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Old 03-14-2017, 08:42 PM   #1
skeebertus
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How Is VR As A Trend Doing?

I have a VR capable PC, but have not bought a VR headset yet. My instinct is to wait for better 2nd Gen VR headsets to come along before I get onboard with VR.

Those who are doing VR right now, how is the trend as a whole doing?

Are people other than young gamers buying into it?

Is this trend going to grow and thrive, or are we looking at the sequel to 3D Televisions - a nice idea technically, but after a few years the trend collapses and companies stop investing in it?

I do appreciate that 3D Televisions and VR headsets are different beasts. People who use Rifts and Vives described the experience as powerful.

But will VR as whole become mainstream tech, or will it become a smaller niche market for immersion aficionados who love having a headset on their heads?
 
Old 03-14-2017, 10:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeebertus
I have a VR capable PC, but have not bought a VR headset yet. My instinct is to wait for better 2nd Gen VR headsets to come along before I get onboard with VR.

Those who are doing VR right now, how is the trend as a whole doing?

Are people other than young gamers buying into it?

Is this trend going to grow and thrive, or are we looking at the sequel to 3D Televisions - a nice idea technically, but after a few years the trend collapses and companies stop investing in it?

I do appreciate that 3D Televisions and VR headsets are different beasts. People who use Rifts and Vives described the experience as powerful.

But will VR as whole become mainstream tech, or will it become a smaller niche market for immersion aficionados who love having a headset on their heads?


I dont think its for young gamers. Its seems to be aimed towards adults (pc + 970 gtx + vive = 2.4 - 3k more or less). Im 41, I have a pc capable of VR but opted for psvr + pro. If you can.get a demo, go for it. Also oculus is 600 (hmd + touch). VR is a different beast than tv 3d. I think its here to stay but you should wait for second generation because there isnt too much content yet, and the tech isnt ready
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:48 AM   #3
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The buy in cost at this stage is much too high for good market absorption and Luis is right that there's not much software out there; mostly demos and novelty games. The PS VR is good value and while I haven't tried it the stats seem pretty decent, just lacking with motion tracking. I think it's these kinds of console/headset packages that will eventually popularize VR.

I think it best to wait for the next generation, but one instance where I'd say buying an Oculus or Vive would be a good idea is if you're into indy game development. Because there's so little out there and everyone that actually owns an VR/PC set up dropped a pretty serious amount of cash to own one it seems it might be a good captive market; I know a couple of guys with expensive HTC set ups that hardly play them because they've run out of things to do.
 
Old 03-15-2017, 02:50 AM   #4
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I believe VR (and by extension AR) are new mediums, and are beyond gimmicks like 3D-TVs. Their biggest impact will be in literally any other industry outside of videogames, most exciting will be how it can improve the lives of the digital artist. I think later this year would be a great time to jump in and grab hardware.

There's currently only 2 major headsets on the market - Vive and Rift. In 7 months there will be a fair few more. This will drive the price down. With a larger userbase, more substantial content will be viable.

HTC recently announced a "Vive Payment Plan". For $60~ you can get a Vive delivered to your door, and then you pay off the hardware each month for the term of your contract. It is the mobile phone model and i can see this being very attractive. Lots of people happily pay $100 a month here in Australia for the latest Smartphone + service plan. This is now coming to VR with hardware & content available as a service a-la Netflix.

The Minimum hardware requirement is also dropping as software improves and various Vendors collaborate - intel, Nvidia, AMD, Valve, etc, etc. What costs $3k today in computer hardware will be significantly cheaper in the months to come.

If you are following this thread and have yet to try out the Vive, you have to give it a shot. Roomscale VR is such a fantastic experience that cannot be described in text or video. Once trying it, you can make up your mind on whether this is a fad - in my opinion it is very clearly a medium that will transform the way people work across countless industries. The most exciting idea for me is the idea of working with my computer completely in VR. The Unreal Engine VR editor is a great example of how absolutely transformative this will be!


In summary, i think the biggest barriers to entry are the cost and the lack of content. Lower cost will allow for a bigger installbase and will facilitate more content. This time next year, VR will be a very healthy medium.

This is my biased opinion as a VR content creator
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelWBell
This is my biased opinion as a VR content creator


Nice work on Espire BTW! I played Budget Cuts recently which was probably the most fun game I had played in VR, stealth games suit the Vive so well, very keen to give yours a go.
 
Old 03-15-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Thankyou for the kind words! A huge fan of stealth games - my influences are pretty obvious in the video. Absolutely love budget cuts and cant wait to play the full version. Hope to have the playable demo of Espire 1 ready soon!
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:00 PM   #7
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Your Espire 1 video looks great.

Stealth games often bore me because of their slightly repetitive mechanics.

You seem to be going a few steps further with Espire, and there appears to physics on almost everything, which is great. I love games where you can creatively use or interact with just about anything found in a game level.

