Community The MetaVerse VR thread (hardware/software/etc, all platforms)

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Durante

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
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Nvidia has added "Variable Rate Supersampling" for VR to the latest driver: CES Game Ready Driver Introduces New Gaming Features, Support For Wolfenstein: Youngblood Ray Tracing, New G-SYNC Compatible displays, and More

It basically uses VRS HW in turing to better and dynamically match rendering quality to HMD geometry. Only works in forward rendered / MSAA games, but luckily that's increasingly the case for VR games (since it's simply better for VR). Sadly they enable it per-game, currently supports ~25 games.
 

sleepnaught

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Jan 3, 2020
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Couple months from the supposed HL: Alyx release. Should we be concerned we've only seen a short trailer and some off screen footage? I figured they would have shown off a lot more by now.
 
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Alextended

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Probably too early access for now but we'll see how it develops :)

Also, various VR related news from CES, some cool bits here and there with tiny super high res/hdr screens and small form goggles and new Pimax and Xtal etc., but probably nothing that affects the average consumer in the near future. CES 2020 VR And AR News Roundup: Everything You Might Have Missed
 
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Alextended

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Lots more cool Blade & Sorcery stuff coming. Do click the link, gifs and pics and stuffs.
 
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Alextended

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Boiling Steel has a free demo now. Not sure if it's any different if you get it from its own page or just click download demo from the game page. Probably not.
 
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Alextended

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Another small but good patch for one of my favorites, Onward.
Reposting cos they've added some more articles since (panasonic's thing was shown before and there's one more low profile vr kit from pico): various VR(ish) news from CES, some cool bits here and there with tiny super high res/hdr screens, small form goggles, new Pimax and Xtal etc., but probably nothing that affects the average consumer in the near future (both the low profile vr kits are also low capability so we'll see how soon it can be applied to better things).
 
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Alextended

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Try verifying the game cache, some dude said it worked for him afterwards.

Pico Neo 2 has been discussed before but I had no idea about their tracking. The ringless controllers should have raised questions! It sounds pretty good/novel.



Still a business headset and there's a problem with the battery life (a few hours max it seems) but it's pretty exciting for the future, maybe we'll some day get Index-level room scale tracking without the need for base stations or even cameras inside the HMDs (except for AR/passthrough and stuff obviously). It's probably a good glimpse of future Quest iterations (and actual competitor models too) with that packed-in eye tracking and stuff it already offers.

9 days left to wait for some Saints & Sinners zombie killing fun (contest is region locked, dunno where, but I can't enter).
 
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Alextended

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This looks pretty promising with dynamic speedy locomotion and chaotic combat.
A trailer is now on the Steam page (it was just screenshots). I believe the (solo) developer intends to kickstart this hence the unfinished state shown in much of it.

This was previously only on Oculus store (a region locked freebie, hopefully it won't only be available for British folk or something on Steam too, come on BBC).
 
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Alo81

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Jul 29, 2019
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HTC had a press conference and accidentally had something along the lines of "We expect big growth in interest in VR with the release of HL: Alyx and Left 4 Dead 3 in VR this year" in a slide.

So throw another bit of evidence on the rumor pile.
 
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Alextended

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The freebie Tea for God has been getting plenty updates, the latest changelog is here but there's been many more additions since I first mentioned it.
 
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Alextended

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Project TERMINUS is a survival horror VR FPS, taking place in the mighty city of Paris. The project in still in the beginning of its development and we are seeking for support. Download the free gameplay demo of the game:

Oculus QUEST: Terminus Alpha Demo on SideQuest
Oculus RIFT/RIFT S: https://casual-vr.com/installer_terminus_demo_one.exe

Edit: I just tried that Terminus alpha/demo thingie. It's pretty well done all things considered. The fov seems to be a tad off for Rift so there's some distortion, but other than that it looks fairly decent, the interactions with things like doors, drawers and cupboards is actually rather intuitive and natural, but the usable held objects can feel off without the proper animation/hand pose and what not, I guess that stuff is early still, especially the axe. The phone is damn cool though with an AR style interface. I turned the game off after the first enemies I avoided by ducking behind a kiosk thing with a cash register, I didn't want to try and get past them or see if they'd return, lol. Next time. Anyway, this is a project to watch if they get to make it into a full game as their intent is, there's a solid base here already. I didn't even mind there's no artificial turning method included, just your physical movement, though I'd hope they will include stick turning later on too.
 
