Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

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DevilMaster
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Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by DevilMaster »

I never did :) but it was by hearing about that game that I first came to know what virtual reality and stereoscopic 3D were. I would've really liked a Virtuality SU2000 emulator to play that game on my PC, but at the moment, the developers of MAME, MESS and DOSBox are too busy explaining one another why the emulation of that system is not their job (MAME developers reject it because it's based on a PC with MS-DOS, DOSBox developers reject it because the custom video card make it too different from a normal PC, and MESS developers reject it because it's a coin-op).
That's why I decided to do something that would come close to the experience of Dactyl Nightmare, the most famous (or it would be better to say "the less obscure") Virtuality SU2000 game. Since it is a deathmatch game (the first deathmatch game EVER), I decided to make a Quake3 level that reproduces the environment of Dactyl Nightmare. If you play it in stereoscopic 3D, it will be the closest you can get to play the actual game in virtual reality on your PC!
(and before you say that the current stereo 3D drivers don't support OpenGL: you can translate the calls to Direct3D with the GLDirect wrapper)

Here is my level:
VIRTUALITY NIGHTMARE

Merry Christmas to all!

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by cybereality »

Oh yeah, I remember Dactyl Nightmare! Ahh, the memories. I think that was my first experience with a real stereoscopic solution. I was blown away at the time. The huge HMD, the cyberpuck, 3d visuals, headtracking. And on top of all that it was networked mulitplayer deathmatch! It was all state of the art even though it looks pretty shabby by today's standards.

I played with the idea of doing a remake but I didn't really explore it too far. Your Quake3 level looks cool although I don't have Q3 anymore so I am not really going to be able to play it. Still, thats pretty cool. Nice work.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by DevilMaster »

Your Quake3 level looks cool although I don't have Q3 anymore so I am not really going to be able to play it.
You forget one thing: Quake 3 is open source, so it is legally possible to modify the executable so that the demo can run custom levels! :)
You don't even have to modify the source code yourself, because someone else has already done so! :shutter

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by SartreFan »

When I was around 10 years old I tried VR for the first time. I was on vacation with my family in Boulder, CO and saw these VR setups. I think it was around $8 for 5 minutes of playtime. 20 years later I have been waiting for something like the Oculus and I'm counting the days for it to come out (already pre-ordered)

To make a long story short, I purchased an SU2000 unit a few years ago to put on site (ran a small vending route while in college) because I wanted other people to experience what I never forgot about. It was on site for maybe a month or 2 before someone dropped the headset and it broke open :( Is there anyone on here who also owns one of these and might have some insight on repair? It look as if only one cable is broken but I could not find any documentation that showed exactly where this hooks up. I would love to get this thing fully restored and back up and running. I think I have every single game that was produced for this system in storage and it would be great to bring it back to life. Here are a couple pics of the headset. The broken cable in question is the grey one. I believe it broke off from those + - terminals but not sure about that.

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by cybereality »

Wow man! Nice find.

Unfortunately I can't help you fix it, but I wish you the best of luck.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by Fredz »

I feel sorry you, but can't help either. Could you post the list of games you've got on your system ?

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by SartreFan »

Fredz wrote:I feel sorry you, but can't help either. Could you post the list of games you've got on your system ?

I can't remember all the games that I have (they are currently somewhere in storage I believe) But I remember there being Dactyl Nightmare, Ghost Train, Zone Hunter, Pac-man VR, and a few others. If I remember correctly, I was told it included every game that was made for the system. There was a card system too for purchasing time on the game. Someone would purchase a card and then the card would be scanned by the system and unlock time. It's been in storage for a few years now and the Oculus made me want to get it back out and try to finally fix it. I believe I have an extra pc system for it as well as the original system that was sent to me had constant issues.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by Fredz »

Ah ok, thought you got them at hand. It would be nice to be able to try those on the Rift since they've been written for VR in the first place, they could have aged badly though.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by SartreFan »

Fredz wrote:Ah ok, thought you got them at hand. It would be nice to be able to try those on the Rift since they've been written for VR in the first place, they could have aged badly though.

I definitely have them somewhere. It might be possible to port them to the rift. As far as I remember the original systems ran off of DOS. I dont know how difficult it would be or if there would be much interest in porting these to a newer system. I'll have to goto my storage and check sometime tomorrow. The base unit is actually in a large shop area at my office along with about 20 other arcade machines I used to have on site so it's all kind of scattered at the moment. But I had no other project planned for the week so this is going to be my main focus for the next few days. Getting the headset cleaned up now and checking all connections to make sure nothing else is broken. It looks pretty intact aside from that one cable. It looks as if it connects to a motor which I believe adjusts the separation of the lenses, should be an easy fix

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by calebkraft »

I played it, it had an impact on me. I also played one that was some kind of battle mech kind of thing.


