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 Oculus "Rift" : An open-source HMD for Kickstarter 
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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@pitrz: I totally agree with you, but I think things are changing. We are not there yet, but lots of things happening recently are leading toward VR taking off for real this time. We have a standard protocol for stereo 3D now (HDMI 1.4a) which greatly improves interoperability of different devices. This, in turn, has allowed mainstream consumers to experience 3D with things like the PS3 and any recent high-end HDTV (which has support for 3D). We have seen motion controllers get popular in a big way with Wii/Move/Kinect on the consoles, and developments on the PC side with the Hydra and upcoming Leep. We have major players like Sony who released an HMD with positive press/buzz attached to it and seemingly good sales. We have 3D capabilities on YouTube, one of the most popular sites on the web. Really, we are in a good place.

At this point what we really need is some developers to come up with a REAL VR experience. Even just a tech demo would be enough to get people interested. Maybe the 3D/tracker support in DOOM 3 will be that demo we are all waiting for. Or maybe it will come from some indie/homebrew developer. It doesn't really matter. Its just that we are so close to having all the necessary technology. But even when we get there, what use is it without great software to run on it? So I am very much with you on that point. But we have to just keep moving along and hope things pick up steam.

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Thu May 31, 2012 5:57 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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cybereality wrote:
@pitrz: I totally agree with you, but I think things are changing. We are not there yet, but lots of things happening recently are leading toward VR taking off for real this time. We have a standard protocol for stereo 3D now (HDMI 1.4a) which greatly improves interoperability of different devices. ... At this point what we really need is some developers to come up with a REAL VR experience. Even just a tech demo would be enough to get people interested.

Just this morning I saw an Engadget article about the Google World Wonders project (http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/worldwonders/) and that seemed to be a pretty perfect fit for something like this that "normal people" could enjoy. I don't really think it would bring VR helmet into the home of everyone but it could definately make them interested in the idea. For it to be completely engrossing there would have to be a real 3d environment with video and ambient sound. But that could be a later problem.

I'm thinking that part of the reason VRML never took off was that navigating a 3D world with a 2D interface is generally quite suboptimal. It's fun for games, but in that case the point of the game is typically to navigate and interact in that world. VRML tried to make the web into the "real world" without actually solving any problems. In fact, it typically turned a perfectly useable web store or online gallery into something that was less fun to use. (Since computers and browsers were pretty slow back then it also tended to turn everthing into a slide show.)

The biggest thing anyone can do right now is probably to promote open solutions. That could give people some common ground to work towards and also give new enthusiasts something specific they can buy to get started. But it's still quite early and there will have to be a lot of trial and error before we start to get something that is a easy to use common ground. (Compare to how the early days of PC hardware 3D graphics cards worked.)


Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:27 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Sorry for not replying for a while, getting ready for SID Displayweek and fielding a huge flood of emails and PMs from people who read the Verge article has taken up a lot of time!

davidgutierrezpalma wrote:
Will the final units be adjustable? If not, that would be a show-stopper for me...


They will definitely have adjustable focus/dioptre. This first run will probably not have easily adjustable IPD, but if the optics are collimated properly, that is fixable almost entirely in software.

MikeFesta wrote:
Very cool work Palmer. I found out about it from an article about John Carmack. I just wanted to register my interest in the kickstarter and I look forward to getting a unit to play with this summer.

I'm a software developer and hobbyist 3D animator (using blender). Let me know if there is anything that you need help with


The best thing you can do is spread the word! :) If I need any 3D animation, I will keep you in mind. I tried to learn Blender years back, could not wrap my mind around it!

BillRoeske wrote:
It looks like the device used in the preview is running at 60Hz. Palmer, is that the same as can be expected in the initial version, or is there a chance for a higher refresh rate?


There is a chance for a 75hz refresh rate. The control board company promises it can be done, but they also say some things about my current VGA boards that are not quite true. :roll:

brantlew wrote:
If you mounted them side by side it would have the same optical design with at least the same if not higher resolution and better aspect ratios. Plus you would automatically gain 2D support as well. Is it mainly software issues of driving and synchronizing the displays - or are there other reasons why this solution is not attractive?