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Alextended

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3 days left for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. I wonder if we'll get a new launch trailer soon :)
 
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Alextended

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Nostos isn't being abandoned, the team vows to improve it in all the right ways and explains some of the things they've already done:
Also, Budget Cuts 2 just got a smooth locomotion (and much more) update:
Obviously the game wasn't made with that in mind so you still need teleportation to navigate portions...

It's basically from a cheat menu, enabling various mutators which can disable achievements, though the mutators that make the game harder leave them intact.
 
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Aaaand it's done. 4k+ comments. Some nice info. Physics stuff, enemies stuff, weapons stuff, interactions stuff, inventory stuff, sound stuff, SDK stuff, stuff stuff.

I'm now curious about the whole no arms thing. I don't want arms if they're gonna be janky like in Boneworks so I didn't mind the lack of (even though in games like Lone Echo they're smoother and don't feel janky as in Boneworks they also don't have as many interactions). But they said even though they're invisible there's an amount of interactions with them still. I hope that doesn't lead to unintended interactions as in 99% of Boneworks where you can even see your body. I'm sure they're working to have things feel natural and smooth, maybe it's only to a limited degree to avoid situations where objects/stuff are between your hand and your body, right up your wrist, which could look off, but we'll see how they do things when they show more footage and when we get to play too.
Thanks everyone! The team is heading back to our desks to work towards shipping the game but we've really enjoyed this and hope you did as well.
There was a process of upresing some familiar assets from HL2. During this process, we were always looking for opportunities to add more detail and leverage VR interactions, and pack as much world building into those new detail as possible. The health charger you see in the trailer is a good example of this, we tried to do this wherever possible, whilst honoring the original designs.
Yep, one of the various internal prototypes that led to HL:A was a slice of HL-style gunplay in The Lab. Geoff has told us he wants to cover some of those prototypes more in his Final Hours of HL:A.
Physical merch is something we want to do more of. We plan to have some of it available before release.

Working on HL:A before we announced it was pretty worrisome. I have a teenage son, and for 4 years I've refused to tell him what game I was working on, because I knew he wouldn't be able to keep it to himself. On the team we joked that releasing the game was much less scary than announcing it. But in the end, we are very happy with how it's been received, and we're really excited to get it finished and into your hands.
Playtesters have taken a similar amount of time to complete Half-Life: Alyx as they did to complete Half-Life 2. The games are comparable in terms of total amount of content.
Jamaal here… It’s been great to work on these classic characters and seeing them in VR has really excited everyone on the team. The HL:A trailer gave you a taste of what is coming, but we are avoiding spoiling too much at this point.

When it comes to the work the community does around the HL Series, we are humbled by the affinity and creativity that people have for the story and characters. We hope everyone will be as excited with Alyx’s journey in HL:A. Returning to HL has been extremely motivating. We have a lot of affection for the universe and characters, and personally I am proud to be helping build on something so iconic. The team has many of the original HL developers and a lot of new creative people who have made some integral additions to HL:A and the overall HALF LIFE storyline.

I don’t know what we will do next with HL, but I’m looking forward to what you all think of HL:A.
For the Citadel, The fiction we went with involved the citadel's full height core being teleported in place, like a giant spear in the ground. The combine then build around this core fleshing it out from gathered resources, which is how you see it in the trailer. An under construction citadel was useful visual cliche that helped establish an earlier timeline than HL2.
We don't render arms due to our experiences with playtesting - briefly, we found that players themselves don't notice them missing (spectators do, obviously), and they don't like them obscuring their view.

