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 My Journey Through the Rift 
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:43 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Washington, DC
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TLDR: This is about the Oculus Rift - just read it already!

INTRODUCTION

Hello! Recently I had the opportunity to spend two hours trying multiple demos on the Rift, and I thought I would share my experiences! A little bit of background - I am not a game developer and haven't been following the Rift or VR/3D gaming until this past January, so you can kind of consider me a future consumer. I learned about the Rift through CES coverage and have been OBSESSIVELY following it ever since. When a thread popped up on the MTBS3D forums about people receiving developer kits who were willing to demo them to others, I constantly checked back to see if "Washington, DC" popped up on the list.

And then he appeared: rmcclelland - here on out known as "the coolest guy I know"! Not only was this guy getting a dev kit and willing to demo it in my area, he was #101 in line to receive it, which means he was in the first batch! We PMed back and forth for a few weeks, and finally set up a time for last Thursday. I was nervous. Should I bring a 6 pack of beer? No wait - Palmer said no alcohol. This guy was kind enough to invite me, a stranger, into HIS HOME to show off his toy. Seriously the coolest guy I know. I showed up about 8:20 (I couldn't help but be early) and spent the next two hours powering through everything he could show me in the Rift!

Please note that my time in the Rift was without any calibration. He switched it to A cups and in I went.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

RMC and I talked for a bit about the Rift and our backgrounds in VR enthusiasm. I tried to hide my impatience to just throw the thing on my face, but when he finally handed it to me to look at, I instantly went to put it on my face. "Whoa, there's nothing to see there yet!". Ok, I should take it all in anyway.

The thing is light, like everyone says. He loaded up the Tuscany demo and I jacked in. A flood of information entered my brain. It's hard to describe what I noticed first. I was in the middle of the Tuscany house, staring at the stairs. It looked completely different from all the videos I had seen. The colors were toned down a bit, and yet seemed very realistic. The 3D was perfect. It seemed like I was peering through binoculars, and my first impulse was to see if I could increase my FOV. I knew to expect limited FOV horizontally, but I could see "the mask" at the top and bottom as well. This locks out most of your peripheral vision. No problem - I just need to look around with my neck more than with my eyes.

The head tracking was spot on - I didn't even think about it. I looked up and the room was so big! I had no idea. As most people have heard, the sense of scale is hard to describe. I had seen this room a million times in demo videos, but it seemed like a completely different room. The fire, the chairs, the chandelier ... I looked where RMC was talking to me from - an empty bench. I turned around to a doorway leading to outside. I saw the fountain in the distance with leaves (or whatever they are) floating around. I probably spent 10 minutes not moving and just looking around.

I had heard about the screen door effect, but it wasn't really noticeable unless I focused on something for too long. Staring in one place for too long could cause the black lines to come into focus, but only when I was really looking for it. The rest of my time in the Rift I didn't even think about. The motion blur is a different story, though. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I tried Tuscany, RMC's space station, Rift Rush, Epic Citadel, Epic Citadel Flying, Museum of the whatever, Tuscany+HYDRA, and Epic Citadel ROLLERCOASTER!!! I'm going to take you along my journey through each of these demos.

TUSCANY

I started out in Tuscany. After spending about 10 minutes just looking around in one place, I finally got brave enough to move. It took a little getting used to moving around. As soon as I used the analog stick to turn left or right, I could feel the uneasy sensation that comes with the motion blur. I didn't like that at all, and tried to turn more by moving my head than using the controller, though this isn't always possible. I walked outside, stopping to admire the door frame. I felt that I could touch it, and really wanted to have the Hydra demo to try that - later, though! Going through the doorway felt like going through a doorway. Haha, simple but effective. There was so much beauty to just look at. I looked at the sun through the trees. I went back inside and upstairs to the balcony. There I stopped again, just looking out.

At this point I commented about how I feel I could just relax in the space. I imagined having a virtual laptop on the ledge and wanted someway to track my beer in the real world. I wanted to sit on a beach and just relax. I commented about how the world didn't need more detail to appear realistic. Our graphics are already there, and the Rift tricks my brain to accepting the textures of the world. RMC disagreed with me here. He said he notices the inconsistencies more. I moved around a bit more and then starting "feeling it". The left/right movements and blurriness were getting to me, and I jacked out to take a quick breather.

SPACE STATION

Next RMC jacked me into a space station he had sort of thrown together. I immediately noticed that it didn't have as much detail as Tuscany, and so it was harder to accept it as a "reality". The first thing he pointed out was that I had a body. I looked down, but didn't see it at first. I tucked my head into my chest and finally saw it - my binocular vision had been obstructing it. He led me over to a ledge to jump down from. Gravity was turned down (because I'm in space!), and so I gently floated to the platform underneath. I noticed that heights didn't really bother me - at least not in this demo. Beside me was another astronaut, only he was huge. I went up to him, his arms outstretched. He would have been intimidating except it looked like he wanted to give me a hug. Ok, over another ledge and falling away - time to jack out!

RIFT RUSH

Now it was time to get completely away from realism. Rift Rush is a simple platformer game. The goal is simply to jump from platform to platform before time runs out. One thing I noticed immediately was the UI. The options would float in front of me. Sometimes it would track with my head. Sometimes I could use my head to choose an option. The 3D UI was very cool, even though it was simple. Despite jumping from platform to platform, I didn't find myself feeling uneasy as quickly in this demo. Again the sense of scale was dramatically different from the monitor to the Rift. This game acted as kind of a proof of concept that casual games have a real place in the Rift. Even if your computer can't handle Skyrim in stereoscopic 3D, you could probably play Rift Rush. The platforms seemed so much larger in the Rift! I was a natural, but got cocky and kept falling! Ok, enough of this! I gotta try as much as I can!

EPIC CITADEL

On to the classic Epic Citadel. No snow. No knights. But still the Citadel! This was the first demo that really was showing things from a distance. I noticed that signs were hard to read and details were hard to make out when they are far away. The limited pixels means that things become kinda fuzzy when they are far away. Still, it didn't stop me from enjoying a running stream and banners flapping in the breeze. I started to get my VR legs a little by now and did a bit more walking around and exploring. I found myself wanting to have things to interact with - enemies to shoot or other people to look at. The castle was huge - again the sense of scale. All this moving around was starting to get to me, though, so it was time to jack out for another break.

EPIC CITADEL - FLYING

I got a glass of water and waited for the uneasiness to subside. As soon as I was feeling better, it was right back into the Epic Citadel - this time for a no clip flight! Flying was surprisingly natural in the Rift. I steered with my head as much as I could, weaving in and out of thruways, alleyways, and whatever other way I could find. It sort of felt like controlling a cinematic 3D movie camera. I didn't feel vertigo or the sense that I might fall. In some ways there was a disconnect, but still a wonderful feeling of freedom.

