPG if it merely added a simple skill tree and some branching paths to its story (actually, some have had slight story alterations based on what you did before anyway) or random factions to interact with in a couple different ways on your way to the preset ending(s). It kinda feels like a light immersive sim, simpler than most yet with the survival elements on top adding some more depth and persistence to the whole thing as you can revisit areas and they're repopulated to a degree but the mechanics support that well enough.

    The interactions with the zombies are unparalleled though, absolutely second to none, despite having seen videos the very first zombie I encountered got me very nervous as I wasn't sure how easy it would be to deal with (I think) a screwdriver. Eventually I got used to the wandering undead figuring out they're fairly easy in low numbers, you can grab them and push them into each other to make space and gain some time, you can hold one in place and drill its skull or attack another that is incoming with your free hand or whatever, I barely paid attention to them beyond using simple stealth mechanics to avoid them or if they're in an area I need to get to/through almost effortlessly killing them, only minding my use of the available resources in the meta game, mostly with melee weapons which require stamina to wield and a pistol ready in case something unexpected happened and I needed it for back up despite the noise it will make.

    Then the game switches it up with adding the occasional human enemy which can be quite lethal when you're used to brain dead zombies, they don't necessarily attack you unless you get in their turf (again, the AI is very simplistic like something out of the original Deus Ex as they stand around or wander and also fend off zombies or hostile faction humans approaching their areas giving the world a more alive feel, but don't expect some crazy tactics on their part, they basically stand their ground and shoot or beeline to their target, still, overall it's effective in the game) but some times mission objectives require you to do just that (or you just wanna see if they have any good loot for you and become a mass murderer). Also infected zombies that decrease your max health even as you kill them if they're too close (so melee weapons are a no go for them unless you get good at throwing them well enough to drill their skulls) and you need medicine to recover rather than just bandages and food recovery items you crafted as before. Then it twists things around again, now you have zombies with head protection making both ranged and melee kills much trickier to achieve as well as larger groups of them. All the while adding more options and tricks to your arsenal, from melee weapons to ranged weapons to survival gear and distraction or explosive items and some stat upgrades like stamina/inventory space.

    It's hard to put into words. Maybe it's kind of like Zombi(U), except really good and well designed with more survival aspects (but it's not a drab sandbox, it's not that kind of survival, it's all about the main campaign which takes like 10 or 15 hours to finish so average FPS adventure length I suppose, it's a very condensed game with little padding - though you can pad it yourself with loot runs it's not even advisable, as more days pass there are less resources to find and more zombies or something, it doesn't get too bad and you can also find better loot later on in various ways but maybe it can unbalance your game if you go nuts with it early on, I dunno). It has LOTS more awesome details in its systems but they were so cool to discover happening during play that I don't wanna spoil more, I was editing one in about the human enemies just now but I kinda already said too much maybe, haha, trust me, play this, it's good.

    I still feel every VR developer making a game that involves shooting should play Onward, it's not perfect in every way but it got intuitive, natural and realistic locomotion and use of weapons, attachments and gadgets down to a T years ago. Somehow others still fumble in some ways.
    Last edited by Al3xand3r; 7th Feb 2020 at 19:17.

  7. #1157
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    There's a thread for the Walking Dead game as well: https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150318

    After all the hype it's getting I'm pretty much gonna have to play it, won't I? Currently replaying Bioshock, but I might get to TWD next.

  8. #1158
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    There's a thread for the Walking Dead game as well: https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150318