We actually simulate invisible arms though, which connect from your hands back up to your HMD, and we use those to detect impossible things, like completely closing a drawer over your wrist.

We're planning on releasing a video going into the tech behind our VR hands / interactions / etc, so there'll be more on this soon.
Index controller finger-tracking allows for greater player expression and more opportunities for fine-grained engagement with the world. But the game was tested with all major VR solutions throughout development to ensure full compatibility for all required interactions.
Most of the gore is based on meat and vegetable recordings, with some condiment recordings as well.

We've also killed a lot of Zombies.
You can put a bucket on a headcrab, and it'll move the bucket as it crawls around. Playtesters all keep reporting it as a bug.
Dave here (Sound Designer) - A short and incomplete list of audio features we've added or improved for HL:A -

*Soundscape system improved to be more fully integrated with the audio system as a whole.
*Our music system is new.
*Numerous Steam Audio improvements.
*Huge amount of work on the lower level audio systems.
*New tools for mixing and implementing sounds.

From a Sound Design perspective we've had to change how we think about the sounds we make and implement. A lot of things are the same as making a traditional game, good art/sound is good in VR as well, but there are new factors as well. A main one for me was figuring out ways of making environments sonically interesting for players who want to take their time and explore, which happens much more frequently in VR.
Our weapons all require only one hand, but they can be optionally grabbed and steadied by your offhand. We really wanted to focus on simultaneous two handed play throughout the game, so we needed the player to always be able to easily have a free hand. We keep that hand pretty busy with gravity gloves, movement, world interactions, flashlight, and so on.

We have a few systems for inventory and weapon selection, all designed with the goal of keeping the players eyes on the environment as much as possible. We have an 'over the shoulder' contextual inventory system for ammo on your off hand, Your weapon hand has a quick weapon select feature, and we have a couple of wrist bags for some of the other items.
What is the ending?

We can't tell you, even though we definitely have one, because it would be a huge spoiler. But if you do have an idea for an ending, feel free to forward it. Today if possible.
This is Corey, a level designer here. Hammer in Source 2 has been overhauled from the ground up. Everything from how geometry is built and textured to how asset creation is done has been improved to increase the speed and ease at which we can build and iterate on levels.

One big feature for us on HL:A was the addition of a system similar to layers, where individual map files from multiple level designers, environment artists, and sound designers are combined into a single map. This had a huge impact on how many disciplines could get their hands into each map, which resulted in a much denser level of content throughout the game.
Hi MontyAtWork! Half-Life isn't like Fight Club- there was never a first rule of "we must never speak of it!" over the last decade or so. The real answer is super simple: We didn't talk about Half-Life for a long time because we weren't actively working on a Half-Life game. Once Half-Life: Alyx became a reality internally, it was already clear to us that this was something we wanted to involve the community in. We're going to be doing more of this in the next few weeks as we prepare to launch it! (Oh, and the actual first rule of Half-Life? There must be a train in the game, or we legally cannot ship it- at least according to Wolpaw in a previously answered question here.)
We're using Steam Audio HRTF, DSP, and occlusion in HL:A. Having the SA development team in the same building has been really beneficial to the audio team since we've been able quickly iterate with them on feature requests and performance issues.
This is Wolpaw: I personally prefer writing games where the viewpoint character speaks. We made the silence of the protagonist into a joke in the Portals, but you only get to pull that gag once. I had a lot fun writing for the left 4 deads where the characters were all little chatterboxes, so if I had my way we wouldn't do any more silent protagonists. That said, the I don't get my way as often as I deserve so who knows what's going to happen.
Hey Boldhams… We did include many of our favorite creatures from the previous games with some interesting twists, but we don’t want to spoil too much of what you will be experiencing in HL:A.
We've never been able to figure out where the rumors of us falling out with Marc came from, because there's no truth to it. He's been super generous with his time throughout the development of HL:A, answering many questions from Erik, Jay, and Sean as they hammered away on the story. As is always the case with Marc, we send him an email, and he sends us a response, and then roughly 40 more replies to his own email.

