Oculus Rift First Impressions
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From a hardcore stereoscopic gamer's perspective. There are a lot of impressions on the net for the Rift. I always seem to have a different perspective than everyone else, so maybe this is helpful. This is really long. Sorry for being extra wordy, just seems like more is better here. Executive summary: 3D Vision is a far superior experience. A little background about me, so you can determine if you should ignore my negative comments about Rift. I'm a stereoscopic gamer. I'll play 2D, but it's rare, and usually requires a co-op experience. I don't do any online fragfests, I only play single player or co-op. I play roughly 4 hours a day in stereoscopic. I've played around with the old school ELSA shutter glasses. Interesting, but too much crosstalk on CRTs, and ultimately, just not good enough. I went to NVidia's NVision '08, and saw the 3D Vision for the first time. It was interesting but didn't seem compelling in the short demo there. Went ahead and bought a kit in late 2009 and used it with Surround CRTs that I homebrewed. It was awesome. Except for the crosstalk. Mirror's Edge was particularly brutal. Research, study. Hmmm.. Turns out CRT phosphors have terrific persistence, to make the scanning not as obvious. This is bad for fast image changes like frame sequential of course. Tried the first gen ASUS monitor, and took it back. Too much ghosting, and a bizarre OK on top third of screen, terrible at bottom sync problem. Study more, now looking into how images are created. Bought a cheap 1024x768 projector. Worried about the low resolution, but impossibly stoked about the zero ghosting. Resolution is not a problem in S3D because the alternate frames for each eye doubles the resolution for 60Hz. Buy H5360 for a bump in resolution to 1280x720, and widescreen for more immmersion. Buying bulbs now. 3 so far. 6000+ hours of stereoscopic on projector. I play on the hardest level possible, because it's more fun for me. I turn off the reticle and use Ranger mode whenever I can because it's more immersive. I'm trying to get it as immersive as I can. And I'm trying to get the experience to be as high quality as possible. I'm not wedded to NVidia, if something else is superior I expect to use it. We all know that the Rift is not designed with typical 3D games in mind, but the Rift is potentially a best case. The 3D Vision experience colors my expectations. The original Red/Cyan movie 3D was simply not good enough. It was a good novelty, but no way was it acceptable for every movie. Same goes with ELSA Revelators. Interesting, a novelty, but not even close to good enough for every game. Fast forward to 3D Vision. Oh hell yeah it's good enough for all games. (minus the game engine artifacts of course) This leads me to believe that there is a quality bar that must be exceeded before it can become mainstream and not just a novelty. I never tried the original VR goggles, but everything I've read makes me think they were a novelty, and not even close to good enough. Does the Rift pass that bar? Received my Rift on Friday, and already had the SDK loaded and a couple of demos. Read the documentation, and hooked it up. It's easy to hook up, but the multi-monitor aspect is pretty confusing and hard to get working smoothly. Run the Tuscany Demo. Everything seems good. Put on Rift, and I see only grey desktop pattern. Need to use F9 to switch screens to Rift screen. Fumble around blindly for keyboard, find F9 by feel, and hit it. Whoa! Whoa! [i]Whoa![/i] It has easily the biggest shock value for dropping into Tuscany. You really do feel like you hit a transporter and are in a new spot. The scale of things is right, chairs are the right size, room is nice. Bright light from outside the windows. When you move your head it's just like looking around. It's extremely impressive. I spend maybe 5 minutes just looking at the walls and fireplace and the floor. I decide to move. Find the keyboard, and hit W. Oof! My stomach drops onto the floor. Never had motion sickness before, but now I know what it is. The disconnect between glide/walking and my inner ear screaming that this is [i]all[/i] wrong. Stand still for a bit. Look around, everything is fine. Move a little, and get more and more dizzy. Very impressive but in a different way. Using A is worse, strafing makes me dizzy immediately, but I recover quickly too. I glide outside while walking straight. I make it for about 20 minutes total before it seems like it would be a good idea to not push it too hard. Taking off the Rift is not as jarring, maybe because now I'm actually queasy. The queasiness takes about 3 hours to go away. Looks like thousands of hours of S3D doesn't help for VR sickness. Next day, I try some more. It's totally uncanny how you feel like you are really there. I have a friend over for a bout. He is also blown away. As a demo, this thing is golden. 15 minutes in, he has to take it off and we go out on the deck in the cold so that doesn't actually hurl. 5 hours later he is OK. I try a little more, and it seems not as bad to move around. Slightly more familiar, not as jarring to move. Inner ear is only shouting now, not screaming. I figure out all the fiddly bits to get Half-Life 2 working and visit City 17. It's really terrific and punishing at the same time. When the flying camera bots take a flash picture it's visceral. When the Combine guards whack their clubs into electric mode, I actually get nervous. I don't go very far, stomach and ear are arguing. Third day, I do more setup. Get TeamFortress2 setup, and do the proper IPD calibration. Play a little bit with robots, although I've never liked this sort of kill and spawn game. It's not as impressive, maybe because of the game pace. It's all frantic like usual, I get killed from every side because I can hardly see. Not too queasy, actually can play for awhile, it's just not fun. Move the config settings to HL2, and drop in there. Now we're getting somewhere. I'm not immediately sim-sick, and can walk around. I can look around at my leisure without getting slaughtered, and it's damn impressive. I taunt the guard by hitting him with the soda can and he whips on me. I cringe. The head-tracking is easily the most impressive part. It's spot on. You move your head, you look around. It [i]really[/i] adds to the game. No glitches in the 