On that broken headset, I can't help but think that if I could see it all better I could figure out where that wire goes.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by SartreFan »

calebkraft wrote:I played it, it had an impact on me. I also played one that was some kind of battle mech kind of thing.


On that broken headset, I can't help but think that if I could see it all better I could figure out where that wire goes.

I think I've decided on the '+' '-' terminals as being the place from which they broke. It's a small motor that adjusts the distance between the lenses and it's the only thing that does not have any wires going to it. I'm not too sure how difficult it is going to be to get it rewired as the metal leads are not very large. It's a project for this weekend though and hopefully will get it hooked back up to the base sometime this weekend or next week. The wires are identical in color but I'm guessing a multimeter will give me the info I need for where the wires should go. If (when)I get it back up and running I'll definitely post some more pics and details sometime next week.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by Likay »

If those wires goes to a motor the device should be functional otherwise from the ipd-adjustment. Especially since it's old, older devices very seldom shuts off the entire device in case of hardwarefailure. What happens when you plug it in? Is there any life in it or is it totally dead?
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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by SartreFan »

Likay wrote:If those wires goes to a motor the device should be functional otherwise from the ipd-adjustment. Especially since it's old, older devices very seldom shuts off the entire device in case of hardwarefailure. What happens when you plug it in? Is there any life in it or is it totally dead?

I haven't tried it since it broke. The owner of the restaurant where I was vending said it had no picture. So I might be in even deeper than I think, I won't know until I get it all hooked back up. Hopefully it isn't anything serious. It would be nice to get this thing going, It's kind of an iconic VR relic

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by TheLookingGlass »

This is amazing! My first VR experience was with the Virtuality System at a local mall! I think I played a deathmatch game with my younger brother. It was probably Dactyl Nightmare and it left such an impact on me. I would love to play this again! I hope you can work out how to fix the broken HMD.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by hifidelitygaming »

I played the system in chicago, along with the battletech center they had set up there at the time. Once you got past the visual distortion and blurriness you still got just as immersed. The slow framerate was a downside but being able to actually look around and have it track your head was a novelty at the time.


To the guy with broken parts, I don't remember where anymore but there was a site or two where people with Virtuality hardware had posted info about what they had. I don't know of any "hub" or forum, just private collection pages. One guy I think also had some Orb 360 setups from namco, I believe he had a nontrivial Virtuality collection of things still working. He might know...


To porting the game to the Oculus i'm not sure how it would work without source code or something... the custom display card is the problem. It doesn't seem to be a production item, it seems custom and one off. I'd love to see "old time VR" stuff all running on the Oculus - to include the Sega Genesis VR helmet stuff, and Missile Command VR from the atari jaguar - but the Virtuality gear would be the trickiest of all i'd think to get working due to it's totally undocumented graphics card. : ( Unless you just mean using an Oculus helmet with original hardware, that might be possible...

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by V8Griff »

Hey, 'SartreFan' did you ever get this fixed? I used to operate Virtuality machines back in the '90s and early '00s.

I'd suggest the drop has done a bit more damage than just break the wires. The motor is just for adjusting the IPD of the lens unit and doesn't effect the display operation.

Are you US based or UK?

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by mellott124 »

Hi,

I've also just purchased two of these units and reversed engineered what all the pins are for and where they go. I completely disassembled the units for cleaning and restoration.
You can email me for the info or I'll have it up on my website soon. It's fairly easy to do with a multi-meter.

Kevin Mellott
www.mellottsvrpage.com

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by V8Griff »

Good work there.

I still have my original operators manual and I have a scanned PDF of the SU2000 manual.

if you want a copy drop me a PM.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by WiredEarp »

@ mellott124: the revamped site looks way better, nice work updating the look.

