Half-Life:Alyx

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by power, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    I guess it depends exactly what you mean, but this forced pull of regular games that Valve has done with Half Life Alyx can only be done so many times, in that its an existing regular game that has a VR only sequel or prequel which forces a regular gamer to buy it.


    Most VR games are exclusive, but if someone looked at Beat Saber, probably the most popular game in VR, they wouldn't see any reason to play it and would think audiosurf would be good enough.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    power

    power Member

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    i look at Beat Saber and see it is a dumb rhythm game, NEXT.

    hell there are people out there that won't buy a console because of the cost and look at all the exclusive content there.

    VR evangelists are kdding themselves.
     
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  3. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    I'm not saying anything different. What I'm objecting to is this idea that the situation with VR isn't changing; it isn't improving, isn't being more widely adopted, and (implied), never will be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  4. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    The Vive, the original.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    power

    power Member

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    thought you might have meant that one just wasn't sure. ta. I still really want an Index or at least something comparable.
     
  6. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    Haha yeah that's the dream. Rift S was $649 shipped from Amazon AU a week ago (sold out now). IMO it's a very compelling product at that price point... I think used OG vive models are going for close to that after the global shortage of VR headsets.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  7. terroristone

    terroristone Member

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    im loving my rift s, i dont play often so investing in a big dollar headset isnt worth it to me, the rift s i a great product at the price and highly recommend it
     
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  8. spank36

    spank36 Member

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    I changed from teleport to locomotion about a third the way in. I much prefered it and it felt more immersive.

    And yes, having both a Vive and Rift S, the Rift resolution is definitely better (controllers are great too). There is still some SDE, but its improved. I'd like to try the Vive Pro, Index or Reverb out :). The darks are a little bit better on the Vive though.
     
  9. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    Yeah there's definitely a grey wash to everything that's super dark.

    I ended up trying the setting that zooms you along after teleporting and that felt great So I think I'll stick with that. I had my first good wall collision last night trying to throw a fuel canister at a zombie... Didn't realise I'd drifted over to the wall :Paranoid:
     
  10. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    Thats what happens when you use an LCD screen in a VR headset.

    I think the Vive Pro and the Pimax 5k XR are the only two decent headsets that use the AMOLED screen, which has proper blacks for dark areas in games.

    AMOLED also has the downside of having more of a screen door effect/lower resolution look, even for an identical resolution screen.
     
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  11. Nethiuz

    Nethiuz Member

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    For some reason the Blacks in my Index LCD are blacker than i get in the OLED Rift CV1. They did a good job.
    Pimax certainly is a beast, even with some build quality control issues.

    Still haven't got my hands on any controllers to try ALYX with the index, pretty keen, as i just flight sim in VR and some No Mans Sky and ED all with HOTUS.
    Might strap on the old RIFT and controllers and just deal with the pixels, have to change out all the tracking etc ughhh.
     
  12. Optimus.

    Optimus. Member

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    I wish I get hold of one, 'need' it for sim racing rig. I would prefer Index to Cosmos due to the higher refresh rate.
     
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  13. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    Wow, some reductive arguments in there power.

    My turn to get some things straight for you, because you've conflated at least three terms.

    Niche:
    - denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
    - a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.

    Gimmick:

    - something that is not serious or of real value that is used to attract people's attention or interest temporarily, especially to make them buy something

    Tech demo:
    - a prototype, rough example or an otherwise incomplete version of a conceivable product or future system

    VR may be niche but that's not a bad or necessarily limiting thing.
    VR is not a gimmick.
    HL:A is not a tech demo.

    Lot's of things are niche, overclocking is niche, sim racing is niche, flying sims are niche, anime is niche, roasting your own coffee beans is niche, common sense is niche. Being niche doesn't imply unsustainable, nor does it preclude expansion. PCs used to be niche. Gaming used to be niche. Smart phones used to be niche.

    VR is a platform, it has validity and application that extends well beyond gaming. As ergonomics and accessibility continue to improve so will adoption.

    I personally think VR's challenge is not more titles (there are plenty and growing at a decent rate), or even bigger titles (although that can't hurt). It's far more about convenience and actually getting people to experience the sensation in a positive way. Google Cardboard and other half-steps I think hurt VR overall because they really didn't convey the true potential of full presence VR. Quest on the other hand has done wonders - it's easy to setup, portable, and supports some pretty terrific games and experiences that help convey what VR actually does. People can dismiss Beat Saber all they want, but I've yet to meet someone that didn't think it was awesome (and immediately understood it) when they tried it.
     
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  14. OP
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    power

    power Member

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    VR is niche, i was refuting a post saying that it's basically taking off.
    VR is to a degree a gimmick, but i'll give you that.
    HL absolutely is a tech demo of sorts, the same way that Sony made Uncharted Golden Abyss and Tearaway for the Vita to show developers what can be done with the hardware. These type of first party games are often labelled tech demos because they show off to developers what you can do with the tech. More examples, Wii Sports, Kinect Sports, get the picture?