3D environment that I see. Not sure what all happens when you enable the -vr option. Overall, it's a good experience, but I wouldn't put it at great. The big knock on the Rift is the resolution, and it hurts. It really hurts. It's super grainy and pixelated like 80s caliber arcade video games with those big ass CRT monitors. You can play, but it's not a top-shelf experience. The resolution is a little more than 1/2 of what I get with a low res 1280x720@120 projector. Stretched over a wider FOV. 1280*2x720@60 for 3D Vision is 1.8Mpx. 1280*800@60 for Rift is 1Mpx. Next I did a very interesting experiment which is why I'm posting here. I compare the exact same save game on HL2 using 3D Vision. I walk through the same area, hit the Combine with the soda can the same way. You will be particularly interested that it wasn't as good as the Rift at the start. Only depth, right? It's not nearly as good as adding convergence and bringing the scene to you. So I crank up convergence a bit, trying not to toyify it, but to keep it 'life-size' like the Rift. It's awesome! I've never played HL2 with 3D Vision, and it's terrific. Very immersive, very much a top-shelf experience. When the camera bots flashbulb me, I go blind for a minute. The Combine guards are menacing in a way that you just don't get without 3D. Now, compare and contrast, Rift vs. 3D Vision on projector. Very close in terms of actual 3D. With convergence up, I can dial it to exactly the same experience level I see with Rift, in terms of depth and feeling like things are real/solid. Not quite as immersive, because FOV is closer to 80 degrees on projector, not 110 like Rift, and no head tracking. Resolution is the kicker though. Resolution with the projector, even at 1280x720@120Hz is still far, far superior to the Rift. The Rift is grainy and has a wicked screen-door effect that is hard to ignore. With the magnification of the lenses, you can actually see the pixels, easily. With the projector I cannot see screen door, nor individual pixels. Then there is woozy in about an hour (inner ear is only talking too loud now, not shouting), versus not being woozy at all. There are graphic glitches in 3D Vision though. The usual bullshit we see- the background image of buildings is at the wrong depth when you are outside. This doesn't happen in the Rift, and it's not clear why. If I dial down convergence to the only depth experience, it looks OK, so it's only convergence. Rift has no perceptible stereo glitches. Next experiment is The Museum of the Microstar. This has gotten some rave reviews, and it's really a great demo, good cheeky commentary. Something is busted here though, as it's a quease fest right from the start. Head tracking seems laggy and it really messes with your ears. Inner ear is back to shouting, so I only spend about 10 minutes looking. Really terrific demo. The Rift experience though? Not all that great actually. Very grainy, low resolution image, to the level of not being able to read the sign in the museum. 10 lines of blurry text, not sure what it says. Impressive sense of depth, but as 3D gamers we are used to that part. Particle effects are great. Laggy head tracking and sim-sickness really detract. Now, I do the experiment of hunting down the original exe and playing the demo with 3D Vision on projector. It's unrated of course, but the resolution is so much better it's like taking a film off your eyes. And, like you'd expect from a Unity game, it's got graphic glitches for lighting effects and shadows that are terrible. Overall experience, not too great, especially because I cannot turn off any effects. DX11, no Helix mod here. Why is the Rift better for these glitches? I look deeper, and the answer is that they turned off all the dynamic lighting and shadows for the Rift version. Cheaters. There is one last effect which happens with all the demos here, which is that the screen will smear out when you move your head. The pixels fuzz out and sharpen again for all movements, and it makes a low res situation even fuzzier. It's not clear what is happening here, because if you move the image with the mouse, it's fast and no smearing. So it's not the panel refresh rate. Since head tracking is a main draw, this is unfortunate. My conclusion, and answer to the question of "Does the Rift pass that quality bar?" Unfortunately, I'd have to say no right now. With a 1920x1080 screen for the consumer version, that would be a 2Mpx screen. A little better than the projector, but spread over more FOV. Might be comparable. Now to be fair to Palmer and Co, they [i]never[/i] said that the dev kit would be practical for regular gaming, and they only ever were trying to jumpstart VR with a cheap headset. Riftmania has taken it to extremes as being the next big thing, and in my judgment Riftmania is going to crash into the rocky shoals of poor quality fairly soon. Just my opinion, but I think that Riftmania is actually happening because none of these people have ever experienced a high quality S3D experience like 3D Vision. With the hipster attitude that 3D was a fad, I think that no one actually tried it, so Rift is their first experience with S3D. We all know how compelling and impressive it is. I think they are confusing the VR aspect with the S3D aspect. It's not cool to hate on a Kickstarter backed Rift, so at least people are giving it a try. 3D Vision, for all its faults, is still a vastly superior experience. If you have 3D Surround you already have the optimal experience. You've got the FOV of the Rift with incredible resolution. If you have a projector you have maybe 80% of that optimal experience. Definitely immersive, high enough resolution to not be able to discern individual pixels. Sit close enough and you can have the FOV [i]and[/i] the screen door too. A single monitor in 3D Vision is still better than the Rift, but now we are getting into alternating drawbacks of zero ghosting on Rift, with far superior resolution on monitor but at the expense of FOV. These are just my first impressions, it's possible I'll change my mind after getting Rift running more smoothly. Please let me know if you have any questions about the Rift, or things you'd like me to try. I'll continue to play with settings and try to improve the quality with supersampling, getting SLI running, and see if I can get my VR legs.
From a hardcore stereoscopic gamer's perspective.