I also noticed and commented on the lack of detail from far away. Flying high into the sky and looking back down at the citadel, I wanted to be able to see it sharper - clearer. RMC commended that he didn't notice this as much, so perhaps it's a part of not having the Rift calibrated for me. I more think it has to do with the lack of pixel density - there just aren't enough pixels to see details from a distance. You could compare it to being slightly near-sighted. Up close you can see perfect detail, but far away things are slightly out of focus. I flew around for quite a while before the uneasiness came back. I was afraid of pushing myself too far, as I wanted to last as long as I could, so I jacked back out and into reality.

MUSEUM OF THE MICROSTAR

Ok, I had heard this was impressive, so I wanted to try it out. I jacked in and waited to be released from my chamber. The particle effects were cool, but I was already getting a slightly uneasy feeling. I remember hearing that 60 FPS is harder to achieve with the Museum, and RMC asked if I was noticing a dip. I couldn't consciously tell, but it wasn't long before I felt like I was groggily walking through a dream. The door opened onto a platform. There was a huge machine in the middle. Cool! There were signs everywhere, but it was blurry unless I stopped and focused on it. RMC threw headphones on me so I could hear the dialog. Hmm, information about wood. Ok. Again just feeling uneasy and weird. I pushed on, wanting to see more of the demo. I didn't get far before I just couldn't take anymore. Out I went for another break. Consciously I couldn't tell what was off with the demo - the 3D seemed fine and I didn't notice any stuttering, but I couldn't last long at all. If I had to guess it was the FPS combined with having to use the analog stick to turn (my head movement was independent of the direction I would move, meaning I had to turn with the controller). Sorry Microstar - maybe I shouldn't have been flying around before I dropped in for a visit!

TUSCANY DEMO - HYDRA STYLE

Ok, enough of just walking around. I wanted to interact with the world. I persuaded RMC to boot up his Hydra. I went through the calibration and he showed me a gun firing demo with the Hydra (without the Rift). Hey, turns out I'm a natural shot, shooting a can up into the air and then shooting it again in mid-air! Kick ass! But I wanted to combine it with the Rift, so into Tuscany I went.

Having hands in the Rift adds a whole new level of immersion almost immediately. I could pick things up and bring them to my face. I dribbled a basketball - much better than I can in real life! I'm a VR natural! Throwing was a little harder. We learned that the Hydra's slight latency had us releasing too soon. Waiting a millisecond longer to release seemed to give better results. I picked up a log, put it in the fire, and brought it to my face. I was inspected the log when the fire suddenly danced towards my face, causing me to jerk back and drop the log! Very cool. I picked up a baseball and treated it like an apple, bringing it to my mouth. This was all very realistic. I felt like the ball was heading towards my mouth.

Hydra's Tuscany had the option to auto-crouch when reaching down, and this caused a kind of simulated positional tracking. I think this is one of the reasons I was able to stay in this demo much longer. It wasn't long before some of the limitations of the Rift+Hydra combo started to come through, though. Despite trying to re-calibrate my hands to my shoulders, my hands were never quite where I expected them to be. Sometimes they were a foot higher, sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right. Because of this, I couldn't just rely on reaching where I thought something was. My virtual hand was more of a robotic hand in a cube that was mimicking my real hand. This made me really desire the ability to positional track the Rift and both my hands all together, so that my virtual hands are exactly where my real hands are in relation to where my Rift is.

Still it was very promising, and even without it being a perfect 1:1, having a way to interact in the virtual world definitely upped the immersion. I was trying to find a plank that someone had used to escape from Tuscany. I found it, but by the time I did, it was time to jack out again and catch a breather. I had been in the Rift for nearly two hours, with only 2-5 minute breaks in between. RMC commented that I lasted much longer than he did his first night, though it's easy to lose time in the Rift. Still, I had one more demo to try.

EPIC CITADEL - ROLLERCOASTER

It was getting about that time to leave, but I refused to move until I tried one last demo - a rollercoaster that someone had thrown together in the Epic Citadel. This was the most realistic demo I had in the Rift. I jacked in seated in a wooden rollercoaster. As it slowly escalated, I could see some of the falls and turns that awaited me. I had that same sense that I get in real rollercoasters. It was the calm before the storm. A turn and then I was coming up on the fall. My excitement grew as I got closer and closer - everything was so real. Something about being seated in one place in real life and in the Rift simultaneously really helped my brain connect the two. The coaster peered over the edge and then down I plunged. I screamed, completely forgetting RMC's kids sleeping in the next room. I was completely in the roller coaster, speeding through the Citadel. I couldn't speak. I just sped along, leaning into turns and having the complete feeling of speed. It wasn't long before I was back at the beginning, climbing again. I jacked out immediately, knowing I needed to get going and wanting to end on that high note.

CONCLUSION

Looking back on it now, my journey through the Rift feels like a dream, in almost every sense of the way. Was it real? Was it not? It seems a little too hazy to be real, and yet I can pick out specific moments that felt real. It's like when you are trying to read something in a dream. You really have to stop and concentrate to read it - it's kind of like that in a Rift. It's a trip in which at times you think it is real, all the while in a sort of weird dream state.

The Pros - Head tracking, 3D, and light-weight.

I didn't even think about the head tracking. I had zero issues in all the demos with it. It was simply a non-issue. During my journey, I took it for granted, but it really is an accomplishment that the thing never stuttered. The stereoscopic 3D was also spot on. I hadn't really played games in 3D, so it was a big leap for me. So realisic. The Rift was also very light, another thing I took for granted.

The Cons - FOV, motion blur, and resolution.

Ok, so FOV doesn't really belong in the "con" category when you compare it to HMD's normal 45 degrees. The binocular effect did take some getting used to. Not being able to use my eyes to dart around the scene and instead have to move my head presented a bit of a learning curve and a slight disconnect from what I was seeing being a "reality". Now the Rift also wasn't tuned to my eyes, which are set into my head a good bit. I tried pressing the Rift tighter onto my head, but that didn't help. Want to know what it looks like? Make binoculars with your hands (two circles) and put them around your eyes. Now try to look down at your chest. You'll find you have to look down pretty far before you come into view.

