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Old 11-02-2015, 06:03 PM   #1
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zapionics<alt>'s Avatar
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Virtual Reality (VR)

This isnt about any particular game, but I'm getting pretty darn excited about the prospect of VR. Theres a lot of hype around ATM but I cant help feeling that we're on the cusp of the next Big Thing.
That's because the tech has now advanced sufficiently to support the objectives of silky smooth framerates, high resolution and stereoscopic video.
Systems are not far off now and the Ocululus Rift and HTC Vive seem pretty exciting. I especially have high expectations for the Vive due to Valves input. Hopefully the first games out will be rich experiences drawing on the legacy of our 3D gaming history.
To that, i think that we will see a new set of factors emerge by which we measure game immersion. For example, I notice the term "presence" being used instead of "atmosphere". "Presence" is about how much the user feels they're really there. We understand immersion, but VR is taking it to a new level, with testing showing some people tearing the headsets off in the scarier moments.

I think we will also see a fair bit of reversion to basic gameplay and stories, as both developers and gamers learn what this new tech can do, however the existing gaming legacy should help to ensure that the games are not too dumb. I'm expecting plenty of sci-fi shooters and puzzle games initially. Sophisticated RPG's and stories will come later.

The other aspect is of course Augmented Reality (AR) which has application far beyond gaming, but I can forsee that this will open up new level of realism in our gaming too. Games actually overlaid onto real locations for example, in real time. Hello Holodeck!

Then theres social interaction. Our avatars will be able to take us anywhere. Seriously, working at the office from home will be very plausible.
To understand this, the systems can include realtime scanning of the room, to map objects such as furniture, walls, corridoors, people and so one. The AR engine then factors these in.

According to todays Wikipedia entry on the Vive:
HTC states that Vive has a refresh rate of 90 Hz, requiring content to be rendered at 90 frames-per-second. The device uses two screens, one per eye, each having a resolution of 1080x1200.The device uses more than 70 sensors including a MEMS gyroscope, accelerometer and laser position sensors, and is said to operate in a 15 feet by 15 feet (4.5 by 4.5 meters) tracking space if used with the "Lighthouse" base station. Lighthouse system was designed by Alan Yates and use simple photosensors on any object that needs to be captured, this is combined with two, to avoid occlusion problems, lighthouse stations that sweep structured light lasers within a space. The front-facing cameras allow the software to identify any moving or static objects in a room. It's part of the Chaperone safety system to prevent and warn users of hitting an obstacle (an object, or a wall). Thanks to the cameras, SteamVR will map, modelize your room and the room configuration can be saved.
Extraordinary. I wonder if I need to create a dedicated space, an empty room, for this?

I'm really excited by this tech and I'm wondering how the PC will fit in. While some systems will be console based PC will have a place, at least initially. I dont see why the PC couldnt do the grunt work so the VR headset could remain as light as possible, but I guess they will try to make a single device.
We'll see soon enough. These things are only weeks away.
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Last edited by zapionics<alt>; 11-02-2015 at 07:28 PM..
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