Finding control boards for those panels is hard, they do not use something common like LVDS. Even if I were to get custom boards made, ($$$$$) there are reasons to go with one panel. It lets you get the screen area closer together (All LCDs have some kind of border), it makes alignment and calibration easier and more robust, and it lets you have a perfectly synced image, even over a wireless video link. If suitable panels and control boards can be worked out, I would love to use them.

rajveer wrote:
I have an astigmatism, hope this doesn't rule me out, I've been lurking and looking forward to this HMD since you announced it! Would contact lenses help the people with eye defects?


Contact lenses will fix things just fine. Glasses are not a good idea, though.

3dvison wrote:
Won't you need to be taking pre-orders soon. Don't you need the money to start buying part's...Not so gentle nudge.
Also, what tracker was JohnCarmack using ? Is it a tracker we can buy ourselves somwhere easily ?


Yes, I do need to get it up soon. The goal was to launch the Kickstarter today, but circumstance has conspired to kill that! Not going to launch it any later than June 15th if I can at all help it. I need the extra time to set up the rewards properly, which will include bundles with Doom 3 BFG and the Hillcrest tracker that Carmack has been using. I want to get the ball rolling ASAP, but not before I get things worked out so I am not stuck with a Kickstarter that does not reflect the potential of the project.

pitrz wrote:
BUT i am afraid the same problem still remains as with all the rest of 3D / VR devices that ever came out . Access to content.
I would say that i've spent 90 percent VR time tuning and configuring all the stuff, including getting the games etc to work and 10 percent actually looking at or playing something.


I know that feeling! I never have time to actually play, too busy making revisions. :lol: The others are right, we are moving in the right direction with HDMI 1.4, and content is more and more common. We are definitely not as far as we could be, but given 5 years, who knows!


Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:50 pm
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!

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Hey Palmer, or whoever else might know.
Will the full version of Doom 3 BFG have the code to use the RIFT with it ? Or will it just be a the Demo Version that will have the RIFT/HMD Code ?


Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:04 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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John can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the PC version of the full game supports it.


Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:12 pm
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!

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PalmerTech wrote:
John can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the PC version of the full game supports it.


Hello JohnCarmack,
Will the Field of View warping be a user adjustable setting in Doom3 BFG ?
Or even just a couple higher (FOV) option selections in a menu.
Was thinking when the 120-270 Field of View RIFT add-on lenses become available, we could be up and running in ID software..


Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:16 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I don't think there are plans for a demo version of the BFG edition. I'm probably going to just buy 100 copies wholesale myself and send them to Palmer for bundling with the first round of kits.

The fov is controlled by a console variable and the warping is done with a fragment program that you can replace if you want, but you can't go past 180 degrees with a single rendering, and d3 won't have support for multiple offset views. Until we get higher resolution panels, spreading things out over an even larger fov probably isn't a good trade off. It would be nice to have a little bigger screen so you could get the same 110 degree fov horizontally that you get vertically, and remove the need to mask the optics horizontally, but really, it is already extremely immersive.

I hope to also include a smaller R&D testbed program with source, but I will need to clear that with Zenimax HQ, so I can't promise it.

The Rift V1 is not going to be a consumer HMD, but it is going to be a godsend for interested hackers.

John Carmack


Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:40 am
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!

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Thanks JohnCarmack,
An HMD option in the full game is all I wanted. No demo is fine with me John. After all your support & help, I was definitely getting the full version as a nod of thanks to you anyway.

With that said,
Hey PalmerTech,
How do I get on the first 100 list...LOL
I don't know how you are going to do it ? Long time posters like cybereality and others need to be at the top of the list, I just hope I can get squeezed into that first batch of 100 units somehow.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:23 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Surely there will be a pledge in Kickstarter (limited to 100 units) that includes the HMD, the headtracker and a copy of "Doom3 BFG Edition". As usual in Kickstarter, the first 100 people who "buy" the pledge, get the reward ;)


Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:52 am
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well I called dibs.....( just sayin'......) I am pretty sure that is an internationally accepted, binding contact, for most any playground..... I may be wrong though.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:14 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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When the project launches, I will post a link here right away. Anyone subscribed to this thread should easily be in the first 100, since they will have the link before Google indexes it or any of the tech blogs post it.

I hope this is a successful project, but I don't think it will go over 100 units without any promotion!


Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:49 pm
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Subscribed, ready, and waiting!

That said, I want to throw my support behind two sentiments I've seen on this thread already.

First, I do hope that you do turn a small profit from the kits. It sounds like you've devoted a bit of personal time to this and have come up with something good, possibly great. You should totally be compensated for that. My impression is that this is going to be an assembly-required kit, so I'm sure there will be some post-release support work to be done, too. If nothing else, I'd view it as an investment in you continuing the good work with new displays, optics, connections, battery power, weight reduction, and so on. At the very least give us access to a tip jar or something. ;)

Second, I'd imagine that right about now there's a huge amount of pressure/temptation to shove it out the door. If there are things (like the reliability of the display driver board) that you aren't happy with yet, we can deal with small delays. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it's much easier to one thing ahead of time than troubleshoot 100 units out in the wild. Finally, given that this could be somewhat disruptive, the rewards for getting it right out of the gate are probably worthwhile.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:49 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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I "second" both of Bill's points.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:59 pm
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Personally, I'm in no rush. I've been waiting for a real VR kit since the 90's, an extra month or so ain't gonna kill me.

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Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:35 pm
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!

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Don't kill yourself Palmer.
I thought the first batch was going to be a low profit do-it-YO-self kit. You really do need to up the profit .
But profit or not, I thought for sure there would be problems & hickups when I get a RIFT kit. WHY ? Because It's a kit, I got it for problems.
I also thought there would be no support to speak of, I thought support was going to be us, helping each other on these forums, or on a RIFT website forum.

I just hope no one wants too much from Palmer. Such as 1-800-tech support, not for this first run of RIFT's in a Kit anyway.
Palmer, just include one BC headache powder with each RIFT Kit sold, and then turn your phone off...LOL

Untill you say different, I will think of the RIFT production line as a one man show.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:16 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Very excited by this!


Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:04 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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+1 for both BillRoeske's points.
+1 for "I have been waiting for something like RIFT for many years, so I don't mind waiting another additional month".

I'm not a "hardware guy", but I won't have any problem with DIY kits as long as they can be assembled easily: I don't have any soldering skills nor the ability or knowledge to place the lenses manually in the precise angle/position required to get the best effect, so I hope this type of skills are not necessary. I wouldn't have any problem with "simple operations" like "securing these pieces together using screws" or "plugging this cable into that jack", but (while I won't expect a polished product for end-users) I hope these DIY-kits are being built thinking in people like me: people with a basic knowledge about electronics, but without the manual ability to do "complex operations" such as soldering.


Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:51 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I'm so excited for this, I have been waiting a long time for a true VR experience. Thank you PalmerTech for creating this and progressing VR tech. Thanks to John as well for the software support. Good luck with the Kickstarter.


Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:07 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Count me in on the kickstarter! This is to good to be true. Doom on an HMD. A dream that comes to reality! So awesome.

Can't wait.


Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:26 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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This project looks really good, I'll back you on kickstarter for sure.


Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:49 pm
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Just dropping by to say I'm in for the kickstarter when it happens. I look forward to running my work-in-progress games on the Rift. :)

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Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:45 pm
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yeah Im super stoked for this peice of kit. You are about to change the VR landscape and its about time someone stepped up to do it right. Maybe other companies with follow suit and understand IMMERSION is where its at. Ill be supporting your kickstart as well as picking up a unit if possible. Also, if you are still looking for a logo I would be happy to submit some concepts over the next week (Im in Japan until Wednesday but when Im back in Canada Ill throw some your way - unless you have something already - you can PM me any art needs you have I would be glad to be a small part of this)

I do have a few questions if you have the time to answer them:

1) What is the process for getting existing games to work with the unit - eg: Flight Simulator X, or Just Cause 2 for example. Is it simple or do games need an entirely new driver..etc

2) When released what would one use with it? Would DOOM be our only demo for a long while (with hopefully Rage to follow) or would we be able to look forward to a slate of working titles (this question is kinda like my first one)

Either way Im excited, this combined with a motion chair you would never see me again!

:D


Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:44 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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PalmerTech wrote:
I think, and flight sim people tend to need higher resolution for reading gauges and the like.


Nah, we can use zooms for that. Most important for me has been good contrast and colours.


Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:22 pm
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@Damo3D: We should be able to use the IZ3D driver with it, though it may not render the aspect ratio perfectly. Should still work for a lot of games though. That is what I used on an earlier prototype I tried. I am also in the process of writing my own 3D driver, which will have specific support for the Rift (correct aspect ratio, pre-warping, etc.). However I am just in the early stages of this, and it will probably be a few months before I have something ready for the public.

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Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:34 pm
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@demo3d: I guess when more people get their hands on this thing a lot of software / usecases will emerge automaticly. There are probably lots of developers / wizkids under the interested user base.

I for one am excited to get started working on some projects :) I have a development background but not excactly in the HMD / VR scene.. but willing to learn so my guess is that lots of people will be sharing software / drivers / tests on the mtbs3d forums and or 'The Rift' homepage (if there is one)

Now let's hope the kickstarter starts soon :)


Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:02 am
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!

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Palmer,
With John's warping, have you had a look at one of your 2D HMD's but with a much more massive FOV ? No 3D, but with a massive FOV and a full screen resolution at 16:9, It would be awsome. Even without 3D. Or was warping never a problem that needed to be corrected with the 2D version ?


Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:22 am
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@3DVision: Palmer can correct me if I'm wrong but 2D is not really an option at this time. The unit is optically fixed for 3D viewing only. John's warping only applies to in-game stereo and would not carry over into the desktop.


cybereality's post got me thinking - there are several developers that will probably start hacking together display drivers and post-processing warpers for the Rift, but it will probably take a long time for this stuff to mature. The fastest way to get good support for the device in many games would be if DDD or IZ3D were to include support for it. I wonder if we could lobby them to add that? I for one, would pay a significant surcharge for this upgrade.


Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:23 am
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brantlew wrote:
@3DVision: Palmer can correct me if I'm wrong but 2D is not really an option at this time. The unit is optically fixed for 3D viewing only. John's warping only applies to in-game stereo and would not carry over into the desktop.

I don't have any experience with driver interception on Windows, but I developed something that might help on Linux two years ago. It was a Linux-addon for multi-head projection on curved surfaces.
The software takes the backbuffer before it gets rendered on to the screen an you can warp it using custom geometry (or through Bezier-curves). Because it runs in the background, it affects every picture - desktop/applications/games. If the need es there, I could ask my boss, if it would be okay to release the source. The codebase hasn't changed in years, and I'd love to make it compatible with the Rift.

Ah yeah, I found some old pictures: http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/479717/1 ... e?h=48fca5
You see a colleague of mine even testing Quake with it :) (those are old random shoots taken during the development of the project).

Can't wait for the Kickstarter to start :)


Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:20 am
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!

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brantlew wrote:
@3DVision: Palmer can correct me if I'm wrong but 2D is not really an option at this time. The unit is optically fixed for 3D viewing only. John's warping only applies to in-game stereo and would not carry over into the desktop.


I think Palmer has enough to do. I did not mean it to be an option for sale now. Just wondering if he looked into it himself.
Desktop..LOL..270 degrees, No thanks. I ment in-game warping. I was thinking of 2D warping to fix the fisheye look from large FOV optics. I did not know Johns was setup for 3D only.

Anyway, this is drifting off topic of the 3d RIFT.
Gauntlet, wow. That looks like it must be put to work with the RIFT somehow.
brantlew, Your DDD & IZ3D 3D warp driver is a great idea.
The warping, is the last piece of the puzzle.


Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:13 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I've seen convex screen demos where another app is used to warp the picture in order to create seamless blends and curves. However I can't find the name of this software at this time. I believe it's well known in flight sim hobbyist circles. Only thing I can remember is that it uses a chequerboard pattern to calibrate the output. In the short term this might be a tool to let all apps and the desktop 'fit' the Rift.


Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:49 pm
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brantlew wrote:
The fastest way to get good support for the device in many games would be if DDD or IZ3D were to include support for it. I wonder if we could lobby them to add that? I for one, would pay a significant surcharge for this upgrade.

Not sure if you heard but IZ3D is basically out of business. They are claiming they will release the source-code if they get... wait for it... $800,000 in donations from the community. I plan on supporting this effort, but there is probably no chance in the goal being attained by the end of this month. But if it does work out, I will plan to help support the project and I hope some other developers here would do the same. Then we could add support ourselves for all this funky stuff we want to do.