There are a lot of impressions on the net for the Rift. I always seem to have a different perspective than everyone else, so maybe this is helpful. This is really long. Sorry for being extra wordy, just seems like more is better here.

Executive summary: 3D Vision is a far superior experience.


A little background about me, so you can determine if you should ignore my negative comments about Rift. I'm a stereoscopic gamer. I'll play 2D, but it's rare, and usually requires a co-op experience. I don't do any online fragfests, I only play single player or co-op. I play roughly 4 hours a day in stereoscopic.

I've played around with the old school ELSA shutter glasses. Interesting, but too much crosstalk on CRTs, and ultimately, just not good enough. I went to NVidia's NVision '08, and saw the 3D Vision for the first time. It was interesting but didn't seem compelling in the short demo there. Went ahead and bought a kit in late 2009 and used it with Surround CRTs that I homebrewed. It was awesome. Except for the crosstalk. Mirror's Edge was particularly brutal. Research, study. Hmmm.. Turns out CRT phosphors have terrific persistence, to make the scanning not as obvious. This is bad for fast image changes like frame sequential of course. Tried the first gen ASUS monitor, and took it back. Too much ghosting, and a bizarre OK on top third of screen, terrible at bottom sync problem. Study more, now looking into how images are created.

Bought a cheap 1024x768 projector. Worried about the low resolution, but impossibly stoked about the zero ghosting. Resolution is not a problem in S3D because the alternate frames for each eye doubles the resolution for 60Hz. Buy H5360 for a bump in resolution to 1280x720, and widescreen for more immmersion. Buying bulbs now. 3 so far. 6000+ hours of stereoscopic on projector.

I play on the hardest level possible, because it's more fun for me. I turn off the reticle and use Ranger mode whenever I can because it's more immersive. I'm trying to get it as immersive as I can. And I'm trying to get the experience to be as high quality as possible. I'm not wedded to NVidia, if something else is superior I expect to use it.

We all know that the Rift is not designed with typical 3D games in mind, but the Rift is potentially a best case.


The 3D Vision experience colors my expectations. The original Red/Cyan movie 3D was simply not good enough. It was a good novelty, but no way was it acceptable for every movie. Same goes with ELSA Revelators. Interesting, a novelty, but not even close to good enough for every game. Fast forward to 3D Vision. Oh hell yeah it's good enough for all games. (minus the game engine artifacts of course)

This leads me to believe that there is a quality bar that must be exceeded before it can become mainstream and not just a novelty. I never tried the original VR goggles, but everything I've read makes me think they were a novelty, and not even close to good enough. Does the Rift pass that bar?


Received my Rift on Friday, and already had the SDK loaded and a couple of demos. Read the documentation, and hooked it up. It's easy to hook up, but the multi-monitor aspect is pretty confusing and hard to get working smoothly.

Run the Tuscany Demo. Everything seems good. Put on Rift, and I see only grey desktop pattern. Need to use F9 to switch screens to Rift screen. Fumble around blindly for keyboard, find F9 by feel, and hit it. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! It has easily the biggest shock value for dropping into Tuscany. You really do feel like you hit a transporter and are in a new spot. The scale of things is right, chairs are the right size, room is nice. Bright light from outside the windows. When you move your head it's just like looking around. It's extremely impressive. I spend maybe 5 minutes just looking at the walls and fireplace and the floor.

I decide to move. Find the keyboard, and hit W. Oof! My stomach drops onto the floor. Never had motion sickness before, but now I know what it is. The disconnect between glide/walking and my inner ear screaming that this is all wrong. Stand still for a bit. Look around, everything is fine. Move a little, and get more and more dizzy. Very impressive but in a different way. Using A is worse, strafing makes me dizzy immediately, but I recover quickly too. I glide outside while walking straight. I make it for about 20 minutes total before it seems like it would be a good idea to not push it too hard. Taking off the Rift is not as jarring, maybe because now I'm actually queasy. The queasiness takes about 3 hours to go away. Looks like thousands of hours of S3D doesn't help for VR sickness.


Next day, I try some more. It's totally uncanny how you feel like you are really there. I have a friend over for a bout. He is also blown away. As a demo, this thing is golden. 15 minutes in, he has to take it off and we go out on the deck in the cold so that doesn't actually hurl. 5 hours later he is OK.

I try a little more, and it seems not as bad to move around. Slightly more familiar, not as jarring to move. Inner ear is only shouting now, not screaming. I figure out all the fiddly bits to get Half-Life 2 working and visit City 17. It's really terrific and punishing at the same time. When the flying camera bots take a flash picture it's visceral. When the Combine guards whack their clubs into electric mode, I actually get nervous. I don't go very far, stomach and ear are arguing.


Third day, I do more setup. Get TeamFortress2 setup, and do the proper IPD calibration. Play a little bit with robots, although I've never liked this sort of kill and spawn game. It's not as impressive, maybe because of the game pace. It's all frantic like usual, I get killed from every side because I can hardly see. Not too queasy, actually can play for awhile, it's just not fun.

Move the config settings to HL2, and drop in there. Now we're getting somewhere. I'm not immediately sim-sick, and can walk around. I can look around at my leisure without getting slaughtered, and it's damn impressive. I taunt the guard by hitting him with the soda can and he whips on me. I cringe.

The head-tracking is easily the most impressive part. It's spot on. You move your head, you look around. It really adds to the game. No glitches in the 3D environment that I see. Not sure what all happens when you enable the -vr option.


Overall, it's a good experience, but I wouldn't put it at great. The big knock on the Rift is the resolution, and it hurts. It really hurts. It's super grainy and pixelated like 80s caliber arcade video games with those big ass CRT monitors. You can play, but it's not a top-shelf experience.

The resolution is a little more than 1/2 of what I get with a low res 1280x720@120 projector. Stretched over a wider FOV. 1280*2x720@60 for 3D Vision is 1.8Mpx. 1280*800@60 for Rift is 1Mpx.


Next I did a very interesting experiment which is why I'm posting here. I compare the exact same save game on HL2 using 3D Vision. I walk through the same area, hit the Combine with the soda can the same way. You will be particularly interested that it wasn't as good as the Rift at the start. Only depth, right? It's not nearly as good as adding convergence and bringing the scene to you. So I crank up convergence a bit, trying not to toyify it, but to keep it 'life-size' like the Rift.

It's awesome! I've never played HL2 with 3D Vision, and it's terrific. Very immersive, very much a top-shelf experience. When the camera bots flashbulb me, I go blind for a minute. The Combine guards are menacing in a way that you just don't get without 3D.

Now, compare and contrast, Rift vs. 3D Vision on projector. Very close in terms of actual 3D. With convergence up, I can dial it to exactly the same experience level I see with Rift, in terms of depth and feeling like things are real/solid. Not quite as immersive, because FOV is closer to 80 degrees on projector, not 110 like Rift, and no head tracking. Resolution is the kicker though. Resolution with the projector, even at 1280x720@120Hz is still far, far superior to the Rift. The Rift is grainy and has a wicked screen-door effect that is hard to ignore. With the magnification of the lenses, you can actually see the pixels, easily. With the projector I cannot see screen door, nor individual pixels. Then there is woozy in about an hour (inner ear is only talking too loud now, not shouting), versus not being woozy at all.

