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

  1. #1076
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    There've been a few hands-on previews of the VR implementation of No Man's Sky, and they sounds pretty damn good.

    Having enjoyed quite a bit of Skyrim VR lately, I'm thinking that the people who've been clamouring for 'proper' games in VR (as opposed to one-hour 'experiences') have it half right. I've greatly enjoyed a number of shorter games, from Superhot to Red Matter, but for longer-form VR gaming, I think the best fit might be games that are relatively shallow but that can excel at making you feel like you're actually there. Skyrim, Elite: Dangerous, No Man's Sky - none of these are particularly deep as games, but they let you inhabit worlds, and VR can amplify that particular effect. The VR implementation of Skyrim isn't even that great, but for me it makes a huge difference.

  2. #1077
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Due to getting a new computer, I decided to check out how the VR version of IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad runs on the new machine. It runs well. More specifically, though, it's just so cool sitting in one of those WW2 crates looking at the detailed cockpit - and it's cool to get a sense of how tight they were and how little space they left for the pilot. Also cool: outside VR (and without some sort of headtracking) I found it almost impossible to stay on the runway when trying to take off; due to torque (I think), the planes drift so much, and most planes' noses are so high that you simply don't see the runway in front of you. However, if you can just turn your head and look to the side, you get much more of a sense of how much the plane is drifting, which in turn makes it easier to stay on track.

    I don't think I'll ever be particularly good at IL2: BoS, and most likely I won't play it all that much, but it does feel great just to take off, fly and (crash-)land every now and then.

  3. #1078
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've played some Doom 3 with a VR mod and it works surprisingly well. (Note that there's an installer version of the mod that is more advanced than the standalone mod files I've found on GitHub - though I have to say that I always find GitHub somewhat difficult to navigate, so perhaps I just downloaded the wrong version.) It's also the things that made Doom 3 such a departure from the earlier games - the slower pace, the relatively low number of enemies at a time - that make it work well in VR.

    I've also checked out Minecraft in VR again, originally having found the game one of the only ones to make me feel queasy in VR. Turns out that a year or two of VR practice have made me immune to those problems; while the glidey locomotion is probably not ideal, it doesn't bother me any more, and it's quite cool being in those blocky worlds. If any of the TTLG gang ever feel like a Minecraft session for a change, I'd probably try to join in VR. It should be possible for VR and non-VR clients to play together.

  4. #1079
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    For me the problem with minecraft didn't feel like movement but some sort of perspective distortion, which I doubt I could get used to. Kind of like a bigger viewing angle than should be there was forced into the headset.

  5. #1080
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Smooth locomotion always makes me queasy, and it was the same with Minecraft. Would absolutely be up for co-op at some point tho!

  6. #1081
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Perhaps we can try it out one of these Saturdays when we're not playing Arma; it should be easy enough to play together with some of us in VR and others outside VR.

    Concerning the issue of smooth locomotion, have you ever tried out the Natural Locomotion demo, henke? NL takes some getting used to, but it's vastly improved my Skyrim VR experience.

  7. #1082
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I have not, but arm-swingy locomotion usually works well for me.

  8. #1083
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Valve Index prices are up, and oof are they hefty.

  9. #1084
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Oculus Quest and Rift S prices are also up and they are reasonable. I'm not planning on buying any of them, but here are my thoughts.

    Quest: 449€ for 64GB version, 549€ for 128GB, ships: May 22

    I think the Quest might be kind of a BIG DEAL. Self-contained, easy to use device with lots of great games. If any of these devices are going to take VR mainstream, this is the one.

    Rift S: 449€, ships: May 22

    I'm not so sure about this one. A step forward from Rift in some ways, a step back in others. No external sensors means less cables and setup, but it might also mean less accurate tracking, especially when you swing your arms behind your back.

    Index: 1079€, ships: latest June 28th

    If Valve are ever gonna release one of those 3 BIG VR TITLES they've been talking about, now would be the time. Not about to shell out of for this one, even though it looks like a decent step forward, but I look forward to seeing what new software comes along with it.

  10. #1085
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I like the higher resolution and larger FOV that comes with the Index, but without a solution like foveated rendering the performance hit must be immense. Even though I now have a PC that would probably run okay with the Index, in VR I would prioritise an even framerate over pure resolution.

    I have to say I'm kinda surprised that other than standalone devices like the Quest none of the headsets that need a PC to work have gone wireless. From what I've heard, the wireless kits that are available for Oculus Rift and Vive work pretty well but they're a faff to set up; I would've thought that they'd be further along that road by now.

  11. #1086
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Stumbled across this free VR game on itch and gave it a go: I Can Gun. It's basically Receiver but in VR. Y'know, super-realistic and fiddly gun mechanics, one hit and you're dead, sneak around procedurally generated levels and try to find 12 documents while trying not to get killed by robot turrets. It's not bad.

  12. #1087
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Receiver gave me nausea without even being in VR, lol. Still cool, though.

  13. #1088
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    The MotherVR mod for Alien Isolation isn’t perfect, but it already does a tremendous job of making the game playable in VR. It’s worth it just for the environments; you’ll not get any closer to exploring the sets of Ridley Scott’s Alien than this. (It does take a small amount of fiddling, but after a one-time setup of ~10 minutes it worked for me.)

  14. #1089
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

  15. #1090
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Okay, I did go and splash out on some VR gear... Here are some first impressions.