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Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:22 pm
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@ Optimus - its probably NTHusim (sp?) or Warpalizer.


Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:53 pm
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RIFT is not so bad .. does it stand for anything ?

R.I.F.T ? Real Inner Face Technology ;) ( could swap Real for Retina too.. since its a hot word these days )


So Rift can go along way as it is ...


you were also asking for help in design areas ... I use Maya 3d (Industry standard modelling and animation software ) for creating VFX in games and film etc..

if you need something made up let me know ... I'm guessing you need proof of concept with a product de-construction of the product and actually product demonstrations etc.. yes ?

Mick

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Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:34 pm
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@optimus: Isn't that just for a single screen rectangle though? The warper would need to warp two independent rectangles. Don't know if Warpalizer is that configurable.

@cybereality: Too bad about IZ3D. Well we could still organize a campaign here and on the DDD forum. Having DDD support would be huge in terms of versatility. Does anyone here have any "pull" at DDD? Hell we could start a KickStarter just for that. I would put $100 in the pot for DDD support. :)
PS. The purple chic is my favorite of your avatars.


Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:42 pm
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Just wondering if the project has been launched on KickStarter yet & if so.. what is the title ? I'd like to make a contribution ...

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Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:03 pm
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Wow, so much feedback! Sorry for the hit and run post, but I am on a so-far exhausting trip to Boston, and I really need to sleep.

I made a site, added some info, and most importantly, a newsletter function! I will still be posting the Kickstarter link here first, but the newsletter is a great way to make sure you are up to date.

Here is the site: http://oculusvr.com

Thanks to Brantlew for the sweet logo. :)

Will reply to everyone when I can!

Best,

Palmer


Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:20 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Palmer, you should really add a media page to the website.
:D


Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:50 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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cybereality wrote:
brantlew wrote:
The fastest way to get good support for the device in many games would be if DDD or IZ3D were to include support for it. I wonder if we could lobby them to add that? I for one, would pay a significant surcharge for this upgrade.

Not sure if you heard but IZ3D is basically out of business. They are claiming they will release the source-code if they get... wait for it... $800,000 in donations from the community. I plan on supporting this effort, but there is probably no chance in the goal being attained by the end of this month. But if it does work out, I will plan to help support the project and I hope some other developers here would do the same. Then we could add support ourselves for all this funky stuff we want to do.


I would demand to see lots of code before paying, C++ projects tend to grow into freaks if the team isnt experienced together.

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Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:56 am
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Probably a lot of work but my guess is somekind of opensourced driver instead of DDD or IZ3D on the long run is the best solution.

In current situation you are always depending on support from 2 commercial companies that will never ever have the same targets / ideas as the opensource community.

In the mean time something like a game engine with dedicated support is awsome and very important to showoff what is possible. The cooperation of John Carmack can be very important here. and the Doom3 engine is also very open with lots of tooling so anyone interested in working on / making some project can use the Doom3 tools :)

In other words all looks great and I can't wait to get my hands on this hardware and see what we as a community can create.


Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:37 am
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Love the logo too, but that was Bishop51's doing.

AntonieB wrote:
Probably a lot of work but my guess is somekind of opensourced driver instead of DDD or IZ3D on the long run is the best solution.

In current situation you are always depending on support from 2 commercial companies that will never ever have the same targets / ideas as the opensource community.


In the long range an open source solution is best for everyone but might take at least 6 months to become even partially workable. There are hundreds of details to research, implement, debug, and then customize per game. Tridef already has a solid, tested solution in place and existing support for hundreds of games. They would only need to add the final warping transform to their side-by-side view. As a beta feature my guess is that it would take them a week or less to implement this.

We should at least ask them whether they would consider adding experimental beta support. A campaign on their forum would be a simple way to voice our interest in this feature. A petition and a pre-release unit from Palmer might be all that is required to motivate them. But we are still a very small percentage of their customers which is why I also suggested a kick-starter campaign. If Palmer sells 100 of these kits, I am pretty sure that all 100 of those buyers are going to want game support. If everyone contributed $40 that would be $4000. That's enough to pay for two weeks of a senior developer's salary. So at least (in theory) we could use our group power to pay for the development of the feature.


Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:42 am
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