Several of the HL:A team members worked on HL1. There are some things we think we did better in HL1 than HL2, so we did go back to look at it again. As an example of that, the soldier AI in HL1 was something we looked at carefully during the development of the Combine Soldiers in HL:A.
Hey SmanDaMan Jamaal here.. we always enjoy speaking with the community. Our games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike have a long history of ongoing communication with their players. For HL:A, our first single-player campaign in several years, we wanted to be able to speak to the community in a different way than we do with our service games. That prompted much of the recent work we’ve done on social media and other venues like the new HL:A site. It was a great opportunity to widen our outreach as Valve more broadly.

The team is working diligently and we are on track to deliver HL:A on our announced released date. It’s an exciting time.

We don't want to spoil too much of the game, but my personal favorite mechanic is being able to grab and manipulate so many different things with my hands
Dave here (Sound Designer) -

Music on HL:A is being done by Mike Morasky (Portal 2, TF2, more!), and I know he's talked with Kelly quite a bit about his approach to the music of Half-Life. So you'll probably hear some of that come through but in Mike's unique style.
Right now it's around 80 people, which puts it as the largest single team we've ever had at Valve.
This is Wolpaw: I don't think it's changed dramatically. Honestly, though, I think the half life games are closer in tone to the portal games than they are to, say, The Last of Us. I spent a part of every day for 13 years talking to Laidlaw about writing. And the authors that inspired him like Frederic Brown and Robert Sheckley and crime writer Charles Willeford are all known for darkly comedic takes on genre fiction. Hell, he even named a character in ep2 after Sheckley.

Having the viewpoint character speak is mostly liberating. It certainly makes writing scenes easier when you don't have to write around the fact that the main character is mute. It's also easier to have the player feel they're actually an active participant in the scene. In portal we got around it a little by actually acknowledging the main character is mute. I think it's a lot more tricky when you have to maintain a fragile fiction that the player character can talk but simply isn't for some reason. Anyway, I was and still am happy that the main character speaks.
Tristan here, I admit I cannot deal with headcrabs in general, and definitely not in VR. If I'm testing the game, and I'm in an area where I know one of those things is around, I'll remove the head set and hold it off my face as I attempt navigate on the 2d monitor screen, to lessen the impact of headcrab discovery. Disappointingly for me, it seems that I'm the only one on the team who can't deal, we handle the scarier parts pretty well in terms of making the game accessible.

Horror is part of the franchise, and through playtesting, we feel like we've gained some confidence about where to draw this line. Some of our gorier visuals tend to evoke a grim fascination rather than revulsion or panic, and apart from myself, we've hardly ever seen anyone nope out of a playtest, even during the creepier sections. So among testers I still seem to be the outlier on horror tolerance.
Yes, Barnacles are a threat in VR. They don’t kill you instantly. You'll deal with them in familiar ways, but the opportunities afforded by VR also give you new methods to use against them. We experimented with moving the player, but moving the player without their input in VR didn't work very well. As with many aspects of working on this game, we’ve had to find new ways to take well-worn mechanics and other Half-Life staples into the specific framework of VR.

Similarly, Combine soldiers definitely return, both in the form you’ve previously seen them as well as with new variations to keep players busy and take advantage of VR.

Some creatures respond to audio more than others. We don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s an example of this we’re particularly excited about.

As with audio, limb dismemberment is not a factor in most combat encounters—but there is a very notable exception.

Because the game includes the ability to mantle in continuous motion, you don’t need often need to jump. For instance, if you need to get past an obstacle like a crate, you mantle up rather than jump up. The only time you need to jump is to traverse a short gap, which happens very rarely. We tried a few iterations of jumping, but ultimately found that even in continuous motion, players preferred dealing with those jumps with a teleport-style movement.
With the exception of some tweaks to the absolute final scene, the game is done. Lots of us at Valve, as well as playtesters, have played through the entire game multiple times.