    I love VR but i'm not kidding myself about it's potential.
     
  15. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I disagree. And pardon the pedantry, but we're getting super academic here, so I'm going full pedant.

    VR has two enormous flaws, neither of which I can see a solution for. The first is you can't see your surroundings when you're in VR, making it a very space-luxurious experience compared to other entertainment (and space is an ever shrinking commodity in this world).

    The second is motion sickness. There are a huge percentage of users who, even under the best of circumstances (high resolution, high framerate, good feedback) VR get motion sick.

    The best solution to both of these problems, I think, is AR. Again, pardon the pedantry, but despite the technical similarities, I think these are fundamentally difference concepts. (Like stereoscopic 3D and VR are similar tech, but also fundamentally different). And the reason for the VR / AR difference is immersion. In order to solve the space and motion sickness problems, you *must* incorporate the real world into the feedback system. And in order to do that, you must destroy the "suspension of disbelief".

    For the handful of users who have the space, the lack of motion sickness, and the sheer dollars to throw at a top tier VR solution, it's easy to point at your individual circumstance and claim it's all a game changer. But mass adoption requires the masses, by definition. I can't see VR ever doing that. I can see AR being slightly more successful, but even then there are huge social issues that are going to hold it back.
     
  16. Nerb

    Nerb Member

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    The index has two cameras on the front. when you approach the boundary of your room, the cameras turn on. So running into walls is not a problem. Besides this, many vr applications are sit down or stationary. Most business applications are sit down. Architects, engineers, sales and training use small/zero areas... speaking of which, I see you said "entertainment". Maybe your industry doesnt have a use for VR, but many do and there are more all the time. How else would I claim my index on tax?
    What is this huge percentage? Link?
    Motion games I might agree... stationary views of models or even games of vistas or card games would rarely cause motion sickness.
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Will dig up links when I'm near a computer again. But having spent a solid few years working in a studio that developed VR applications, motion sickness was a huge problem. 25% of the general population, easy.

    That same studio did 3D film VFX as well. Same problem there. Lower numbers, but still significant enough to affect sales.

    Which is why they're so boring.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  18. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    have a lot of experience showing people VR and this is all very true.

    I will say though that the Quest is really only half of the battle, the other half is increasing resolution, FoV, refresh rate and computer power, but really these things aren't necessary for someone to have insane fun, and literally everyone does, and yes as you said, on Beat Saber as well.

    As mentioned, cameras solve the first issue you mentioned.

    I will say though, VR is not good for boring grindy games where you are grinding for money most of the time (Like Elite Dangerous). Even then, you can install a mod that allows you to watch your favourite TV shows inside your space ship, so its something that can be solvedu for grindy games as well.


    The second issue motion sickness is generally incorrect for many people, we don't have real stats for this.

    From my personal experience showing plenty of kids, adults, and even 60+ people is that motion sickness won't happen if the person is normally not sensitive to it in real life.

    The problem with VR is there are so many things that can cause motion sickness.

    Here are some things I have to ensure so people don't get sick

    1. Run my Pimax at 120hz (144hz would be better but you lose FoV)

    2. Run games with the SteamVR performance alert so I can ensure FPS never drops, then turn it off as you can't really play and use that feature.

    3. Disable or don't play games with snap movement (Stupid feature for Oculus users)

    4. Avoid VR ports unless they are done correctly.

    5. Use lighthouse tracking instead of Oculus tracking, tracking issues make motion sickness very likely. Also even with lighthouse tracking, incorrect configuration or mirrors can cause issues and motion sickness.

    6. Use my Pimax headset, the high FoV reduces motion sickness in my experience, coupled with the 120hz.

    7. Avoid the many indie games that simply never tested their games for being comfortable to play, an experienced VR gamer needs to play these and find out whats good and whats not.

    You can design a regular PC game to heavily increase the chances it will make you motion sick, its simply insanely easier in VR, for obvious reasons. This doesn't mean VR causes motion sickness, its that some developers ignore an something so essential.


    Now the question is, have you or anyone else with motion sickness issues done all of the above? Probably not because its really an insane ask to simply play VR comfortably.

    Its definitely not a requirement but my point is that there's just so much that can go wrong.

    -------

    Now you are probably saying, 120hz doesn't seem that special!

    Well, maybe not until you see how bad some other headsets are

    Ouclus Rift S: 80hz
    Ouclus Quest: 72hz

    Of course its no wonder people are getting motion sick, if I set my frequency to that in my Pimax settings, I don't feel well either! Especially in bright games.