Motion blur was my main source of sickness. Using the analog stick to turn left and right never felt "good". Subtler movements with my head were ok, though. To simulate this, hold your thumb out in front of you while standing. Now twist your torso all the way to the left and all the way to the right, bringing your thumb with you and only focusing on your thumb. Keep your head stationary to your torso as you twist. The blurry world going by behind your thumb is what it looks like in the Rift, only without your thumb there to focus on. You can also just naturally blur your eyes and do the same twist. You'll probably find you can't do it very long before you don't feel well. Generally our eyes focus from point to point as we rotate around, but when everything is blurry, there is nothing to focus on.

Resolution is noticeable when viewing things from a distance. It just feels like you're near-sighted and can't quite see things far away. Things up close are just fine. This is easily fixable with a higher resolution panel, but it was more noticeable to me than the "screen door".

AS A CONSUMER

Speaking as a consumer, I feel the Rift shows promise of what could be. I don't want to feel sick in it. I want to do the marathon gaming that I can do on a monitor. I want to see my hands in the game and just be able to interact naturally. I didn't get to try shooting with a cursor, so I can't speak to that. I REALLY want to have someone else in there with me. I want to talk to my friend on Teamspeak or Skype as we explore a world or have a conversation. I want to have a guild meeting at a virtual round table. I want it to be clear and crisp.

I don't think the consumer will get everything they want immediately. Resolution can be fixed, but perhaps at the expense of performance. Motion blur is a big obstacle. Maybe if there was some sort of floating UI to focus on (like my thumb in real life), I wouldn't feel as queasy - not sure. A natural controller scheme would be nice - I want to have 1:1 virtual arms/hands, but still be able to shoot and move.

I also didn't experience all of what I consider to be the three big pillars of VR. You need the visual, the control, and the audio. I got most of the visual. I got a taste of the control. My audio was always turned down to very quiet. If I'm able to do this again, I want to try to experience all three at once and see what the difference makes!

In the end, the current Rift, Dev v1, is a dream machine. It transports you into a different reality - one where dream rules apply. You can do and see anything, but with the detail of a dream. It's a bit hazy and at times you feel off, but it's a trip nonetheless, and one I already want to take again! Will I buy the consumer Rift? YES, DEFINITELY! Will the masses buy the Rift? I think it depends on the fixes that are made between now and then.

SPECIAL THANKS

Special thanks to rmcclelland, who invited me into his home to experience the Rift. He officially is the Coolest Person I Know. I feel honored to experience what I think will ultimately will be a huge part of the history of technology! Any questions?

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UPDATE: MY SECOND JOURNEY

So it has been over a month since my initial journey through the Rift, which means I was long over due to jack back in. I finally lined up another date with RMC, this time meeting at a Makerspace close by. I wanted to stream my whole experience via Twitch, but unfortunately they did not have WiFi set up yet. This is very sad, as my second journey was AMAZING.

With RMC as my operator, we hooked everything up to my laptop. I had pre-loaded a bunch of things I wanted to try, and I was anxious to see the Rift working on my own rig (I have the same laptop as Cymatic Bruce). It wasn't long before we were ready to go. In my initial impressions, I commented about how the FOV was like looking through binoculars. I talked about seeing the edges all around. Some of you replied that this was probably due to not adjusting the Rift for my specific eyes. With this knowledge, the FIRST thing I wanted to do was to try and see if I could improve the FOV.

RMC was one step ahead of me, though. He had already set the Rift all the way in, as close to my eyes as they could get. We booted up Blue Marble and the difference was almost night and day from what I remembered. My vertical FOV was almost full - to the point that I could comfortable look up and down without seeing any black border. My horizontal FOV was still a little restricted, but only slightly, and to the point where it was easily ignored. Doing this one thing alone made the Rift 10x better instantly. I couldn't believe the difference. So those of you saying I needed to calibrate it, you were right.

I had many demos I wanted to try, but I only got to Blue Marble, Bunny Stories, Half-Life 2, vrCinema3D, MinecRift, First Law, and Proton Pulse. I would have tried more, but Half-Life 2 completely blew my mind to the point that I could not put it down! But let's go in order...

Blue Marble

It's a quick demo where you are shot into space with some nice music playing. After jacking in, I noticed how better my FOV was. The UI that appeared occasionally on my helmet was pretty cool. I was released into space and then just kind of looked around. The things close to me were cool, but the stuff far away suffered a bit due to the resolution. My mind also hadn't quite "accepted" everything as reality yet, so I was nitpicking. It wasn't long before my helmet told me I was running out of oxygen. After that, everything went black, so I can only assume that this whole thing was one elaborate suicide. Ok, everything is working, great - we're moving on (I wanted to get to HL2)!

Bunny Stories

And now for something completely different. It's a cartoon world hand drawn by a 7 year old girl. Need I say more? Very cool. Very different. The standout of this demo is a butterfly that flies around. I tracked it with my head, simply amazed at how easy it was to follow it along. The rest of my time was spent trying to figure out what the other creatures were supposed to be. Ok, I think it's HL2 time already!

HALF LIFE 2

I spent at least 30 minutes straight playing HL2. These 30 minutes convinced me without a shadow of a doubt that this is the future of gaming.

It started with G Man's disfigured face taking up the screen. Grr, it's not working. He isn't rendering right. My operator tells me to just close my eyes until he goes away. I take his advice and open my eyes just in time for the train car to fade into focus. Whoa. Whoa! I'm in the train car! In Half Life 2! The NPCs are looking at me. People are talking but I don't even care. Wow. I also had headphones plugged in by this point. Audio also greatly improved my experience over last time.

Before I even exit the car, a flying bot comes by and photographs me, blinding me temporarily. "Sonofa...where's my crowbar??". I exit the car and look around, taking it all in. I was there. I couldn't believe it. It was so much better than I even remembered from my last time with the Rift. Resolution, screen door, whatever - didn't notice it for one second with HL2. I was like a kid in a candy store. I ran around to all the NPCs, feeling like I was interacting with them even though all I was doing was moving around. I came up to a girl on the other side of the chain link fence. She had her fingers through the holes and was just staring at me. I got up close. Is she going to let me kiss her? Ok, maybe I got too close. Then there were the stun batons..

So the guys with the batons were very threatening. I was very worried about pissing them off. I haven't played HL2 in years, so I couldn't remember exactly everything that happens. They surrounded me and took me to an interrogation room. It was all so real. I felt helpless, walking down the hallway, peering into other rooms, worried about where I was going. I was relieved when Barney revealed himself. "Oh yeah! Barney!". He helped me get past the checkpoint, but then I ran into another stun baton guy. I got up in his face and he pushed me back. Whoa! I guess I really pissed him off, because he started running towards me. Ahhh! I started running. I had no way to defend myself. I ran and ran. I could hear him right behind me. No more open doors. I'm cornered. I turn around just in time for WHACK WHACK. He hits me twice with the stun baton and mumbles something, then walks away. I can't believe I just freaked out that much over a stun baton!

