Oculus Rift

Bill Tarling

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Since TLD will be set up for Oculus Rift support, I thought it would be worthwhile having a thread about the unit...

Whether it's video clips for those who haven't seen it in action, or (like this post) tech info... feel free to add in your own findings that you feel might be of interest to the Hinterlanders

AMD Developers Summit .APU13 - Oculus Rift

Although it's not great quality, here's some tech specifics about the next stages of programming and capabilities in-progress for the Oculus Rift (published Nov 16th 2013)

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I am impressed that the Oculus Rift is already well on its way to having the 1080p version ready for retail launch (see video at top of thread).

Given the fps that may be optimally needed, I think Hinterland/TLD were brilliant in their choice of art styled generations which should probably translate very smoothly to the spec needs as well.

I like the idea of the CastAR, but an estimated release of Sept 2014 doesn't allow much breathing room for TLD's Oct 2014 release (especially if bugs crop up) -- plus I don't know what developer support is immediately available.

I'm sure TLD will consider CastAR if:

There is budget available after completing TLD's primary programming goals

There is enough developer support from CastAR and a stable version is on schedule

There is enough market demand for CastAR support (don't forget Oculus Rift already has market demand)

There is enough pancake mix still left over near the end of the TLD project to keep the H-Team going to add additional support

From everything I've seen throughout the TLD project so far, I'm pretty confident Hinterland will make the smart decisions as to what is/isn't immediately supportable during the first TLD release.

Their main initial focus is to make TLD the best it can be within the project's committed scope -- you never know what additional tech enhancements might be added if there's still time and budget once the main game is almost ready (or even between now and then).

And don't forget -- additional systems and tech support can always be added for:

TLD2 - Beards, Pancakes, And a Jar Of Yellow Liquid

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've seen videos of people playing portal and team fortress 2 with the rift. A lot of people seem to say that the superhuman reflexes of the players make it nauseating to play with the rift on. With that they write off the rift as a viable means for anything except first person driving/flying games.

I think a game like this that is first person, but has a much slower pacing to it will excel on the rift. The simplistic artistic style, will be an absolute joy to experience through the rift. I can't wait!!

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  • 1 month later...

Oculus VR Best Practices Guide

There's a lot of great detail in the Oculus Report. It's also a great way to see that just because there;s some new cool gadget in development or on the market, it's not always easy to simply say "but it looks great, why won't your game support it"...

As consumers and gamers, we tend to judge (and sometimes complain) when a game doesn't quite meet our expectations when played using our new toys or gadgets -- but if you take even a short peak at the Oculus report, you'll be blown at how much thought must go into every gaming action behind the scenes.

I've seen users of other forums complaining about their fave game not being automatically ported withe comments like [paraphrased to clean up the tone] "there's software to make games work and it only takes a couple of clicks, so it's BS when developers say it costs more to add the [gadget] support"

The problem with a BSD [back Seat Developer] is they often think just because there are tools to help make porting game function code so it works with different devices, that doesn't mean the experience will translate with it. In fact, some previous gaming techniques [e.g. having the character look away without warning] can really disorient the player and make the gadget work against the intended immersion.

A good example is at the 2:05 mark in this


Glad We Have Our H-Team Pros Working On TLD

After reading just the first few pages of Oculus VR Best Practices Guide (which covers just a few basic mistakes or practices that must go into consideration when building the game), there's a huge shitload of on-paper planning that must be thought out and considered even before the first line of code gets started.

While there are many World Generating tools out there (like the Axis Game Factory), generating a free roamin game world doesn't mean you automatically have an immersive game.

It takes a helluva lot of developer "experience" to filter out what will/won't work to give the best balance of gameability for the players. While it's impossible to give every individual player the exact preference they want for their own play style or techniques, the pros make the tough decisions in finding just the right balance -- and then there's logistics, world detail, and processing overhead to deal with as well.

For that reason, I want express my sincere appreciation and respect for the entire Hinterland Team. Thankfully with Raph at the helm, along with one of the most impressive Triple-A experience team of top professionals in the industry, The Long Dark has a chance to succeed and entertain in a way most new indie studios couldn't hope to complete.

As part of the general gaming public, we rarely get to interact with most developers, but Hinterland has welcomed us all feel like part of a great family with TLD. On these boards, we have grown familiar with Raph, Emily, Alan, and Dave posting -- but lets not forget the amazing efforts of the rest of the H-Team working harder to bring our TLD game to life for us.