    After all the hype it's getting I'm pretty much gonna have to play it, won't I? Currently replaying Bioshock, but I might get to TWD next.
    Reading that thread I can't say I agree with the immersive sim and depth hype, you might want to temper your expectations in regards to that. All the systems are pretty surface level and simple even if they're technically there. And I don't see how no kill runs are viable unless zombies don't count but even then, it might not be possible due to the way human AI works and how the levels are populated semi-randomly and also having no non-lethal take down and escape also being very hard due to the walking/running speed and stamina system. Like, this one time I travelled to a location and an enemy patrol was right in front of the boat I spawned on, with their backs turned on me. There's literally no way to avoid confrontation in that case (and I died the few times I tried to get past them too because they're tough as nails, until the game graciously decided to spawn me on a different boat where another patrol was moving past, lol). Then again, the game does tell you when patrols will be present and I guess I didn't have to travel there but it can take game-days for the random chance stuff to renew and maybe a primary objective is in that level. Still, as a whole game it all works pretty well and is fun and compelling even if not the deepest immersive sim ever made or anything. I dunno if he has finished it or gone far into the game (I didn't find it having that inverted difficulty or anything, but I also didn't do loot runs just to craft more/better weapons, generally I only went for actual missions/progression in the main game and looted at the same time). I only died a few times still but the challenge did ramp up as it introduced human enemies in particular. The very end was certainly easy, though it may have been harder if I had done different choices than those I did which had this prominent powerful faction not mind me at the end. I've finished it now and I really enjoyed it for sure. Hopefully they do a sequel with a higher budget that lets them add a notch of depth to everything including the story. Some of the story characters are actually pretty cool but you only get any decent interactions with them very sparingly and with some of them near the very end of the game at that, otherwise it's a pretty lonely game with just your main tasks, some dude you speak to over the radio, another that corresponds via letters, and whatever side quest you come across, if the map has no side quests you can't even speak to the humans placed in the levels (they'll only go aggressive after warning you if you go in their turf or shoot oncoming zombies and that's about it, no real interactions unless you want to loot their place or them), it's not like Deus Ex with lots of human interactions (not that every immersive sim has to have that, System Shock 2 is pretty sweet regardless, I'm just saying). I'd like to see more story and more emphasis on the factions rather than working around them towards your separate goals. Give them characterization like the Into the Badlands barons as one character in particular (this JB guy) reminded me heavily of the one time we got to talk.
    Last edited by Al3xand3r; 8th Feb 2020 at 13:57.

  9. #1159
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Fucking hell...


  10. #1160
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2010
    The ancient deprecated GTAVR mod actually had hand-tracking implemented for using your guns and stuff. I hope someone gets around to converting that function to this new VR mod otherwise it's no different to playing such games with vorpx which isn't my thing

    Here's some cool PC VR stuff I've glanced the last month in case anyone is interested, I maintain the PC VR thread in another forum but there I post everything that looks even remotely interesting/with potential to me so often it's just a tweet with a screen, I'll avoid that stuff here.

    Edit: oh I can only have 4 videos in a post, sucks...

    This says Oculus Quest but it's for PC too, it's a very promising playable demo already.


    This might turn out cool.


    This too.


    Of course this is already playable but good to see the dev keeps working on it.


    This anime mecha game is being created by one crazy guy, from the 2d anime scenes to the 3d modeling and programming. It does look janky but we'll see, he wants to Kickstart it soon too (actually already did once and it failed, pretty much nobody except me posted about it).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOyoN1xuk9g

    Into the Radius got a big update recently, nice to see it keep improving (it's still not quite there yet imo).
    https://youtu.be/YgN7h1nRJn4

    Outer Wilds mod looking promising with hand tracking.
    https://youtu.be/6BZ37DD8fGI

    Looks like a fun party game.
    https://youtu.be/h62Mi5YL6CY

    This could be good, or not, it reminds me of Holoception but more parkour and FPS and weapon crafting etc.
    https://youtu.be/27KY1MHU8s8

    Great looking platform game in the style of Moss/Lucky's Tale/Astro Bot.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wRiyS-PU1w

    This looks interesting, some sort of God game.
    https://youtu.be/sIKzFGgl7zI

    Freebie game.
    https://youtu.be/xOtjrLFneEA

    Another promising (not anime this time, MW-esque) mech game.
    https://twitter.com/AdamAlexandr/sta...71238821580800

    GTFO VR mod, not sure how much of the jank is the mod or the game itself being in very early access, either way it's promising stuff.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/virtualreal...ull_roomscale/

    Another promising adventure.
    https://youtu.be/YkfYFXMe0-8

    A cool looking arena shooter.
    https://youtu.be/4_ed2nLJNms

    This looks more involving than that but there's not much info yet.
    https://youtu.be/uxjlcbkPyro

    The Soulkeeper re-reveal was exciting for fantasy RPG stuff.
    https://youtu.be/JoReBussJIk