I find my way out of the building, through the alleyway, and up through some buildings. As I'm climbing the stairs, the stun baton guys hone in on me. This next part was straight out of the Matrix. Everywhere I look, the stun baton guys are appearing! Up, up, through the attic and onto the roof. Oh yeah! Rooftop chase! I pump my arms like I'm sprinting and start running and jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Now people are shooting at me! Whoa, it's a long way down. What if I fall? I can't fall! I only have a bit of the ledge to get by on! I'm sliding down one roof onto another roof. I can hear them behind me! I find an open window and leap through it. Door or stairs? I glance at both before deciding the stairs. As I'm climbing down, they crumble. I hit the hallway and look for an exit. A stun dude bursts through one door. I quickly look at the other door to see another guy burst through. No exits! I run back to the stairs. No way up! They close in! Ahh! Stun baton to the face and it's all white! Then I hear her! Alex! "Oh yeah, she saves me!" This whole sequence was mind-blowing.

Interacting with Alex was a lot of fun. She chatted with me as we walked. I checked her out and wondered if she knew where I was looking. Then we met up with doc. Barney showed up. And we all had a natural conversation together (only with me not talking). It was so real. I was in the room with all of these characters. Doc even shoved me out of the way a time or two. On the monitor, I wouldn't think anything of it. In the Rift, I couldn't believe he'd just push me aside. The teleport sequence was VERY COOL. What will I be looking at next? I feel like I can reach out and touch everything. AH, monster! And I'm outside the window!

At this point I'm started to get a little of the motion sickness, but I want to get the crowbar. Finally Barney tosses it to me. Yes! Crowbar! So cool! I run around hitting boxes and walls! Awesome! But I do have to take a break! I make sure to save my game and then jack out for the first time in this journey.

vrCinema3D

RMC is kind enough to go grab us some ginger ale across the street (supposedly good for nausea). I take a bit of a breather (you can tell when you need to break as you'll start to sweat and find you need to focus on breathing). It isn't long before I'm ready to jump back in. With RMC gone, I load up vrCinema3D, a virtual movie theater.

I'm playing a Tron 3D clip, but the sound doesn't work. It doesn't matter though. I feel like I'm sitting in a movie theater. Despite the low resolution, viewing the movie was very natural. I could easily see this replacing the need for a home cinema setup, especially if it's just you watching. RMC comes back and tells me he's watching almost all of Finding Nemo 3D on the Rift with this app. If I get closer to the screen, the resolution seems better on the movie. Watching it from far away makes it a little blurry. This is one experience that will benefit from the improved resolution of the consumer model. I don't think anyone will be disappointed.

MinecRift

I really wanted this to work. For half a second, it did. I jacked into my uniquely rendered world and began looking around. For some reason, though, it kept exiting full screen. Then when I'd go back to full screen, the head tracking didn't work. We rebooted it a few times with no success. Not wanting to waste my previous Rift time trouble shooting, we moved on. Sorry Minecraft fans!

First Law

This is a good example of a game that looks completely different in the Rift than on the monitor. It was a lot of fun to fly around in space, spawn enemies, and track and shoot them. The cockpit was very convincing. I loved it. How fast am I going? I'll just glance down to the right. Where's that ship flying. I'll just look over my left shoulder. It was also cool seeing my guns on the side. Nothing looks the same on a monitor as it does in the Rift. I don't care if you're doing SBS cross-eyed parallel viewing while cupping your hands. It's not even close, folks. It's impossible to describe.

Proton Pulse

VR the way VR was meant to be played - circa the 90s! It's 3D pong where your paddle is controlled with your head. I remember playing a similar browser-based game in high school 13 years ago. This was a lot of fun. Very simply, yet addicting. Most 90s VR movies had Proton Pulse-like graphics!

Conclusion

And just like that, my two hours were up. I only had to take one break, and that was after a 30 minute session with HL2. Am I getting my VR legs already? RMC says he can go hours and hours now. I'm jealous. For some reason, my second session with the Rift was even better than my first. I feel like my first journey I did a lot of standing in place analyzing what I was seeing. This time I had a lot of game play to go along with the visuals, and I just had a blast from beginning to end.

Take the time to get the Rift as perfect for you as possible. The extended FOV was a WORLD of difference for me. I need to find out my IPD so I can make those adjustments as well. I think the audio also helps with immersion, so use headphones if you can! I never noticed the screen door this go round. The resolution was somewhat noticeable when viewing a movie or looking in the distance in HL2, but it was also something that was easily forgotten. Head tracking was perfect, as always (except for poor MinecRift).

I am never ever going to forget going through that Half Life 2 intro in the Rift. It was a familiar game for me. And yet everything was new again. I couldn't believe how good it was - and I didn't even get to any combat! My previous journey into the Rift left me a little out of it, but this time I already want to jump back into HL2 as quickly as I can! And I want to try TF2! And RiftAmp! And Among the Sleep! And, and...!


Last edited by Tbone on Fri May 24, 2013 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:52 pm
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Cross Eyed!

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm
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Hey, great writeup! Thanks for sharing your experience with it... In-depth posts like this make it easier for me to wait until mine arrives, and to know better of what to expect :)


Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:19 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Great review! And very cool of RMcClelland to invite you over and demo his Rift 8-)


Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:34 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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Glad you enjoyed the Rift experience Tbone. I felt like Tank in the Matrix acting as your operator for two hours.

Morpheus: How is he?
Tank: Ten hours straight. He's a machine.
Neo: I know kung fu.

You were really a machine trying to soak in all the Rift experiences in two hours. I definitely eased myself into it increasing more each day. I think you would acclimate more over time, but you are absolutely right that when the tech is ready, you won't have to.

I think your comments from the consumer stand point are right on.


Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:46 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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By the way, I will be using Matrix vernacular to describe the Rift. It will catch on. IT WILL!


Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:50 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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rmcclelland wrote:
I felt like Tank in the Matrix acting as your operator for two hours.

:lol: I'm looking forward to playing this role for people; turning friends and family from skeptics into believers will validate a lifetime of only telling people VR is going to be a big deal, any day now, just wait for it...

