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 Bringing older games back to virtual life 
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:18 pm
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Many of us have older games that we'd love to play on the Rift, but are most likely to never receive official support for. I know Cybereality has been working on an intercept driver, which may solve much of this problem (at least for games utilizing GPU acceleration, correct?). Is there a performance penalty with this method? Also, can neck pivoting (as J.C. implemented in Doom3) and head translations (preferably without moving the character) be done this way?

One of the games I'd really like to play on the Rift is Quake2. Luckily, it's been open source for quite some time now, and there are some great mods that modernised the engine (http://fps.maros.pri.ee/index.php?event=1163), so it might not be too difficult to add "native" Rift support.

Another game is Unreal. It's not open source, but engine API headers are available, so some people added open source DX10 (even DX11) support to the game.

I'm not sure how far out of my league this stuff is (ok, I don't know anything about 3D rendering), but I think I could hack something together with a little help. I know some rudimentary C, and have even managed to create some of my own weapons in Blood2 way back when the game code was released. Since there's a bit of time before I get my grubby hands on a Rift, I'd like to start researching the subject. Anyone have some pointers to helpful online tutorials that can assist me with the stuff that I should need to know?


Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:26 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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My driver is of DirectX9 only (right now) so that is not going to work with older DX games or OpenGL. Doubt its worth it to support other APIs besides Dx9 because the vast majority of current-gen games are using this. In terms of performance it takes about a 50% hit, but I think I can optimize it later. Regarding neck modelling, this is going to be difficult without the source code. While something may be able to be hacked together, it probably would have numerous issues from the cross-hairs being wrong to having polygons and objects disappearing. So I don't think I will be supporting this.

However, if there is a game that is open source (like Quake) then I think it would be possible for some talented developers to add Rift support for it.

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Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:03 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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I'm also working on an intercept driver, written in C but for Linux and using OpenGL. There are also some older games I'd like to play with the Rift, that's one of the reason why I started working again on this driver.

The nice side effect of these older games is that the performance penalty shouldn't be a problem for current gen hardware. The relatively low resolution of the Rift does also help in this regard.

I've made a big list of games I'd like to support, among them there are these older ones :
    - FPS : Quake 1/2/3, Doom 1/2/3, Descent 1/2/3, Far Cry, Duke Nukem 3D, Turok
    - action/adventure : Prince of Persia, GTA:VC, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, Mafia
    - RPG : Deus Ex, Morrowind
    - adventure : Fahrenheit, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Ecstatica 1&2, Beyond Good & Evil
    - sport : Supreme Snowboarding, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (with full stadium vision thanks to head tracking), Top Spin, Moto Racer
    - simulation : Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance, Flight Unlimited

I hope to support the non-native games through Wine, although I didn't tried that yet. I got sidetracked by searching infos about head-tracking and buying some devices.

If you want to implement such a driver for OpenGL you should simply search for "opengl intercept", the mechanics of it is not very complicated, at least a lot more simple than on Windows with DirectX and its multiple versions. Then you should have a look on Paul Bourke's website to see how to implement stereo cameras correctly and find some shader code for warp correction.


Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:25 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Ah, yes. I knew someone else was working on an intercept driver as well, but I didn't remember who. I will be sure to check out Paul Bourke's site - thanks! I'm not interested in duplicating other people's effort (who are WAYYYY more skilled than myself), I just want to add native-ish support to a few games that I'd like to play which have some open source components. If I can do this to some of the classics, then I think I've done my small part to the Rift community.

If possible, I'd really like to add rift support to S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadows of Chernobyl, and the Serious Sam games (though both of these would probably require binoculars as a crucial element)


Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:15 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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MSat wrote:
Ah, yes. I knew someone else was working on an intercept driver as well, but I didn't remember who
I think you were thinking about Emerson who started to implement support for Mirror's Edge and Skyrim. MaterielDefender is also working on this, but with a modification of D2XL to support Descent 1 & 2.