I'd love to see unconventional things in a stealth game like:

- Sneaking up on a guard, tapping them on the shoulder, and spraying them in the face with something that knocks them out for while or makes them act stupid

- Spraying barely visible slippery stuff on the floor, so a walking or running guard slips on it (your character might have special shoes that are not affected by the nano-tech slippery stuff)

- Having a lot of climbing abilities, where you can get on top of many things, hang unseen from the ceiling and so on

- A fire propagation system a la Far Cry, where you set stuff on fire, and it sets other stuff on fire - with volumetric smoke spreading down corridors for example, making you less visible or causing guards to leave their posts to investigate the source of the smoke

- Putting stuff - an upside down chair for example or a telephone cord - in a doorway, getting a guard's attention with sound, and then getting them to trip over the placed object

- Being able to glue or tape random game level objects together so as to create barriers or cover (e.g. completely blocking a doorway by taping a large crate to a wooden table and shoving the result in front of a door)

- Being able to put on the clothes of a guard you have knocked out, fooling some guards, as long as they don't see your face up close

- Being able actually wreck the game level where and when you need to - placing a charge on a wall and opening a round hole into the elevator shaft behind it for example. Of course the sound will draw everyone and their mother in your direction.

- Cool electronic stuff you can stick to walls, floors and ceilings - a guard walkytalky jammer box for example that leaves alerted guards unable to contact other guards, or a little device that starts to emit the noise of loud running footsteps 60 seconds after you have placed it

I love the idea of being able to use various cool devices and physical objects found in a game level to set up a situation where guards either can't get to you physically, or think you are somewhere you actually aren't, or lose their composure because strange stuff is happening around them - sounds they can't place, sudden smoke inside a corridor, graffiti of a large smileyface appearing on a corridor wall.

I'm sure you have lots of ideas of your own. =)
 
Old 03-20-2017, 11:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for the kind words and particularly skeebertus for the great suggestions. Would be great to chat further in the Espire 1 thread linked in my CGTalk signature. Your post highlights how VR can allow for some really fun and unconventional gameplay mechanics.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:34 PM   #9
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@Michael Great work on Espire. Best of luck with the project. I'll be keeping an eye on this. Have you authored all the assets yourself? I see you're using UE4. Have you tried any of the editor VR features during level creation? Be great to hear your thoughts in general on your experience, particularly in UE4. And also why you chose Vive over Occulus(aside from the room-scale)

Have you seen the game 'Onward'? It's a FPS military simulator where you fully interact with your weapon in terms of swapping mags/reloading/sniping/etc. The graphics look really terrible but there are some nice gameplay dynamics that showcase VR(similar to what you've done in Espire)


OP - I agree, VR is definitely not just a gimmick and is surely the future, not just in gaming, but in multiple arenas/industries. I can see it being heavily adopted by the military, for training in any number of scenarios. It's a completely new medium and will surely be utilised in many different ways to tell stories for entertainment. Also, it is surely going to be the natural evolution of arch-vis. Or as a way of creating art in itself(think Zbrush) As a tool to explore anything from distant planets to historical places/events. With 3D topography scanning you could climb Everest, or dive the deep sea. The possibilities are very exciting.

But, the tech is obviously in its infancy. The hardware needs to advance, and developers are at the early stages of exploring what works. Its trial and error for even the most experienced devs. It's an experience never before available in games so the limits need to be experimented with before they can be pushed. Even something as fundamental as level design/layout has to be reinvented in some cases.

New techniques - both hardware and software - need to be realised, and that will take time. A good example is teleportation Vs movement. I've seen some interesting ideas already trying to solve the sickness involved in this very unnatural state that our brains have to overcome.(the concept of locomotion in a VR environment whilst moving with the controller) For me teleportation is what put me off VR altogether as I think it completely defeats the purpose of true immersion.

Then of course there is the technical limitations that devs have to overcome/streamline. Because VR is rendering 2 screens(stereoscopic) in-engine, that's 2 x times the drawcalls. Plus it has to run in at least 60fps at a decent res. So this is another avenue to explore: optimising drawcalls and memory limitations. Epic recently reintroduced forward rendering as a direct implementation for VR(UE3 had forward rendering/UE4 had deferred rendering)This is why a lot of the games have mid-2000's era graphics.(this could also be due to small indy teams without the resources to create quality assets) So the hardware - both the VR headsets and your workstation - and the software will, as always, work together to push the tech.

And also remember that an AAA game in current-gen often takes years to produce(which is why we see so many 'tech-demos', I suppose) so it will be another year or 2 before we start seeing a decent stream of high quality content.

I for one am extremely excited to be a part of this coming revolution.

Last edited by musashidan : 03-22-2017 at 06:49 PM.
 
Old 03-22-2017, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeebertus



- Being able to put on the clothes of a guard you have knocked out, fooling some guards, as long as they don't see your face up close



I'm guessing you're too young to remember Medal of Honour on the PC? My all-time favourite FPS.
 
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