Great writeup, Tbone, thank you! I'm afraid I have to deem you unrepresentative of the larger class of "consumers" - your palpable enthusiasm for VR lands you squarely in the echo chamber with the rest of us fanatics - but it's good to hear these things from people who aren't active developers. :D

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:57 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful
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Excellent write up! Very interesting reading your experience with the rift and what a nice guy to demo it! It just became a bit harder now waiting for my own rift.. :)


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:00 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Fantastically detailed review. Thanks! I'm both excited and surprised that you liked my coaster so much. When I was making it I thought only veteran VRers would be able to handle it. Glad to hear it is so accessible.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:04 am
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boone188 wrote:
Fantastically detailed review. Thanks! I'm both excited and surprised that you liked my coaster so much. When I was making it I thought only veteran VRers would be able to handle it. Glad to hear it is so accessible.

Is that yours, Boone?? It was probably my favorite experience in the Rift so far. I really think Oculus should consider using it for their two minute demos in the future, as it really plays to the Rift's current strengths.

And yeah, I'm a huge Matrix fan and even owned a Virtual Boy back in the day, so I guess I'm not an average consumer. Still, I'm maybe your average "gaming geek" and techno junky who hasn't had the money to get into 3D gaming before now.

I really hope to turn my gaming guild into one of the world's first VR guilds!


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:16 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Tbone wrote:
boone188 wrote:
Fantastically detailed review. Thanks! I'm both excited and surprised that you liked my coaster so much. When I was making it I thought only veteran VRers would be able to handle it. Glad to hear it is so accessible.

Is that yours, Boone?? It was probably my favorite experience in the Rift so far. I really think Oculus should consider using it for their two minute demos in the future, as it really plays to the Rift's current strengths.

And yeah, I'm a huge Matrix fan and even owned a Virtual Boy back in the day, so I guess I'm not an average consumer. Still, I'm maybe your average "gaming geek" and techno junky who hasn't had the money to get into 3D gaming before now.

I really hope to turn my gaming guild into one of the world's first VR guilds!

Yeah that's my humble first UDK project. I'm really surprised how positive the reaction has been to it. I can't wait to try it for myself (I should finally be getting my Rift on Wednesday). I'm curious, what do you think is the best aspect of the demo? I mean, is it the thrill ride, big drop, high speed aspect? Or the "I'm riding a roller coaster through a castle, and jumping over a wall" aspect? Basically, I'm trying to decide which direction to go with my next "ride". I can either go for a bigger, faster, more thrilling coaster with loops and barrel rolls, etc. Or I can do a more thematic ride (splash mountain at Disney is one of my favorites).


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:27 am
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boone188 wrote:
Tbone wrote:
boone188 wrote:
Fantastically detailed review. Thanks! I'm both excited and surprised that you liked my coaster so much. When I was making it I thought only veteran VRers would be able to handle it. Glad to hear it is so accessible.

Is that yours, Boone?? It was probably my favorite experience in the Rift so far. I really think Oculus should consider using it for their two minute demos in the future, as it really plays to the Rift's current strengths.

And yeah, I'm a huge Matrix fan and even owned a Virtual Boy back in the day, so I guess I'm not an average consumer. Still, I'm maybe your average "gaming geek" and techno junky who hasn't had the money to get into 3D gaming before now.

I really hope to turn my gaming guild into one of the world's first VR guilds!

Yeah that's my humble first UDK project. I'm really surprised how positive the reaction has been to it. I can't wait to try it for myself (I should finally be getting my Rift on Wednesday). I'm curious, what do you think is the best aspect of the demo? I mean, is it the thrill ride, big drop, high speed aspect? Or the "I'm riding a roller coaster through a castle, and jumping over a wall" aspect? Basically, I'm trying to decide which direction to go with my next "ride". I can either go for a bigger, faster, more thrilling coaster with loops and barrel rolls, etc. Or I can do a more thematic ride (splash mountain at Disney is one of my favorites).

This was the only experience I had where my movement was being controlled by something else. I still had complete head control, but I didn't have to worry about moving forward/left/right/etc. I think my movement being on a rail helped my experience the speed and excitement with the sickness.

Hmm... my favorite part. It's hard to say, it was all a blur. It was very well designed for your first go at it. I loved the build up and that initial drop - a perfect emulation of a coaster. And then seeing that the track was ending I was thinking "oh god.. where am I going to go??". It's a great combination of a realistic coaster combined with doing unreal things like flying off the track! It's so funny that you haven't gotten to actually try it yourself! I feel like I've somehow cheated and played a game before the developer gets to! Haha!


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:33 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Binoculars? I thought the rift had 110 degree FOV, am I missing something. If it looks like two little circles thats going to suck. When you watch the kickstarter video it looks like you can see almost everything... damn im disappointed if this is true


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:34 am
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It doesn't look like you're looking through two little circles. Just make the circles with your fingers and put them around your eyes. It's still just one seamless image that wraps around what you're seeing, but my point is that you can see the "mask" part of the Rift as well. So just like when you go Scuba diving, your peripheral is cut by the mask, so it is in the Rift as well. I expected it to be more like if you put your hands on the side of your face, but it does cut off your top and bottom peripherals as well.

Again, this may be something that varies from user to user. I've seen some people say they don't even notice any black masking around the edges. I think my eyes are deep set into my head, and I didn't get to do any calibrations with the Rift, so there may be ways to improve some of that peripheral vision. Regardless, it just took a little getting used to and then my brain kind of ignored it.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:43 am
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Sounds to me as if the display was set to far away from his face. Was there any adjustment done before use?


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:48 am
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The screen was too far from your face. That explains both the narrow FOV and that you almost could not see the screen door effect. Most people can look around with the eyes without seeing too much of the edge.

Great read though.

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:22 am
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There were no adjustments made beforehand, so it's possible that things could have been done to improve my experience. In terms of the distance of the screen, I'm unsure. I never saw the edges of the screen, and so I never felt it was too far away. If you're looking at a TV through a tube or binoculars, bringing the TV closer to your face doesn't suddenly make the visible parts of the binoculars disappear.

Next time I try it, maybe I can convince RMC to let me fiddle with the adjustments to see if anything makes it better or worse. Maybe I just have a weird face :P


Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:33 am
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boone188 wrote:
Basically, I'm trying to decide which direction to go with my next "ride". I can either go for a bigger, faster, more thrilling coaster with loops and barrel rolls, etc. Or I can do a more thematic ride (splash mountain at Disney is one of my favorites).

This is going to sound stupidly obvious, but focus on the impressive/scary VISUAL aspect of what make rollercoasters exciting. Barrel rolls, for example, are physically exciting, but they aren't visually exciting. The thrill is in feeling your body spin. The Rift, unfortunately, can only show you visuals.

Image
With that in mind, I'd aim for big and bold. To emphasise the feeling of speed, make sure there are plenty of reference objects around so you can judge it properly. One neat trick is a long fall into a tiny narrow tunnel - I expect this will be especially effective in the Rift!