    45-60hz will literally (not joking) make people want to vomit, this should give you an idea of how high the refresh rate needs be, and it still needs to be higher. The exact same thing happens if your 90fps game runs at 45fps without any "assistance" to double the frames, which is not per
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  19. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    With all due respect neither am I. VR is a slow burn, but the user base is growing and the barriers to entry appear to be reducing. Unless something supplants it (which it may - who ever can predict disruptive technology) then I think VR has hit a sustainable critical mass and has a relatively assured future.

    I don't think we're fundamentally disagreeing. I'm saying adoption will continue to increase, I'm not claiming it will achieve mass adoption (at least any time in the foreseeable future!).

    As for the space and motion sickness, I would consider them constraints seeking innovation, not inherent flaws without solution.

    Space is relative to the application, if you want the VR full body immersion you need to have your full body involved, so you need to space to achieve that. AR doesn't improve that at all, if you don't have room to swing your arms around it doesn't matter if you can see the obstacle or not. As it stands, the boundaries and guardian systems currently in use work very well. There are MANY applications where you don't need a lot of space, flight, space and racing sims are gaming examples, where the space required matches (or beats) the 2D equivalent. Where space is required but not available then clearly VR isn't going to be an option for that user - I agree it's a constraint, but every technology has them. If I want 4k HDR gaming I'm confined to my study or living room. If I want portable gaming I'm limited by battery life. If I want competitive online gaming I need reliable broadband.

    Motion sickness is certainly a constraint that will limit up take, but there is still plenty more that can be done in that area to accommodate additional users. As the physiological understanding of what makes people VR sick is better understood, so too can clever programming help to counter it. Personally I get sick when there is a disconnect between what I am seeing and what I know my vestibulary system and proprioceptors would normally be telling me. I'm using to either doing those things in real life, or using full motion simulators that provide pretty convincing similes. There are certain things in VR that make that a whole lot better for me, for instance in a car or aircraft when I have the cockpit wrapped around me as per 'real life' I feel much more grounded and suffer almost no discomfort that isn't to do with tracking, glitching or frame rate drop. If you put me in 'bumper' or 'nose' cam however it is FAR more uncomfortable. That would probably be true in real life by the way :)

    That brings me to my next point, many people can't do in real life what they attempt to do in VR without getting sick - yet somehow that is VRs fault? Beat Saber rarely makes people sick whereas full locomotion FPS quite often does because people attempt to move speed and angles they would never try in real life. This is a genuine constraint for VR, but it's a platform design constraint, not a technology constraint. VR isn't for every application, and/or every VR application isn't for everyone. I know plenty of people that get nauseous looking at 2D FPSs!

    FWIW, I don't think AR helps the VR motion sickness problem if it's movement related but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

    As above, 25% of the general population probably can't stomach roller coasters or inverted flight either. Everything isn't for everyone, but neither is every VR interaction gut wrenching.

    My flight/space/race simulators disagree... but I know - it's niche! :)

    As above, the disconnect with our vestibular system (inner ear) and proprioceptors (seat of pants) is a non-trivial problem. It can be reduced with some of the things you've mentioned, but I think the next big leap will be when Gabe Newell figures out how to probe our brains and trick us into thinking we are actually physically moving. Until then, good game design and comfort settings are our friends.

    To return to this sentiment, I think it's dismissive to say that only a handful of potential users meet those criteria. If Sony can sell 5 million PSVR units and penetrate 5% of a massive console market with a first generation VR product then I think there is scope for that to significantly increase next generation. If anything it was the very reasonable cost and modest space requirements that made it so popular. If PSVR2 has inside-out tracking, is well priced, and it is attached to a 10+ TFlop Zen2 machine at a console price - I can see that percentage increasing significantly.

    HL:A isn't the key to significantly increased VR adoption, but it has certainly moved the needle in the PC space. I think the next couple of years are going to be fascinating.
     
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  20. Nethiuz

    Nethiuz Member

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    About 60% of people get motion sick if it's over 15 knots on the sea, i have still seen millions of them go through our boats and vomit away but they still come, that's just one small area, worldwide there would have been billions get seasick and yet they still got on a boat.
    Probably not the same thing as VR but meh, people just do random shit that doesn't suit them.
    I can also say that more Asians get motion sick than Europeans, Indians have the highest %. No idea why! Wow way off topic.

    VR is fantastic, even with the complaints about space, meh i only SIM VR and sit down, no issue there. If you like to fly or race then you could never go back to a monitor for it. However VR is still pretty Niche as Power put it, you wouldn't use it to browse OCAU.. I have used it to watch movies and that's pretty cool in BigScreen.

    Also, played a bit of Alyx now, had to be reduced to the RIFT as no controllers for the INDEX but.. wow 9/10 for the game and how well it performs in VR and looks! I am a bit pissed at how many headcrabs there is, cut it down a bit and please give some more monster variety.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020

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