There are graphic glitches in 3D Vision though. The usual bullshit we see- the background image of buildings is at the wrong depth when you are outside. This doesn't happen in the Rift, and it's not clear why. If I dial down convergence to the only depth experience, it looks OK, so it's only convergence. Rift has no perceptible stereo glitches.


Next experiment is The Museum of the Microstar. This has gotten some rave reviews, and it's really a great demo, good cheeky commentary. Something is busted here though, as it's a quease fest right from the start. Head tracking seems laggy and it really messes with your ears. Inner ear is back to shouting, so I only spend about 10 minutes looking. Really terrific demo.

The Rift experience though? Not all that great actually. Very grainy, low resolution image, to the level of not being able to read the sign in the museum. 10 lines of blurry text, not sure what it says. Impressive sense of depth, but as 3D gamers we are used to that part. Particle effects are great. Laggy head tracking and sim-sickness really detract.

Now, I do the experiment of hunting down the original exe and playing the demo with 3D Vision on projector. It's unrated of course, but the resolution is so much better it's like taking a film off your eyes. And, like you'd expect from a Unity game, it's got graphic glitches for lighting effects and shadows that are terrible. Overall experience, not too great, especially because I cannot turn off any effects. DX11, no Helix mod here. Why is the Rift better for these glitches? I look deeper, and the answer is that they turned off all the dynamic lighting and shadows for the Rift version. Cheaters.


There is one last effect which happens with all the demos here, which is that the screen will smear out when you move your head. The pixels fuzz out and sharpen again for all movements, and it makes a low res situation even fuzzier. It's not clear what is happening here, because if you move the image with the mouse, it's fast and no smearing. So it's not the panel refresh rate. Since head tracking is a main draw, this is unfortunate.


My conclusion, and answer to the question of "Does the Rift pass that quality bar?" Unfortunately, I'd have to say no right now. With a 1920x1080 screen for the consumer version, that would be a 2Mpx screen. A little better than the projector, but spread over more FOV. Might be comparable.

Now to be fair to Palmer and Co, they never said that the dev kit would be practical for regular gaming, and they only ever were trying to jumpstart VR with a cheap headset. Riftmania has taken it to extremes as being the next big thing, and in my judgment Riftmania is going to crash into the rocky shoals of poor quality fairly soon.

Just my opinion, but I think that Riftmania is actually happening because none of these people have ever experienced a high quality S3D experience like 3D Vision. With the hipster attitude that 3D was a fad, I think that no one actually tried it, so Rift is their first experience with S3D. We all know how compelling and impressive it is. I think they are confusing the VR aspect with the S3D aspect. It's not cool to hate on a Kickstarter backed Rift, so at least people are giving it a try.


3D Vision, for all its faults, is still a vastly superior experience.

If you have 3D Surround you already have the optimal experience. You've got the FOV of the Rift with incredible resolution.

If you have a projector you have maybe 80% of that optimal experience. Definitely immersive, high enough resolution to not be able to discern individual pixels. Sit close enough and you can have the FOV and the screen door too.

A single monitor in 3D Vision is still better than the Rift, but now we are getting into alternating drawbacks of zero ghosting on Rift, with far superior resolution on monitor but at the expense of FOV.

These are just my first impressions, it's possible I'll change my mind after getting Rift running more smoothly.


Please let me know if you have any questions about the Rift, or things you'd like me to try. I'll continue to play with settings and try to improve the quality with supersampling, getting SLI running, and see if I can get my VR legs.

Acer H5360 (1280x720@120Hz)..GTX 580 SLI..i5-4670K@3.4GHz..Win7x64..4GB RAM
PCP&C Silencer 750..4 Disk X25 RAID..3D Vision 1

#1
Posted 05/28/2013 07:44 AM   
Sounds like resolution is the major drawback, and that's something that will double with the consumer version. Would you imagine that would make a significant difference? How's the depth and convergence, and is it adjustable? The blurriness can be explained by this article. Long, but in-depth. http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/why-virtual-isnt-real-to-your-brain/
Sounds like resolution is the major drawback, and that's something that will double with the consumer version. Would you imagine that would make a significant difference?

How's the depth and convergence, and is it adjustable?

The blurriness can be explained by this article. Long, but in-depth.

http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/why-virtual-isnt-real-to-your-brain/

#2
Posted 05/28/2013 08:01 AM   
Yeah, thanks for sharing. That article referred to by Pirateguybrush is a good read. Not enough people have read it and assume the blurring will be fixed by a faster response panel. Alas, I think they are going to be sadly mistaken if that article is anything to go by. For those who don't know, Michael Abrash helped build the quake engine and was a key player in building DirectX. He knows his stuff.
Yeah, thanks for sharing. That article referred to by Pirateguybrush is a good read. Not enough people have read it and assume the blurring will be fixed by a faster response panel. Alas, I think they are going to be sadly mistaken if that article is anything to go by. For those who don't know, Michael Abrash helped build the quake engine and was a key player in building DirectX. He knows his stuff.