Image

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:56 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Tbone wrote:
(…)


Excellent write up! Makes my wait for the Rift (#30x) that much harder. Thank you for sharing your interesting observations.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:00 am
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Tbone wrote:
I think my eyes are deep set into my head, and I didn't get to do any calibrations with the Rift.


We need to get you to mars so you can calibrate your eyes instead like that guy in total recall, theres a forum avatar with it lol in the future we'll akk be playing with 200 degrees FOV and our eyes popped out on stalks! :D

edit: Tbone AMAZING review btw sorry forgot the reason why I started to post lol thanks for taking the time there :)


Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:48 am
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very nice Review. :)

Reminds me to give more Feedback :roll:


Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:03 am
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Shame you didn't told your operator your FOV is too small.
There is an adjustment screw on the side
Image

which makes the whole assembly go closer to your eyes, so it's like making circles around your eyes wider.
Be sure to do this next time you're in! :D


Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:40 am
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@Tbone, I had you in the A cups with the eye relief two clicks out FYI. That was sort of the default recommended setting somewhere in this thread I think: https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/v ... f=26&t=124
Fogging up the cups can be a sign they are too close, but that stopped once you settled in. :woot

Next time we will try the adjustment all the way in. The Scuba Mask effect will still be there to some extent, though I don't notice anymore myself. This is another area where the tech needs to improve. There are A LOT of wasted pixels also.

Someone already made an ambi-light hack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8FSuxA-cp4
Oddly, this idea was patented by Apple in 2006.

We also did not adjust your IPD, but you probably would have noticed if the stereo was way off.

VR is a very personal thing, and I felt a surprising reluctance to hand my one-and-only Rift over to a stranger at first. Guess I need to get a second one for public demos :) . Fortunately, we had a lot in common, since we must be two of the biggest VR enthusiasts in the DC/Baltimore area.

It might be fun to meet downtown at the Science Club for the next demo.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:29 am
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@Tbone Thanks for this write up, good read..

@rmcclelland Thanks for being brave enough to hand over your RIFT. That must have been difficult... You take all the risk, for no reward, except the reward of sharing the VR experience. I think that says a lot not only about you, but about VR as well.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:07 am
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If you are setting up a DC VR enthusiasts meeting, count me in. :) I'm relieved to see others in the area than can nerd out on things besides politics.

Tbone, I really recommend trying out the microstar demo again if you get the chance. I found it to bee to most immersive of all the demos i have tried.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:09 am
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Ok, so this is extremely weird because I was about to write up my experience which was almost identical to Tbone's. I'm in about the same category as he - I'd followed the rift a bit since the kickstarter, but really became obsessed after the CES demos. I ordered mine in Feb, but I couldn't wait to see it for myself. I checked the demo google maps site, but the closest to me was a few hours away.

One day, randomly, someone posted on my city's subreddit asking if anyone would demo theirs and one of the replies (Mad_gouki/Alex, not sure if he's on here or not) said he was getting his on thursday. I pm'd him and turns out, he lives about 10 minutes from me. :woot

So, Thursday night, I brought my rig over and for the next few hours we played around with the Sixence Tuscany (he had a hydra and that was a lot of fun to play with), Museum of the Microstar, the crayon bunny one, TF2, and Rift Valley. I also tried Skyrim and Dishonored with the Virero drivers. Skyrim worked pretty well, enough to run around and get in a fight (and die). Dishonored needed some tweaking and I didn't want to waste precious rift demo time. Unfortunately, I didn't try any udk stuff - Alex told me later that the citadel demo was particularly fantastic.

From what I tried, I think the Mircostar was the best - it conveyed both the huge sense of the room you're in. I was also noticing the display signs feeling very real and like I could touch them when I got close.

First, the negatives - I could see the screendoor, but forgot about it almost immediately. For me, the biggest issues were the motion blur when moving. Also, often it felt out of focus. I have perfect vision and we were using the A cups and the assembly was set all the way in. I also don't know how much this is a product of the resolution in tandem with the optics, but it felt more like optical out-of-focus than just the low-res. It was blurry enough that I couldn't really tell, from one side of the bridge in Two Fort to the other side, if I was shooting at Reds or Blues. I'm sure some more tweaking is needed on a per-person basis. Also, this is more a hydra gripe - but I was a little let down with the hydra. I felt the tracking was kinda poor and had to recalibrate over and over and even then, my hands were often not where they were in real life. We did have a lot of monitors and equipment near by and i'm sure it was getting some interferance, but it was a little annoying. Try as hard as I could, I couldn't dribble that damn basket ball or throw a ball without looking like I had no bones in my wrists.

On the positive sides - I had no motion sickness whatsoever the whole time I was there. I think I'm going to be one of those hours and hours players. :D :D :D
There is an odd phenomenon I experienced though. In both the tuscany and the microstar demo, if I was sitting down, I feel like my brain was still in game playing mode. As soon as I stood up to play, however, the VR experience was much more intense. I highly recommend standing. I still didn't get motion sick, but there was a moment where I almost lost my balance in real life for a second. There is also a weird bit of disorientation when you take the rift off as you're adjusting to reality. That was actually more profound that any of the feelings I felt in the rift. The headtracking, of course, is spot on. The positional tracking, whilst I wasn't really consciously aware of its absence, I did realize I was leaning and trying to look closer at things subconsciously, so it will be much more natural when that's there.

At the end of the day, I feel fully confident that all my gripes are consumer gripes at will be much much better at the consumer level and I'm still super excited to get mine. I hope to go hang out with Alex again and try a few more things and tweaks. I'll definitely update this if my findings change. :)

Also, I have to say that Alex was very awesome as a demoer. He had just gotten the thing and played with it for a little bit at work before he met me at his house. He even let me play TF2 before him. I don't think I would been able to. I plan on locking myself in my room for a whole day to get sick of it before I start letting the unwashed masses touch it :D

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:34 am
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brainpann wrote:
If you are setting up a DC VR enthusiasts meeting, count me in. :) I'm relieved to see others in the area than can nerd out on things besides politics.

Tbone, I really recommend trying out the microstar demo again if you get the chance. I found it to bee to most immersive of all the demos i have tried.

Count me in! I can't provide the Rift, but I have a portable beefy computer. I have the same laptop Cymatic Bruce has!


Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:19 pm
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Is it just me or do others like how Tbone used te word "jacked" to describe getting in and out of the Rift? I cannot wait to jack into a Rift environment soon!

VRMatthew


Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:59 am
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rmcclelland wrote:
Glad you enjoyed the Rift experience Tbone. I felt like Tank in the Matrix acting as your operator for two hours.