Right now we're primarily polishing and fixing bugs, which is where we'd hope to be at this point in the development cycle. We're confident we'll hit our intended release. (We let the Valve Time happen before we announced the game.)
We worked with Merle at the beginning of HL:A development, but in the end, felt we wanted to go in a different direction. We love Merle, her work in Half-Life 2 was instrumental in bringing Alyx to life, and we hope to work with her again in the future.
We're not currently planning on shipping a full SDK. We'd really like to release one at some point, but it's a ton of work because Source 2 is a new toolset, much of which hasn't been previously released. Any time we spend on it now is also time we could be spending on polishing the game itself, which we think is more important. As a result, we thought it wasn't appropriate to promise anything before release.


Generally, this is how we've done SDKs in our previous Source 1 titles as well - making the game takes precedence, and after that's done, we start looking at what's next.
We will be doing subtitles at launch for ten total languages: English, French, German, Spanish-Spain, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish-Latin America, and Traditional Chinese. VO in other languages is something we're still considering.
Yes, it's our plan to release gameplay videos in the leadup to launch. Our intention is to use these to showcase not just gameplay elements, but also VR-specific elements like different movement options.
Our locomotion and comfort features are all done, including things like Seated, Left-Handed mode, etc. We have almost all our accessibility work done as well, but there's a little bit more we'd like to do there (support for one armed play, for instance).

We'll be talking about and showing more of our various locomotion options in some upcoming videos.

If you have questions about specific accessibility features you need, then feel free to reply here or send Gabe an email.
It's actually illegal to ship a Half-Life game if you don't spend at least a little time riding in a train.
Does Half-Life: Alyx use a dynamic soundtrack? Dave here (Sound Designer) - I'm unsure what you mean by 'dynamic soundtrack'. If you mean "Do the music and sound effects react or change in some way in regards to what's going on in-game?" then the answer is absolutely yes.
Thanks Super_Smol. We did answer the SDK question above.

We are huge fans of commentary and definitely plan on producing it for HL:A, but it’s unlikely that will have it in for launch day.
 
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Alextended

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warp_

タコベルが大好き
Apr 18, 2019
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Walking Dead day! I'm pretty excited for this one, makes me wish I had a better sized play area in the office where my PC is...really gotta figure out something by the time HLA comes out.
 
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Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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Aaand it's here. Please be good.

Old gameplay vids for those who missed what it's like:
 
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Alextended

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Ibuki

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Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is super cool so far, it definitely feels like a full-fledged game. The atmosphere is very dark and moody, and the acting seems good. I only did the tutorial, so I have no idea how it works/performs in the bigger areas. Having arms in VR is still weird (I didn't try Boneworks yet) so I'm not sure if I like that. Being able to choose dialogue options and your character having a voice is gonna go a long way I think, and actually having him/her talking to other survivors instead of just being a silent protag. The stabbing feels kind of strange at first, again I think I would be a little more used to this type of gameplay if I played Boneworks already, but it's super satisfying being able to grab a zombies head and jam a screwdriver into it. My one complaint so far is that you don't actually physically crouch, it's mapped to a button that brings you down to the crouch position, like any traditional game's stealth system. Definitely a minor gripe though, I think I can get used to it.
 

lashman

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Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is super cool so far, it definitely feels like a full-fledged game. The atmosphere is very dark and moody, and the acting seems good. I only did the tutorial, so I have no idea how it works/performs in the bigger areas. Having arms in VR is still weird (I didn't try Boneworks yet) so I'm not sure if I like that. Being able to choose dialogue options and your character having a voice is gonna go a long way I think, and actually having him/her talking to other survivors instead of just being a silent protag. The stabbing feels kind of strange at first, again I think I would be a little more used to this type of gameplay if I played Boneworks already, but it's super satisfying being able to grab a zombies head and jam a screwdriver into it. My one complaint so far is that you don't actually physically crouch, it's mapped to a button that brings you down to the crouch position, like any traditional game's stealth system. Definitely a minor gripe though, I think I can get used to it.
damn, that sounds great ... thanks for the writeup!