Here are links to the different projects :
Emerson : Skyrim, Mirror's Edge (warping) : viewtopic.php?f=138&t=15086
MaterialDefender : Descent (warping, chromatic abberation correction) : viewtopic.php?f=140&t=15377
Cybereality : Left4Dead, Portal 2, Dear Esther, Half-Life 2, Mirror's Edge, UT3, DiRT2, AaaaaAAAAAAA!!!!!, SkyRim (warping, mouse emulation) : viewtopic.php?f=26&t=14970
Fredz : Doom 1, Quake 3 (Linux, no warping yet) : viewtopic.php?f=26&t=15416


Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:29 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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I broadened the scope of my Descent project a fair bit by changing many textures and - that's the technically interesting part - computing high quality lightmaps with a production grade global illumination raytracer in 3dsmax. The Descent > 3dsmax exporter is already 90% complete. Now I have to figure out D2X-XLs lightmap format and the lightmap part is more or less ready for action. Textures are another beast though, hopefully I find the time to really pull this off. Below are two appetizer images rendered in 3dsmax. Texture and lighting quality in D2X-XL Rift will be very close to these pre-rendered images.


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Last edited by MaterialDefender on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:44 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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Hey, that's some very good news, can't wait to test that thing.


Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:48 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I have to say, for old games that I would love to play on the rift, half-life one is way up there. I just keep thinking of the tram ride in, and feeling like I'm actually trundling my way deep in to black Mesa for another day of crystal testing. Would be fun to see with the long awaited black-Mesa source that is finally coming out, but the original would be great.


Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:58 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Forgot about that one, added to my list. You can find it here btw :
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... utput=html


Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:27 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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Just a little teaser for something that most likely absolutely noone was missing until now: ;) Ages old DOS games (Tomb Raider serves as example) for the Rift.

Attachment:
tomb_raider_dosbox.jpg

Runs with a DirectX enabled build of DosBox and a warp shader, which means it works with each and every DOS game out there that can be run in DosBox (read 99% of DOS games that exist), and even some Windows 95/98 games. All post-warp only restrictions (no stereoscopy, no FOV correction etc.) do apply, of course.

If against all odds anyone except me is interested in this, please remind me to write a little guide, once the Rift is out.


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Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:31 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Pretty cool. Maybe fire-up some King's Quest on the Rift :lol:

Or how about some Lemmings 3D (using the Lemming cam)?



Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:52 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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MaterialDefender wrote:
Just a little teaser for something that most likely absolutely noone was missing until now: ;) Ages old DOS games (Tomb Raider serves as example) for the Rift.

Attachment:
tomb_raider_dosbox.jpg

Runs with a DirectX enabled build of DosBox and a warp shader, which means it works with each and every DOS game out there that can be run in DosBox (read 99% of DOS games that exist), and even some Windows 95/98 games. All post-warp only restrictions (no stereoscopy, no FOV correction etc.) do apply, of course.

If against all odds anyone except me is interested in this, please remind me to write a little guide, once the Rift is out.


Awesome! Great work!

Did you ever play Normality? I'm curious to see how it looks (probably terrible - I think it uses a lot of 2D sprites)... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normality_(video_game)


Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:11 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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I'll definitely would love to see the "Assassin's Creed" series run on the RIFT, because exploring these incredibly detailed historical cities as if you were there must be simply breathtaking.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:42 pm
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Certif-Eyable!

Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:32 pm
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MaterialDefender wrote:
Just a little teaser for something that most likely absolutely noone was missing until now: ;) Ages old DOS games (Tomb Raider serves as example) for the Rift.

Attachment:
tomb_raider_dosbox.jpg

Runs with a DirectX enabled build of DosBox and a warp shader, which means it works with each and every DOS game out there that can be run in DosBox (read 99% of DOS games that exist), and even some Windows 95/98 games. All post-warp only restrictions (no stereoscopy, no FOV correction etc.) do apply, of course.

If against all odds anyone except me is interested in this, please remind me to write a little guide, once the Rift is out.

I am very interested in that DOSBox modification.

I have my own modifications to DOSBox to support DOS Games that were originally made for Virtual Reality. It can do head-tracking and stereoscopic 3D in DOS games that originally had those things. It's not finished, but some things are working. I can send it to you if you want.