I definitely eased myself into it increasing more each day. I think you would acclimate more over time, but you are absolutely right that when the tech is ready, you won't have to.


NEO: Are you telling me I can ease into the rift more and more each day?
MORPH: I'm telling you, that when the tech's ready, you won't have to.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:44 pm
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TheHolyChicken wrote:
boone188 wrote:
Basically, I'm trying to decide which direction to go with my next "ride". I can either go for a bigger, faster, more thrilling coaster with loops and barrel rolls, etc. Or I can do a more thematic ride (splash mountain at Disney is one of my favorites).

This is going to sound stupidly obvious, but focus on the impressive/scary VISUAL aspect of what make rollercoasters exciting. Barrel rolls, for example, are physically exciting, but they aren't visually exciting. The thrill is in feeling your body spin. The Rift, unfortunately, can only show you visuals.

*img removed*

With that in mind, I'd aim for big and bold. To emphasise the feeling of speed, make sure there are plenty of reference objects around so you can judge it properly. One neat trick is a long fall into a tiny narrow tunnel - I expect this will be especially effective in the Rift!

*img removed*


I totally agree! In RiftCoaster, one part bugs me, and that's after the steep fall when you turn on the side for a while, because you don't feel it. You can kinda justify the fall, by thinking you're countering the fall, but the part after that doesn't feel right. So developing for the Rift will definitely be different than just throwing crazy stuff on screen, you need to give the player the illusion he's there and avoid stuff that breaks it.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:42 am
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Teluan wrote:
Is it just me or do others like how Tbone used te word "jacked" to describe getting in and out of the Rift? I cannot wait to jack into a Rift environment soon!

VRMatthew

Those who don't like the Rift are Bluepills.
Getting your VR legs is Following the Rabbit.
Anyone else in the room outside of the Rift is an Operator.
Games are Simulations.
Bugs are De Ja Vu Moments.
God Mode is Neo.
Great VR is Eating the Steak.
AFK is going to the White Room.
Dev is an Architect.

Etc etc!


Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:17 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Tbone wrote:
Teluan wrote:
Is it just me or do others like how Tbone used te word "jacked" to describe getting in and out of the Rift? I cannot wait to jack into a Rift environment soon!

VRMatthew

Those who don't like the Rift are Bluepills.
Getting your VR legs is Following the Rabbit.
Anyone else in the room outside of the Rift is an Operator.
Games are Simulations.
Bugs are De Ja Vu Moments.
God Mode is Neo.
Great VR is Eating the Steak.
AFK is going to the White Room.
Dev is an Architect.

Etc etc!

And Palmer is the Architect.

[tries to do photoshop and fails]


Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:48 am
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UPDATE: MY SECOND JOURNEY

So it has been over a month since my initial journey through the Rift, which means I was long over due to jack back in. I finally lined up another date with RMC, this time meeting at a Makerspace close by. I wanted to stream my whole experience via Twitch, but unfortunately they did not have WiFi set up yet. This is very sad, as my second journey was AMAZING.

With RMC as my operator, we hooked everything up to my laptop. I had pre-loaded a bunch of things I wanted to try, and I was anxious to see the Rift working on my own rig (I have the same laptop as Cymatic Bruce). It wasn't long before we were ready to go. In my initial impressions, I commented about how the FOV was like looking through binoculars. I talked about seeing the edges all around. Some of you replied that this was probably due to not adjusting the Rift for my specific eyes. With this knowledge, the FIRST thing I wanted to do was to try and see if I could improve the FOV.

RMC was one step ahead of me, though. He had already set the Rift all the way in, as close to my eyes as they could get. We booted up Blue Marble and the difference was almost night and day from what I remembered. My vertical FOV was almost full - to the point that I could comfortable look up and down without seeing any black border. My horizontal FOV was still a little restricted, but only slightly, and to the point where it was easily ignored. Doing this one thing alone made the Rift 10x better instantly. I couldn't believe the difference. So those of you saying I needed to calibrate it, you were right.

I had many demos I wanted to try, but I only got to Blue Marble, Bunny Stories, Half-Life 2, vrCinema3D, MinecRift, First Law, and Proton Pulse. I would have tried more, but Half-Life 2 completely blew my mind to the point that I could not put it down! But let's go in order...

Blue Marble

It's a quick demo where you are shot into space with some nice music playing. After jacking in, I noticed how better my FOV was. The UI that appeared occasionally on my helmet was pretty cool. I was released into space and then just kind of looked around. The things close to me were cool, but the stuff far away suffered a bit due to the resolution. My mind also hadn't quite "accepted" everything as reality yet, so I was nitpicking. It wasn't long before my helmet told me I was running out of oxygen. After that, everything went black, so I can only assume that this whole thing was one elaborate suicide. Ok, everything is working, great - we're moving on (I wanted to get to HL2)!

Bunny Stories

And now for something completely different. It's a cartoon world hand drawn by a 7 year old girl. Need I say more? Very cool. Very different. The standout of this demo is a butterfly that flies around. I tracked it with my head, simply amazed at how easy it was to follow it along. The rest of my time was spent trying to figure out what the other creatures were supposed to be. Ok, I think it's HL2 time already!

HALF LIFE 2

I spent at least 30 minutes straight playing HL2. These 30 minutes convinced me without a shadow of a doubt that this is the future of gaming.

It started with G Man's disfigured face taking up the screen. Grr, it's not working. He isn't rendering right. My operator tells me to just close my eyes until he goes away. I take his advice and open my eyes just in time for the train car to fade into focus. Whoa. Whoa! I'm in the train car! In Half Life 2! The NPCs are looking at me. People are talking but I don't even care. Wow. I also had headphones plugged in by this point. Audio also greatly improved my experience over last time.

Before I even exit the car, a flying bot comes by and photographs me, blinding me temporarily. "Sonofa...where's my crowbar??". I exit the car and look around, taking it all in. I was there. I couldn't believe it. It was so much better than I even remembered from my last time with the Rift. Resolution, screen door, whatever - didn't notice it for one second with HL2. I was like a kid in a candy store. I ran around to all the NPCs, feeling like I was interacting with them even though all I was doing was moving around. I came up to a girl on the other side of the chain link fence. She had her fingers through the holes and was just staring at me. I got up close. Is she going to let me kiss her? Ok, maybe I got too close. Then there were the stun batons..