@ DevilMaster: great work on the level, it looks very much like I remember. I've actually done a vaguely similar homage type level in my Unity testbed for myself (attached a quick pic) although I have ramps instead of stairs (quicker to do at the time), and none of the same props. Looking at how much better yours looks (I couldn't really remember what the original looked like, and level design isn't really a focus of mine), I'll have to either revamp some aspects of mine (the color areas look GREAT on yours) - or I might just sort out simply loading seeing if I can simply load yours and use it with the rest of my code! :)

As a side note, there were at least TWO versions or modes of the Dactyl Nightmare game. One had a gun with a bulbous projectile that would fire on a rather serious arc, and no other weapons that I remember. The other one had a crossbow, axe, and shield, and was a better game, at least for multiplayer. The shield could take 2-3 crossbow shots and would get smaller with each shot it took. The crossbow bolt also flew faster and had a flatter trajectory. Does anyone know what this version/mode was called?
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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by V8Griff »

That version was developed for both the CS1000 and improved for the SU2000DUO system irrc I think it was simply called DN2. As I mentioned elsewhere all the software was in continuous development so if you were lucky they sent you an update or gave you another CD if you popped in.

I was told the 'lobbing' of the projectile was necessary for the graphics to look more realistic as they struggled on the earlier machines to make the framerate high enough to make a straight shot look correct

There were also moving transporters that moved diagonally between the upper platforms that were a neat way of moving quickly once you got the hang of it, and of course the Pterodactyl that flies around and came to pick you up and drop you and was announced with the rather creepy 'Birdie's hungry' and then 'Time to die' as it swooped down to pick you up and then drop you. You watched from a 3rd person perspective as your player exploded on imapct into bits.

They also developed DN- Race for the eggs which was an odd game where you had to collect Dactyl eggs but was based on a game developed for Faberge to promote their HERO aftershave on the SU2000 (You had to find the letters to make the word H E R O) and was a follow on from the Hang Gliding promotion they did on the SD1000.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by V8Griff »

Here's a few screen shots from Exorex.

The Mech Warrior SD1000 experience. Dead simple once you got the hang of being in VR.

Weapons aimed by your head but the Mech was controlled by the joystick so left, right, forward, back and centre was sit down.
So you could walk forward while looking to either side, up or behind. Holding your gaze on a target launched a missile. Top trigger launched a map that showed the location of the other players.

Very simple but excellent fun.
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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by mellott124 »

That is awesome! Never got to try that. They always seemed to have Zone Hunter or the shotgun version up when I used the Virtuality systems.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by V8Griff »

mellott124 wrote:That is awesome! Never got to try that. They always seemed to have Zone Hunter or the shotgun version up when I used the Virtuality systems.
You obviously only got to see the later 2000 series systems rather than the SD1000 or CS1000.
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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by mellott124 »

Nope, never used the earlier ones. I've used the HMD from them but not the complete systems.
Very cool stuff.

Thanks for posting the photos.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by WiredEarp »

quote][/quote]That version was developed for both the CS1000 and improved for the SU2000DUO system irrc I think it was simply called DN2. As I mentioned elsewhere all the software was in continuous development so if you were lucky they sent you an update or gave you another CD if you popped in.
@V8Griff: you're a great source of info on all the Virtuality stuff. I wish I had gotten to use a SD unit, that mechwarrior looked awesome.
I was told the 'lobbing' of the projectile was necessary for the graphics to look more realistic as they struggled on the earlier machines to make the framerate high enough to make a straight shot look correct
Ah, that would explain it, I had always thought it was due to them wishing to slow down the gameplay and provide a nice 3d visual of incoming rounds.

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by cybereality »

Yeah, I remember that mech game. I also remember the jerk from my middle school who kept grabbing my head and shaking it while I was playing. Arrg!!!!

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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by V8Griff »

Here's another SD1000 game called 'Flying Aces'

Four different characters engaged in an WW1 dogfight, another good one but quite frustrating as the enemy planes were a bit scarce and didn't fly up to follow you if the player went too high.

There's also a small picture of the expensive Head4Head system they developed with the 'Pre-Play' 'Replay' system that they introduced in an attempt to remove the need for an attendant. As the names suggests the Pre-Play unit explained the game to waiting players, while the Re-Play unit played back a first and second person view of the game that had just been played.

Clever stuff but eye-wateringly expensive. The Third person camera unit was first used in installations of the Exorex game, to allow spectators to see a view of teh battle in progress.
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Re: Who ever played Dactyl Nightmare on Virtuality SU2000?

Post by Fasty »

I remember playing this in a shopping centre where they had a demo unit set up when I was younger. I remember getting very disorientated, almost falling over and being very unimpressed by the extremely low resolution and frame rate! Totally a graphics snob from the early days :P

I saw a public Oculus Rift demo the other day, but I didn't go on it for fear of getting disorientated again and falling off my chair in front of everyone! I want my first experience to be in private haha

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