#3
Posted 05/28/2013 08:02 AM   
Getting to 1080p would likely make a huge difference. You'd have a bit more pixels than the projector (which I never have trouble with resolution). It's stretched over a bigger field of view, so it would probably balance to about the same. Yeah, it seems like if they can get to 1080p for the consumer version it will be pretty good. Depth and convergence are fully fixed in all games and demos I tried. The idea is that they are trying to provide a 'real' world, and so jacking with those parameters takes it away from the simulation. Doesn't necessarily matter except for things we like to play with like toyification. In HL2, it's the same as depth at 100%, convergence at about 80-100 or so, so it's already a big step in the right direction. I'd read that article from Abrash, and I hate to argue with a guy like that, but I don't think the current problem is related. I read a forum post in the Oculus developer forum that I think has it right though. (can't link, private forum) The basic problem seems to be software, specifically the distortion shaders for correcting the fish-eye. The shader doesn't seem to be that good at present, and when you move it is trying to do an anti-aliasing that ends up smudging it all together. I think this answer is closer to correct because if I turn off the distortion shader in Tuscany and get the distorted view- then I don't get the smudging. Several people have also commented that the distortion shader should in fact be run first, creating a spherical MVP matrix that you then draw your scene in. That way the distortion happens first, and you'd get a better end result. If I see anybody mock this up, I'll try it.
Getting to 1080p would likely make a huge difference. You'd have a bit more pixels than the projector (which I never have trouble with resolution). It's stretched over a bigger field of view, so it would probably balance to about the same. Yeah, it seems like if they can get to 1080p for the consumer version it will be pretty good.

Depth and convergence are fully fixed in all games and demos I tried. The idea is that they are trying to provide a 'real' world, and so jacking with those parameters takes it away from the simulation. Doesn't necessarily matter except for things we like to play with like toyification. In HL2, it's the same as depth at 100%, convergence at about 80-100 or so, so it's already a big step in the right direction.

I'd read that article from Abrash, and I hate to argue with a guy like that, but I don't think the current problem is related. I read a forum post in the Oculus developer forum that I think has it right though. (can't link, private forum)

The basic problem seems to be software, specifically the distortion shaders for correcting the fish-eye. The shader doesn't seem to be that good at present, and when you move it is trying to do an anti-aliasing that ends up smudging it all together. I think this answer is closer to correct because if I turn off the distortion shader in Tuscany and get the distorted view- then I don't get the smudging.

Several people have also commented that the distortion shader should in fact be run first, creating a spherical MVP matrix that you then draw your scene in. That way the distortion happens first, and you'd get a better end result. If I see anybody mock this up, I'll try it.

Acer H5360 (1280x720@120Hz)..GTX 580 SLI..i5-4670K@3.4GHz..Win7x64..4GB RAM
PCP&C Silencer 750..4 Disk X25 RAID..3D Vision 1

#4
Posted 05/28/2013 10:01 AM   
Vernor's Ginger Ale at room temperature is great at helping to alleviate motion sickness. When you play, try chewing gum and/or have a fan blowing on you. Of course Dramamine is sold over the counter :P
Vernor's Ginger Ale at room temperature is great at helping to alleviate motion sickness.

When you play, try chewing gum and/or have a fan blowing on you.

Of course Dramamine is sold over the counter :P

#5
Posted 05/28/2013 10:27 AM   
Great write up, thankyou bo3b
Great write up, thankyou bo3b

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#6
Posted 05/28/2013 11:15 AM   
great post, thanks a lot! Actually, I'm pretty happy with the oculus after reading your review. I was currently assuming 3d vision would be better right now, we are comparing a tried and true 3d technology on a retail product with years on the market with a bare bones dev kit of an infant techology like VR, I never expected it to be at 3d vision level and it shows. Still, your comments about how uncanny it seems that you are into the game/demo looks incredibly promising, even more coming from a hardcore 3d user, and I'm glad that the OR team are holding the consumer version until at least 2014. Screens will get higher res and many of the issues would be fixed or improved, but as it is, for me it's promising enough. I love 3d but I never really get the feeling of 'being there', it gets you closer than 2d, but I'm always clearly aware that I'm in front of a monitor/projector, so I still hope if all issues are fixed the OR will help on that ultimate goal, and in worst case scenario, it'll be the poor man solution for working 3d on a single package that will ease the level of entry, and that will help 3d gaming as a whole.
great post, thanks a lot!

Actually, I'm pretty happy with the oculus after reading your review. I was currently assuming 3d vision would be better right now, we are comparing a tried and true 3d technology on a retail product with years on the market with a bare bones dev kit of an infant techology like VR, I never expected it to be at 3d vision level and it shows.

Still, your comments about how uncanny it seems that you are into the game/demo looks incredibly promising, even more coming from a hardcore 3d user, and I'm glad that the OR team are holding the consumer version until at least 2014. Screens will get higher res and many of the issues would be fixed or improved, but as it is, for me it's promising enough.

I love 3d but I never really get the feeling of 'being there', it gets you closer than 2d, but I'm always clearly aware that I'm in front of a monitor/projector, so I still hope if all issues are fixed the OR will help on that ultimate goal, and in worst case scenario, it'll be the poor man solution for working 3d on a single package that will ease the level of entry, and that will help 3d gaming as a whole.

All hail Helix, 3d god among us! You can find him at http://helixmod.blogspot.com/
You can visit my virtual reality and 3d blog site at http://www.entraeneljuego.com for the latest news and reviews (in spanish)

#7
Posted 05/28/2013 02:27 PM   
Thanks for the insight, interesting read. Does the Rift support any 3rd Person games you tried? I imagine that would be pretty odd.
Thanks for the insight, interesting read.

Does the Rift support any 3rd Person games you tried? I imagine that would be pretty odd.

#8
Posted 05/28/2013 03:56 PM   
@cookybiscuit I dont even think there is support for a third person game right now [could be wrong]. Playing a third person game just takes away from all of rift's perks. It would just be like 3d vision on a bad monitor [as long as game can make fov changes]. Someone was excited for Mass effect on the vorpx thread and that just really made me scratch my head. Great write up bo3b. As a projector user I really wanted to hear someone's impression the most. And you pointed out what I been saying about developers hoping on the "support" train. People are gonna realize that half these "rift" supported games are trying to find the easiest way possible. I know of three titles who plan to have support and its just real bad implementation. Im curious if they are doing that with all unity games if so, wow. It kind of scares me that you liked HL2 more on 3D vision. I was really hoping to like the rift more on supported games. HL2's got a lot of issues as you mentioned with 3d vision. No convergence tweaking is a huge turn off. Look back at the releases that we had extremely limited convergence. Like RE5 and Deus EX[Wasnt as bad. Was locked at same spot but its a fps]. Very little people were happy with those games and from my understanding its even less convergence.
@cookybiscuit
I dont even think there is support for a third person game right now [could be wrong]. Playing a third person game just takes away from all of rift's perks. It would just be like 3d vision on a bad monitor [as long as game can make fov changes]. Someone was excited for Mass effect on the vorpx thread and that just really made me scratch my head.