So the guys with the batons were very threatening. I was very worried about pissing them off. I haven't played HL2 in years, so I couldn't remember exactly everything that happens. They surrounded me and took me to an interrogation room. It was all so real. I felt helpless, walking down the hallway, peering into other rooms, worried about where I was going. I was relieved when Barney revealed himself. "Oh yeah! Barney!". He helped me get past the checkpoint, but then I ran into another stun baton guy. I got up in his face and he pushed me back. Whoa! I guess I really pissed him off, because he started running towards me. Ahhh! I started running. I had no way to defend myself. I ran and ran. I could hear him right behind me. No more open doors. I'm cornered. I turn around just in time for WHACK WHACK. He hits me twice with the stun baton and mumbles something, then walks away. I can't believe I just freaked out that much over a stun baton!

I find my way out of the building, through the alleyway, and up through some buildings. As I'm climbing the stairs, the stun baton guys hone in on me. This next part was straight out of the Matrix. Everywhere I look, the stun baton guys are appearing! Up, up, through the attic and onto the roof. Oh yeah! Rooftop chase! I pump my arms like I'm sprinting and start running and jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Now people are shooting at me! Whoa, it's a long way down. What if I fall? I can't fall! I only have a bit of the ledge to get by on! I'm sliding down one roof onto another roof. I can hear them behind me! I find an open window and leap through it. Door or stairs? I glance at both before deciding the stairs. As I'm climbing down, they crumble. I hit the hallway and look for an exit. A stun dude bursts through one door. I quickly look at the other door to see another guy burst through. No exits! I run back to the stairs. No way up! They close in! Ahh! Stun baton to the face and it's all white! Then I hear her! Alex! "Oh yeah, she saves me!" This whole sequence was mind-blowing.

Interacting with Alex was a lot of fun. She chatted with me as we walked. I checked her out and wondered if she knew where I was looking. Then we met up with doc. Barney showed up. And we all had a natural conversation together (only with me not talking). It was so real. I was in the room with all of these characters. Doc even shoved me out of the way a time or two. On the monitor, I wouldn't think anything of it. In the Rift, I couldn't believe he'd just push me aside. The teleport sequence was VERY COOL. What will I be looking at next? I feel like I can reach out and touch everything. AH, monster! And I'm outside the window!

At this point I'm started to get a little of the motion sickness, but I want to get the crowbar. Finally Barney tosses it to me. Yes! Crowbar! So cool! I run around hitting boxes and walls! Awesome! But I do have to take a break! I make sure to save my game and then jack out for the first time in this journey.

vrCinema3D

RMC is kind enough to go grab us some ginger ale across the street (supposedly good for nausea). I take a bit of a breather (you can tell when you need to break as you'll start to sweat and find you need to focus on breathing). It isn't long before I'm ready to jump back in. With RMC gone, I load up vrCinema3D, a virtual movie theater.

I'm playing a Tron 3D clip, but the sound doesn't work. It doesn't matter though. I feel like I'm sitting in a movie theater. Despite the low resolution, viewing the movie was very natural. I could easily see this replacing the need for a home cinema setup, especially if it's just you watching. RMC comes back and tells me he's watching almost all of Finding Nemo 3D on the Rift with this app. If I get closer to the screen, the resolution seems better on the movie. Watching it from far away makes it a little blurry. This is one experience that will benefit from the improved resolution of the consumer model. I don't think anyone will be disappointed.

MinecRift

I really wanted this to work. For half a second, it did. I jacked into my uniquely rendered world and began looking around. For some reason, though, it kept exiting full screen. Then when I'd go back to full screen, the head tracking didn't work. We rebooted it a few times with no success. Not wanting to waste my previous Rift time trouble shooting, we moved on. Sorry Minecraft fans!

First Law

This is a good example of a game that looks completely different in the Rift than on the monitor. It was a lot of fun to fly around in space, spawn enemies, and track and shoot them. The cockpit was very convincing. I loved it. How fast am I going? I'll just glance down to the right. Where's that ship flying. I'll just look over my left shoulder. It was also cool seeing my guns on the side. Nothing looks the same on a monitor as it does in the Rift. I don't care if you're doing SBS cross-eyed parallel viewing while cupping your hands. It's not even close, folks. It's impossible to describe.

Proton Pulse

VR the way VR was meant to be played - circa the 90s! It's 3D pong where your paddle is controlled with your head. I remember playing a similar browser-based game in high school 13 years ago. This was a lot of fun. Very simply, yet addicting. Most 90s VR movies had Proton Pulse-like graphics!

Conclusion

And just like that, my two hours were up. I only had to take one break, and that was after a 30 minute session with HL2. Am I getting my VR legs already? RMC says he can go hours and hours now. I'm jealous. For some reason, my second session with the Rift was even better than my first. I feel like my first journey I did a lot of standing in place analyzing what I was seeing. This time I had a lot of game play to go along with the visuals, and I just had a blast from beginning to end.

Take the time to get the Rift as perfect for you as possible. The extended FOV was a WORLD of difference for me. I need to find out my IPD so I can make those adjustments as well. I think the audio also helps with immersion, so use headphones if you can! I never noticed the screen door this go round. The resolution was somewhat noticeable when viewing a movie or looking in the distance in HL2, but it was also something that was easily forgotten. Head tracking was perfect, as always (except for poor MinecRift).

I am never ever going to forget going through that Half Life 2 intro in the Rift. It was a familiar game for me. And yet everything was new again. I couldn't believe how good it was - and I didn't even get to any combat! My previous journey into the Rift left me a little out of it, but this time I already want to jump back into HL2 as quickly as I can! And I want to try TF2! And RiftAmp! And Among the Sleep! And, and...!


Fri May 24, 2013 12:49 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:29 pm
Posts: 25
Awesome description of your journey, but man these posts are making the wait harder and harder... :(


Fri May 24, 2013 1:14 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:43 pm
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Location: Washington, DC
Teeks419 wrote:
Awesome description of your journey, but man these posts are making the wait harder and harder... :(

Imagine getting to try it ONCE and then having to go home and just think about how awesome it is for the next few weeks until you can arrange another trip! This is one of those things that lives up to the hype, so the wait is almost worse AFTER you've tried it!


Fri May 24, 2013 11:03 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:29 pm
Posts: 25
Tbone wrote:
Teeks419 wrote:
Awesome description of your journey, but man these posts are making the wait harder and harder... :(

Imagine getting to try it ONCE and then having to go home and just think about how awesome it is for the next few weeks until you can arrange another trip! This is one of those things that lives up to the hype, so the wait is almost worse AFTER you've tried it!


Hmm, didn't think of it that way... Yes, I can imagine that would be worse. Hah, this is indeed tragic for us all!(who don't have the rift yet)


Fri May 24, 2013 3:57 pm
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