    Oculus Quest: It is extremely cool to be untethered and to be able to use most if not all of my living room. Setup is simple, tutorials are a nice upgrade and introduction. The visuals are nice, though I can't judge yet what they'd be like in a game that I already know from the Rift. Image quality strikes me as very nice, though the Netflix app seems to stream at a lower resolution than I think the headset would be capable of. In terms of ergonomics, this seems to be very close to the original Rift. Beat Saber worked perfectly with inside-out tracking ("Pop Stars" on Hard) and felt no different to me from what I was used to on the Rift. I also got that Vader Immortal game, and it sucks as a game but is okay as a Star Wars experience. I very much wish, though, that they'd brought the Lone Echo devs on as consultants, because whenever Vader Immortal tries to do similar things, it just does them much less well.

    Oh, and Darth Vader needs to hit a gym. I expected him to be tall and imposing. I did not expect him to be quite as... big-boned.

    Oculus Rift S: My first impressions are largely very good. Passthrough+ is definitely better than Passthrough, though I'm not going to be using this all that much. (Also, in Passthrough on the Quest, your arms and hands seem tiny!) The sound, I'm sorry to say, won't make anyone happy. It's relatively quiet and thin. I'd very much recommend some sort of add-on headphones. The ergonomics are... odd, but I think that may be a question of getting used to what it's like now. The lenses steamed up a lot at the beginning but were okay after a while. The graphics seem like a step up to me, though it's difficult to say how much of that is the resolution bump and how much is the displays and lenses. Things seem sharper and crisper, even if the darks are noticeably less dark - though not to the point where I'd consider it a major negative. While this is a nonsensical comparison, I'd say that the visual upgrade struck me roughly like the jump from 720p to 1080p. Oddly, while I thought that the FOV was larger, its borders also seemed more noticeable; I can't find a better way to explain it, I'm afraid. The change from 90Hz to 80Hz didn't strike me as particularly noticeable. I played a bunch of games for a very short time, but Lone Echo seems to work fine, as does Superhot. Some games and mods may need tweaking as far as the controls are concerned; Natural Locomotion, which used those visible thumb sensors on the original Touch controllers, doesn't seem to work with the new ones, and Subnautica seems to have kicked my controller setup for the most part. Anyway, I foresee that I'll be very happy with this, after I'd expected something much more disappointing, but yeah, I'll have to do something about that sound.

    And I'm very much looking forward to playing Alien Isolation with the VR mod, because with the better visuals it does feel very much like you're walking around on the Alien set. Only once I've solved the headphones situation, though.

  16. #1091
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I was reading up on them earlier today, and was surprised to read that the Quest is actually higher resolution than the Rift S. Lower refresh though, at 75Hz.
    Must admit, I'm tempted by the Quest, but may end up waiting for the next-next gen of VR headsets.
    Was also surprised to learn they'd settled for a single standard LCD screen for the Rift S compared to the original Rift's dual OLED screens.

  17. #1092
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    From what I've read, there seem to be some clear advantages to LCD and some clear disadvantages. Visually I like what I'm seeing so far, it does feel like a clear if perhaps not amazing improvement to me, but I've not played more than ~1 1/2 hours.

    With the Quest, it does feel great not to be connected to any cables. That and having more space (I could drag my PC to the living room but I don't) makes me forget the real space I'm in a lot more than when using wired VR.

  18. #1093
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    How's the inside-out tracking? How does it keep up with movements where your arms aren't necessarily in front of the headset?

  19. #1094
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    My initial impression is that it seems fine, but I’ve not checked out much that would push the system. I know that the Lone Echo team is working on using additional data from the controllers (orientation, acceleration) to compensate, and they seem optimistic - but then they’re paid by Oculus, so it’s unlikely they would complain too loudly. Will try to get in some VR time over the weekend and report back.

  20. #1095
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Cool, thanks for the write-up Thirith!

    edit: also, get a loada dis



    This is basically the VR kayaking game I wanted to make. Plus also, a... um... stealth game, for some reason.
    Last edited by henke; 23rd May 2019 at 01:49.

  21. #1096
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Yeah, it does look interesting, but the mix is weird: Splinter Cell in a kayak. It makes me wonder about level design: if you're always, or mostly, in that kayak, it restricts what you can do with a level considerably.

  22. #1097
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quick P.S.: I played some Superhot yesterday, as it's still one of my go-to games in VR. For some reason, throwing things seems more difficult with inside-out tracking than it did with the regular Rift. It's as if the game doesn't interpret my hand movement as movement but rather as a sequence of stills; when I let go of a knife, for instance, it just sits in mid-air and slowly drops as I move. Throwing was always one of the more difficult things to do in Superhot, though. I expect it's something that can be fixed quite easily in the software.

  23. #1098
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm not too convinced by my first hour or so playing The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. The environments are gorgeous, but the game itself seems mediocre at best, added to which it hasn't been well adapted to VR - either that or Oculus Rift S comes close to breaking it. There are moments where you glimpse another version of reality through portals in space, and you need to squint hard so you don't suffer from double vision. I'll continue playing it, because I'm looking for a short story-focused game to play alongside Subnautica, but if it doesn't improve I might drop it after another session or two.

  24. #1099
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    The environments are gorgeous, but the game itself seems mediocre at best
    Yup, that was my feeling about it as well.

  25. #1100
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Did you play it in VR? And did you consider the whole experience worthwhile in the end?

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