Great write up bo3b. As a projector user I really wanted to hear someone's impression the most.

And you pointed out what I been saying about developers hoping on the "support" train. People are gonna realize that half these "rift" supported games are trying to find the easiest way possible. I know of three titles who plan to have support and its just real bad implementation. Im curious if they are doing that with all unity games if so, wow.
It kind of scares me that you liked HL2 more on 3D vision. I was really hoping to like the rift more on supported games. HL2's got a lot of issues as you mentioned with 3d vision.

No convergence tweaking is a huge turn off. Look back at the releases that we had extremely limited convergence. Like RE5 and Deus EX[Wasnt as bad. Was locked at same spot but its a fps]. Very little people were happy with those games and from my understanding its even less convergence.
[quote="eqzitara"]@cookybiscuit I dont even think there is support for a third person game right now [could be wrong]. Playing a third person game just takes away from all of rift's perks. It would just be like 3d vision on a bad monitor [as long as game can make fov changes]. Someone was excited for Mass effect on the vorpx thread and that just really made me scratch my head. Great write up bo3b. As a projector user I really wanted to hear someone's impression the most. And you pointed out what I been saying about developers hoping on the "support" train. People are gonna realize that half these "rift" supported games are trying to find the easiest way possible. I know of three titles who plan to have support and its just real bad implementation. Im curious if they are doing that with all unity games if so, wow. It kind of scares me that you liked HL2 more on 3D vision. I was really hoping to like the rift more on supported games. HL2's got a lot of issues as you mentioned with 3d vision.[/quote] I told you man;)) Get another 2 projectors and you will be golden 3D Vision Surround is kickass. As for the article itself, when I read it I giggled. (Somewhere inside, my mind started shouting "I told you so") I giggled since I tried a VR headset some years back and I agree the sense of being there is awesome, but: I don't imagine myself playing Metro games or even Doom with head-tracking unless I want to break my neck:)) - I remember having the same problem back regarding screens and resolution. I could feel the screens being "glued" on my eyes and it felt a terrifying experience. - I never ever got motion sickness before trying that VR (not on the plane, boat, ship, car, games etc) and I am also a person who is not bodered by a low fov in-games. Until that time I never knew what motion sickness is.. Apparently is VR related. Thanks for sharing;)) Was defo a very interesting read.
eqzitara said:@cookybiscuit
I dont even think there is support for a third person game right now [could be wrong]. Playing a third person game just takes away from all of rift's perks. It would just be like 3d vision on a bad monitor [as long as game can make fov changes]. Someone was excited for Mass effect on the vorpx thread and that just really made me scratch my head.


Great write up bo3b. As a projector user I really wanted to hear someone's impression the most.

And you pointed out what I been saying about developers hoping on the "support" train. People are gonna realize that half these "rift" supported games are trying to find the easiest way possible. I know of three titles who plan to have support and its just real bad implementation. Im curious if they are doing that with all unity games if so, wow.
It kind of scares me that you liked HL2 more on 3D vision. I was really hoping to like the rift more on supported games. HL2's got a lot of issues as you mentioned with 3d vision.


I told you man;)) Get another 2 projectors and you will be golden 3D Vision Surround is kickass.

As for the article itself, when I read it I giggled. (Somewhere inside, my mind started shouting "I told you so") I giggled since I tried a VR headset some years back and I agree the sense of being there is awesome, but:
I don't imagine myself playing Metro games or even Doom with head-tracking unless I want to break my neck:))
- I remember having the same problem back regarding screens and resolution. I could feel the screens being "glued" on my eyes and it felt a terrifying experience.
- I never ever got motion sickness before trying that VR (not on the plane, boat, ship, car, games etc) and I am also a person who is not bodered by a low fov in-games. Until that time I never knew what motion sickness is..

Apparently is VR related.

Thanks for sharing;)) Was defo a very interesting read.

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#10
Posted 05/28/2013 06:06 PM   
On the resolution of the device, here is a very in depth thought exercise of what it might take. His take is that it would still not be acceptable at 1080p: [url]https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=1172[/url] [quote="D-Man11"]Vernor's Ginger Ale at room temperature is great at helping to alleviate motion sickness.[/quote]Hah! I'll have to break that out. Day 4 here, and it's getting better. [quote="birthright"]I love 3d but I never really get the feeling of 'being there', it gets you closer than 2d, but I'm always clearly aware that I'm in front of a monitor/projector, so I still hope if all issues are fixed the OR will help on that ultimate goal, and in worst case scenario, it'll be the poor man solution for working 3d on a single package that will ease the level of entry, and that will help 3d gaming as a whole. [/quote]Interesting. For me playing on projector with 10 foot diagonal screen, about 10 feet away, I [i]definitely[/i] get the full immersion of being there. 5.1 speaker setup as well, cranked up, dark room. In Last Light, I found myself tiptoeing through a room, genuinely nervous that I was going to get ambushed by those damn spiders. In Dead Space, I'd be low on ammo, and definitely freak out level nervous walking through parts of the ship. So for me, the Rift is not bringing a dramatically higher level of immersion, more of smaller step. The head tracking helps make it more immersive, but the detractors are the fuzziness of the visuals and current bizarre control setups (using head for aiming, or keyhole head movement type stuff is very distracting.) For future consumer Rift, presumably all of that is fixed. That would put it on par with, but not superior to a projector as far as I can tell. I'll definitely be trying it. [quote="Cookybiscuit"]Does the Rift support any 3rd Person games you tried? I imagine that would be pretty odd.[/quote]Not directly yet, but the Vierio driver has support for several games including L4D, L4D2, Arkham City, and Borderlands. I'll be giving it a try and let you know. [quote="eqzitara"]And you pointed out what I been saying about developers hoping on the "support" train. People are gonna realize that half these "rift" supported games are trying to find the easiest way possible. I know of three titles who plan to have support and its just real bad implementation. Im curious if they are doing that with all unity games if so, wow. It kind of scares me that you liked HL2 more on 3D vision. I was really hoping to like the rift more on supported games. HL2's got a lot of issues as you mentioned with 3d vision.[/quote]Exactly, the current land-rush is to get something, anything running on the Rift because of so much positive publicity. It's OK that they turn of lighting effects and shadows, sometimes we have to do that too. And I still like a 3D game better than I like shadows. Same is true of the Rift. I liked HL2 better on projector because of my personal preference for no visible pixels. Graininess and screen door effects break the immersion for me, so I have a minimal bar that it has to cross to become acceptable. Probably that is not true of everyone. I could easily see someone overlooking screen door in order to have head-tracking. I'm glad you guys enjoyed my write-up, I'm never sure if this sort of thing is worth posting or not. My take home message is that in my opinion, you are not missing anything if you don't get the dev kit. The Riftmania has made it seem like a must for any serious gamer, and that just isn't the case. The reality is what you'd expect logically- it's a developer kit that barely works, the software is all half busted and hard to setup. It's got a lot of potential, but the current experience is pretty brutal.
On the resolution of the device, here is a very in depth thought exercise of what it might take. His take is that it would still not be acceptable at 1080p:

https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=1172

D-Man11 said:Vernor's Ginger Ale at room temperature is great at helping to alleviate motion sickness.
Hah! I'll have to break that out. Day 4 here, and it's getting better.

birthright said:I love 3d but I never really get the feeling of 'being there', it gets you closer than 2d, but I'm always clearly aware that I'm in front of a monitor/projector, so I still hope if all issues are fixed the OR will help on that ultimate goal, and in worst case scenario, it'll be the poor man solution for working 3d on a single package that will ease the level of entry, and that will help 3d gaming as a whole.
Interesting. For me playing on projector with 10 foot diagonal screen, about 10 feet away, I definitely get the full immersion of being there. 5.1 speaker setup as well, cranked up, dark room.

In Last Light, I found myself tiptoeing through a room, genuinely nervous that I was going to get ambushed by those damn spiders. In Dead Space, I'd be low on ammo, and definitely freak out level nervous walking through parts of the ship.

So for me, the Rift is not bringing a dramatically higher level of immersion, more of smaller step. The head tracking helps make it more immersive, but the detractors are the fuzziness of the visuals and current bizarre control setups (using head for aiming, or keyhole head movement type stuff is very distracting.) For future consumer Rift, presumably all of that is fixed. That would put it on par with, but not superior to a projector as far as I can tell. I'll definitely be trying it.

Cookybiscuit said:Does the Rift support any 3rd Person games you tried? I imagine that would be pretty odd.
Not directly yet, but the Vierio driver has support for several games including L4D, L4D2, Arkham City, and Borderlands. I'll be giving it a try and let you know.

eqzitara said:And you pointed out what I been saying about developers hoping on the "support" train. People are gonna realize that half these "rift" supported games are trying to find the easiest way possible. I know of three titles who plan to have support and its just real bad implementation. Im curious if they are doing that with all unity games if so, wow.
It kind of scares me that you liked HL2 more on 3D vision. I was really hoping to like the rift more on supported games. HL2's got a lot of issues as you mentioned with 3d vision.
Exactly, the current land-rush is to get something, anything running on the Rift because of so much positive publicity.

It's OK that they turn of lighting effects and shadows, sometimes we have to do that too. And I still like a 3D game better than I like shadows. Same is true of the Rift.

I liked HL2 better on projector because of my personal preference for no visible pixels. Graininess and screen door effects break the immersion for me, so I have a minimal bar that it has to cross to become acceptable. Probably that is not true of everyone. I could easily see someone overlooking screen door in order to have head-tracking.


I'm glad you guys enjoyed my write-up, I'm never sure if this sort of thing is worth posting or not.

My take home message is that in my opinion, you are not missing anything if you don't get the dev kit. The Riftmania has made it seem like a must for any serious gamer, and that just isn't the case. The reality is what you'd expect logically- it's a developer kit that barely works, the software is all half busted and hard to setup. It's got a lot of potential, but the current experience is pretty brutal.

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#11
Posted 05/29/2013 04:30 AM   
I just got my order is processing email. Will see how it goes for me. [quote="Cookybiscuit"] It's OK that they turn of lighting effects and shadows, sometimes we have to do that too. And I still like a 3D game better than I like shadows. Same is true of the Rift. [/quote] I agree that sometimes sure but there is no "bar". Like 3d vision at least has an attempt at rating. My main problem is its not mentioned anywhere. You go to play a game like Portal 2/ Quantum Conundrum and shadows are gone thats fine and dandy they are puzzlers without other characters in the game. You go to play survival/horror and shadows are gone and it feels off. Like playing Dead Space without it is just wierd. I mean, sure you can still enjoy it in 3D more then 2D but experience is "off." I have no problem with some games, but if all unity games don't thats kind of bad. I mean seriously, they are marketing to Rift developers. Like hearing that I went to check The Gallery and I cant help but feel a bit disappointed when I dont see shadows since its a dark game that makes use of lighting [exploration/Miner light/ glowsticks]. IMO shadows being gone in a game is always okay as long as is its not survival, horror, stealth, exploration, dark game.
I just got my order is processing email. Will see how it goes for me.

Cookybiscuit said:
It's OK that they turn of lighting effects and shadows, sometimes we have to do that too. And I still like a 3D game better than I like shadows. Same is true of the Rift.