And if anyone has any old DOS games or tools that support VR that I could use for testing, or any DOS APIs or SDKs for any HMDs, let me know. (Palmer Luckey probably has some). I found a few, but not all of them.

By the way, if John Carmack is listening, there's a bug in the latest version (from 20 years ago) of Wolfenstein 3D when you start it with the virtual reality command line parameter. It crashes on startup due to skipping the intro screens and therefore also skipping some important variable initialisation. I gather it's supposed to read the yaw angle as an integer in degrees from the start of the inter-application-communication area in the BIOS data segment, but it never gets that far.

brantlew wrote:
Pretty cool. Maybe fire-up some King's Quest on the Rift :lol:

Or how about some Lemmings 3D (using the Lemming cam)?


I have always wanted to play Kings Quest games in VR! But Kings Quest uses the AGI and SCI engines, which have been recreated in other open source projects, so you'd be better off modifying them. Then you can increase the resolution. I think there's SCUMMVM and Sarien. The Kings Quest games don't have much depth information, but there is a 4-bit depth map (with a few reserved values) you could use if you want to render them in 3D.

Kings Quest 8 and Kings Quest 9 (The Silver Lining) are rendered in 3D, so they could probably be hacked into VR.

There's an open source version of Lemmings, called Pingus, that I started adding Rift support to. I haven't got very far yet, but I've worked out the basics of how to render it in 3D layers and use head-tracking instead of scrolling.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:45 pm
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Certif-Eyable!

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Speaking of bringing older games back to virtual life, I made a VR level viewer for Wolfenstein 3D, Catacomb 3D, Catacomb Abyss trilogy, Blake Stone, Super Noah's Ark 3D, Corridor 7, Operation Body Count, Ken's Labyrinth, Hovertank 3D, and even Catacomb 2D. Not specifically for the Rift though. Catacomb 2D is interesting in that it was a direct ancestor of every modern FPS game, even though it's rarely mentioned as such. It introduced the 64x64 maps used in all those games above, introduced strafing, and its sequel Catacomb 3D led to Wolfenstein 3D.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:53 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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2EyeGuy wrote:
I have my own modifications to DOSBox to support DOS Games that were originally made for Virtual Reality. It can do head-tracking and stereoscopic 3D in DOS games that originally had those things. It's not finished, but some things are working. I can send it to you if you want.

As much as I'd like to dedicate some serious time to this, I don't think I'll do it. Sorry. Too many other things to do...


Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:12 pm
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Well, remember to write a little guide once the rift comes out.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:21 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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2EyeGuy wrote:
Well, remember to write a little guide once the rift comes out.

Promised.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:29 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Won't the warping and distortion effect the GUI for older games? Hopefully older games will still be playable and not cause a visual distraction.

An old game that I think should have native support is Jurassic Park Trespasser. The forum at trescom.org has some words about the source code for the game. I think it would be a good match for the Rift.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:47 pm
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The display optics warp the image. The software "warping" actually unwarps it, so straight lines always look like straight lines. The only problems are if the GUI ends up in your peripheral vision, or clipped by the edges of the display, or just seems too in-your-face.

I agree that Trespasser should have native support. The question is, how can we hack it to make it work. Other people have already hacked the exe file to create the ATX patch, I think they did it in assembly language by disassembling the original. We also need to hack the game to control the hand with some sort of 6DOF tracking.


Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:55 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Although a relatively new game, Legend of Grimrock could work well with the RIFT. It's and old-school dungeon crawler with grid-based movement, but includig free look. If there's a way to simplify the UI this could be great with an HMD.

Image


Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:43 pm
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Despite being sold on Good Old Games, that Legend of Grimrock game is only 2 days old for the latest version. So we should email them or post on their forum if we want them to add Oculus Rift support. http://www.grimrock.net/



Arx Fatalis is the same kind of game, and is open source (the Arx Liberatis version is best), and would be great for Virtual Reality.
http://arx-libertatis.org/

I was thinking about adding Oculus Rift and VR support to Arx Liberatis.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:14 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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Actually the game was released back in April (it was the dungeon editor for the game that was added through an update a few days ago), but yeah, it's not old by any means. But I sent an e-mail to the developers, so we'll see.


Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:14 pm
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