From storylines and writing, to amazing game and concept artwork, to incredible sounds and music, to the exciting cast of actors and performers all working to create the TLD experience... as backers and fans, we really got lucky to find this incredible team to give us something new.

And a special Thank You to Raph (aka "Duke Of Awesome") for bringing the amazing TLD team together.

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Thanks for that post, Bill. We're certainly doing our best to make sure we live up to all your expectations of our professionalism. That said, even with our experience, I'm sure we'll make mistakes.

Alan and I just attended Steam Developer Days in Seattle last week, and the entire second day was dedicated primarily to discussing VR, with talks given by both Mike Abrash (who is heading up Valve's VR lab) and Palmer Luckey (founder of Oculus). One of the big take-aways for us was not assuming that simply porting the game directly to Oculus would necessarily provide a good experience. We know there will be custom work involved to make the game feel good on Oculus.

The good news is we have a DK-1 (first gen) model in the studio right now (many thanks to community member Jason Kapalka for loaning it -- these things are hard to get your hands on!) so we can start experimenting with it, and we're working on establishing a relationship with Oculus directly so we can get our hands on the next-gen kit (which is far superior to DK-1, both in resolution and how it minimizes nausea due to improved head-tracking, and with an external camera that can read distance as well as head position so you can literally lean in to get a closer look.

We know that traditional FPS games are not necessarily translating to great experiences on Oculus, but we believe the slower-paced exploration focus in The Long Dark is going to help, and that Oculus will help add a sense of "presence" in the world.

More details as we continue exploring this exciting new technology!

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We know that traditional FPS games are not necessarily translating to great experiences on Oculus, but we believe the slower-paced exploration focus in The Long Dark is going to help

Couldn't agree more! I think the problem with traditional fps is that you are moving at a superhuman speed. I think slowing it down is the way to go (unless it's a seated driving/flying game). I do think that at least the hands would have to show up in TLD on the rift. Do you guys have any thoughts on using the razer hydra, the pc kinect or anything else to track the hands?

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Do you guys have any thoughts on using the razer hydra, the pc kinect or anything else to track the hands?

Not really at the moment. But, it could be something we work on down the road. Getting the game to feel immersive without Oculus is the priority. Then, getting it to work on Oculus without making people sick. And THEN we'll think about other control devices, depending on what you guys want from us. :)

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I've just been kind of reading up on it a bit but, they did announce that they where moving forward with a 4k Oculus to help get rid of the nausea along with the camera on the outside. So is TLD going to be 4k capable?


Too early to say. My hope is that by the time Oculus is a consumer product, they'll have implemented the hardware updates in Crystal Cove -- that's what we're aiming for. In my limited experience of the first-yen Oculus (DK-1), I don't find the resolution is high enough to have a very good experience. But, I suspect the Crystal Cove specs will be fine.

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  • 1 month later...
So uh ... looks like Facebook is going to buy Oculus, What are your guys thoughts on that? Personally bums me out a bit hopefully Facebook doesn't meddle too much with the direction of the company.

Ahh Looks like FaceBook DID buy Oculus for 2 Billion dollars and óle mate Marcus over at MineCraft isn't too happy about it, so he flew over and c\shoved the Oculus deal up their . . . and told them he won't be supporting it now.

We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.—

Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014

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The Facebook acquisition of Oculus is certainly big news for the entire VR scene. I think it bodes well from the point of view that we're pretty much guaranteed some kind of widespread adoption within the next 2-3 yrs thanks to this news. And more VR out there means a bigger market for us to sell VR experiences in to, which is critical.

But yeah, this was a big surprise. Certainly we have no interest in having to support Facebook in our games just to have access to Oculus, but so far it sounds like Oculus will continue to operate independently from Facebook and as long as this means we can use it as a peripheral, we're good with it!

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  • 3 months later...

Since head-tracking will be implemented for the rift support. Would be good also to have it for the freetrack protocol so you can use Freetrack, FaceTrackNoIR or Opentrack apps on the PC to be able to do head-tracking. All three use the facetrack protocol and are free. You just use PS-Eye webcam and the free codelaboratories PS-Eye driver for the PC. PS-Eye webcam can run at eat 140 - 180fps in 320 x 240 so you get smooth headtracking motion. With just FacetrackNoIR you can just face track without any IR leds. I use Opentrack and sticking a bit of black perspex that allows near visible light IR through (you can use photographic film) and an Track Clip Pro. Don't use TrackIR as it expensive and the NDA they make developers sign aims to stop other head-tracking solutions from being supported by the game.


Rift will also bring 3D, since it's there could you make it available for 3DTV users?

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