    Vertigo getting remastered with the coming Vertigo 2's system improvements.
    https://twitter.com/MrZulubo/status/1209880008035950592

    Tea for God, awesome but room-scale only freebie keeps improving.
    https://void-room.itch.io/tea-for-god

    This looks like a fun concept.
    https://twitter.com/DavigoGame/statu...25278735388672

    These two didn't get much fanfare but look pretty decent/cool.
    https://youtu.be/A4khImHTBpY https://youtu.be/GhvzSSTtfrs

    Skyward Digital's pirate game looks promising.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8wlnSQj_Ho

    This is an interesting PC vs VR concept.
    https://twitter.com/DavigoGame/statu...25278735388672

    Monster Reapers keeps improving too.
    https://youtu.be/pxAIfCgfIoo

    Fail Space got out of early access.
    https://youtu.be/FLsNAPZ5Vlg

    I'm not entirely convinced about Ironlights but it could be fun.
    https://twitter.com/IronlightsGame/s...28670401605632

    Crunch Element looking awesome as always.
    https://twitter.com/CrunchElementVR/...39622942957570

    A couple more.
    https://youtu.be/29AkKW3r4So https://youtu.be/NvuFobHIUZ8

    And tons more stuff that didn't necessarily get a media update the last month to post about them again.
    Last edited by Al3xand3r; 12th Feb 2020 at 01:29.

  11. #1161
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Al3xand3r View Post
    The ancient deprecated GTAVR mod actually had hand-tracking implemented for using your guns and stuff. I hope someone gets around to converting that function to this new VR mod otherwise it's no different to playing such games with vorpx which isn't my thing
    The video looks quite a bit better than my (admittedly few and by now years-old) experiences with VorpX, which I never got to work even moderately well. I agree with you that for the gunplay I'd want hand-tracking, but for vehicular fun this looks pretty damn good to me already.

  12. #1162
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Humble has a pretty good VR bundle right now: https://www.humblebundle.com/games/vr-bundle

    PWYW, €1 minimum:
    Cosmic Trip
    Smashbox Arena

    BTA:
    GORN
    Budget Cuts
    Space Pirate Trainer

    Beat €13.50:
    SUPERHOT VR
    Moss

    Although everyone probably has most of these already.

    I haven't played Cosmic Trip, Smashbox Arena, or Space Pirate Trainer. Are they any good?

  13. #1163
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've played very little of Space Pirate Trainer, which I wasn't a huge fan of (it's good enough at what it does, but several years after the Rift came out I'm not particularly interested in a simple wave shooter), and I'm afraid I've not played the other ones. Sorry. They seem to love Cosmic Trip on Steam, though.

  14. #1164
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I just played Boneworks for the first time since the latest patch. Not sure if it's the game itself or GPU driver updates, but everything seems to run more smoothly. More importantly, they've implemented save stations in the levels and this makes a huge difference IMO. I don't know how long the levels down the line will be, but one of the earliest ones, and the first one to feature combat, is roughly 1 1/2 hours long (depending on how much you explore the nooks and crannies). I played them in one go this time around, but it makes a difference just to know that you've just saved five minutes ago.

    The level design in Boneworks is a double-edged sword. They've got some neat ideas in terms of physics as well as alternative routes, but the levels are also relatively devoid of personality, at least so far. There are glimpses of stuff that are cool or interesting, but on the whole the level design reminds me a bit too much of a middling Half-Life 2 mod. At the same time, the systems in place are good and fun. Things like climbing work better as well after some patching. There's a lot to like here if you just want to see some ambition in VR gameplay and you're willing to ignore that 90% of the talent went into systems and only 10% into story or aesthetics.

    I then spent another 20-30 minutes in Apollo 11 VR, an educational program that gives you a front-row seat in the mission that put men on the moon. It's nothing I'll watch more than once, but for someone who used to love NASA and the Space Shuttle missions as a kid and who's always been fascinated by space, it's pretty cool and split into nice, bite-sized snippets. The sequence I liked best so far is the actual landing: you don't actually see all that much from the lunar module with its tiny windows, but seeing even just a sliver of the lunar surface is pretty damn impressive, and the way they go for realism rather than spectacle makes it all the more impressive for me. Technically, this is pretty simple stuff, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

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