I agree that sometimes sure but there is no "bar". Like 3d vision at least has an attempt at rating. My main problem is its not mentioned anywhere. You go to play a game like Portal 2/ Quantum Conundrum and shadows are gone thats fine and dandy they are puzzlers without other characters in the game. You go to play survival/horror and shadows are gone and it feels off. Like playing Dead Space without it is just wierd. I mean, sure you can still enjoy it in 3D more then 2D but experience is "off."
I have no problem with some games, but if all unity games don't thats kind of bad. I mean seriously, they are marketing to Rift developers. Like hearing that I went to check The Gallery and I cant help but feel a bit disappointed when I dont see shadows since its a dark game that makes use of lighting [exploration/Miner light/ glowsticks].
IMO shadows being gone in a game is always okay as long as is its not survival, horror, stealth, exploration, dark game.
bo3d, I play on a benq w1070 projector with 100'' screen and pretty close to it, so my field of view is nearly filled on dark room and 5.1 surround. It's incredibly immersive, but it's not like being there. I hope that VR completely blocking the outside world with huge field of view and headtracking done right will really give that feeling, but we're not there yet since the lacklustre image quality breaks the illusion apparently. We have to understand that 99% of gamers use either a 20 something monitor for PC or a 32-40'' TV for consoles with no 3d. Riftmania comes from those guys suddenly discovering 3d on a huge screen with great field of view on the Rift. We're really close to the Rift experience with better res and 3d, but for all those people, it's like rediscovering their games like we did the first time we tried 3d. I really can't wait for eqzitara review on the rift, you're probably as hype free on the Rift as anyone can be, so I really want to hear your thoughts about it, the more detailed the better ;)
bo3d, I play on a benq w1070 projector with 100'' screen and pretty close to it, so my field of view is nearly filled on dark room and 5.1 surround. It's incredibly immersive, but it's not like being there. I hope that VR completely blocking the outside world with huge field of view and headtracking done right will really give that feeling, but we're not there yet since the lacklustre image quality breaks the illusion apparently.

We have to understand that 99% of gamers use either a 20 something monitor for PC or a 32-40'' TV for consoles with no 3d. Riftmania comes from those guys suddenly discovering 3d on a huge screen with great field of view on the Rift. We're really close to the Rift experience with better res and 3d, but for all those people, it's like rediscovering their games like we did the first time we tried 3d.

I really can't wait for eqzitara review on the rift, you're probably as hype free on the Rift as anyone can be, so I really want to hear your thoughts about it, the more detailed the better ;)

All hail Helix, 3d god among us! You can find him at http://helixmod.blogspot.com/
You can visit my virtual reality and 3d blog site at http://www.entraeneljuego.com for the latest news and reviews (in spanish)

#13
Posted 05/29/2013 10:10 AM   
@bo3d You mentioned as to whether your post was worth writing, I say definitely yes! Thanks for your candid and open minded attitude towards this new technology. It seems to me that the Occulus Rift is a natural evolution in gaming. Based on your comments, the rift has definitely heightened my interest. Making comparison to 3D Vision is not how to look at it. I see the Rift as another option to gaming. The first person and immersion factor will be directly dependant on the quality of game, and more specifically on a game that is designed for the Rift. Certain games will be suited for the Rift and likewise 3D Vision. The first thing that comes to mind, is the 3RD person in which 3D vision can offer the toyification effect, which I personally love in some games. Minature 3D worlds fascinate me. On ther other hand, I can see how the Rift would be great for games like Dead Space or games such as a survial/horror or any game solely designed for first person. Your feedback has solidified what I have thought all along about the rift and that is it will not replace 3D vision, at least not for the short term. The Rift will give us another experience in immersive gaming. I personally welcome the Rift and will wait until the resolution is increased and lot of the kinks worked out. Thanks for an insightful post. Definitely helpful to me since I am watching and following the Rift. Cheers!
@bo3d

You mentioned as to whether your post was worth writing, I say definitely yes! Thanks for your candid and open minded attitude towards this new technology. It seems to me that the Occulus Rift is a natural evolution in gaming. Based on your comments, the rift has definitely heightened my interest. Making comparison to 3D Vision is not how to look at it. I see the Rift as another option to gaming. The first person and immersion factor will be directly dependant on the quality of game, and more specifically on a game that is designed for the Rift. Certain games will be suited for the Rift and likewise 3D Vision. The first thing that comes to mind, is the 3RD person in which 3D vision can offer the toyification effect, which I personally love in some games. Minature 3D worlds fascinate me. On ther other hand, I can see how the Rift would be great for games like Dead Space or games such as a survial/horror or any game solely designed for first person. Your feedback has solidified what I have thought all along about the rift and that is it will not replace 3D vision, at least not for the short term. The Rift will give us another experience in immersive gaming. I personally welcome the Rift and will wait until the resolution is increased and lot of the kinks worked out.

Thanks for an insightful post. Definitely helpful to me since I am watching and following the Rift.

Cheers!

#14
Posted 05/29/2013 03:34 PM   
[quote="bo3b"]Interesting. For me playing on projector with 10 foot diagonal screen, about 10 feet away, I [i]definitely[/i] get the full immersion of being there. 5.1 speaker setup as well, cranked up, dark room.[/quote] Seems like a decent ratio, I have a 65" DLP and sit about 5-6 feet away with the same setup and get the same level of immersion. As DLP TVs are pretty much dead, I'll definitely be looking towards a projector in the future, hopefully they'll bump up the resolution by then. Increased clarity always adds to the experience. What would be really nice is higher resolution and double-wide from a single projector. :D
bo3b said:Interesting. For me playing on projector with 10 foot diagonal screen, about 10 feet away, I definitely get the full immersion of being there. 5.1 speaker setup as well, cranked up, dark room.
Seems like a decent ratio, I have a 65" DLP and sit about 5-6 feet away with the same setup and get the same level of immersion. As DLP TVs are pretty much dead, I'll definitely be looking towards a projector in the future, hopefully they'll bump up the resolution by then. Increased clarity always adds to the experience. What would be really nice is higher resolution and double-wide from a single projector. :D

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#15
Posted 05/29/2013 04:37 PM   
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