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Everything posted by woah

  1. EA/Respawn just released Apex Legends, a free-to-play microtransaction ridden overwatch-like class based battle royale shooter (with the usual restless COD-ish gameplay designed for short attention spans), and it topped 1 million players in under 8 hours. If you pitched a "true" Thief game (not one that's Thief in name only) to the executives of these companies they would laugh in your face. It's up to independent developers targeting niche markets to carry the torch. Maybe there's some yet to be discovered funding model similar to flight sims like DCS (where you ultimately pay more but, well, that's the cost of a niche market) that will actually work for devs that are satisfied to just break even. Even way back in the day I had a hard time getting people to play Thief 2. I stopped trying when I realized that most of them would play it as a melee action game (just as kano described) ... and that approach actually works, which is even more depressing. A friend recommended it to me based on my "personality" and only afterwards did it become clear why prior to that he had never mentioned the game in our circle of friends.
  2. I would really like to see what Frictional Games could accomplish with horror in VR. Not only is the immersion of VR great for horror (it's almost too good at it--Alien Isolation with the MotherVR mod is very stressful) but Frictional Games has always liked fine grained environmental interaction and motion controllers are great for that. Doubt they're actually working on anything VR related but they did mention that they were "looking into" the medium in 2017. That was at the height of the VR hype bubble though. I want to see what sorts of mind games they could play on us with eyetracking enabled saccade detection.
  3. I'm more interested in whether or not they can eliminate the issue of OLED mura rather than "getting blacker". However from my own (cursory) reading microled displays don't suffer from the issue of mura (but the tech is far from being consumer ready).
  4. I quickly muted the personality guy but I've seen other videos of the game anyways. I've been meaning to try this game. A proper Thief game in VR sounds incredible to me--I can't wait for TDM to get even basic support. However in the case of this the overexaggerated gold lighting and blue shadows have just really put me off (in addition to the "washed out" look / high ambient light in darker sections). But it's about time I've given it a whirl so I will post back with impressions soon.
  5. What do people here think of Steam's 30% cut? I guess there are multiple ways of looking at it. On one hand you could say that your average developer is better off using Steam because they handle all of that headache for them and offer many features. However I don't tend to think that "what the market will bear" and/or "well, at least it's better than <some other shitty alternative>" is a very good baseline because we should always be striving for the best (given what is presently reasonable/achievable). When I e.g. scrutizine the local telecom for gouging me on broadband costs, I don't tell myself "well, it's better than not having service at all so I'll just go on about my business". Rather it's "they have a local monopoly over what is now considered basic infrastructure and the same service could be offered at a much lower rate if we simply organized things more efficiently" I guess the question for me is: if there were multiple competing game distribution platforms with comparable features and market dominance to Steam, would the developer fee be lower? Is Epic's 12% fee just a temporary thing to grab market share? One of the unfortunate downsides to having multiple competitors is that these entities have no interest in platform portability. Purchased content, friends lists, profiles, workshop content, etc etc does not transfer and I suspect all of them will fight any standard of this sort. I can only imagine a decentralized system solving this kind of problem (or at least parts of it) but such solutions seem quite far off.
  6. I'm not opposed to the revival, could use some recommendations. I haven't been reading anything lately because the epaper screen on my phone died but I'm getting that fixed soon. And I can feel my brain smoothing over from reading too much manga in the evenings Most recently I was reading everything I could from Stanislaw Lem. Among my favorites are Fiasco, Return from the Stars, Solaris, and His Master's Voice. Also his short story collections Tales of Pirx the Pilot and More Tales of Pirx the Pilot. If anyone knows of other works that are similar to Lem's please let me know because I'm having trouble finding anything. Doesn't have to be scifi. Not too long ago I read the first two books of the Gormenghast series. Absolutely loved them--Mervyn Peake has a way with imagery that I haven't encountered elsewhere. However I must admit that I feel he lost enthusiasm for the universe he created at the end of the second book. It felt rushed and the third book felt uninspired--I couldn't bring myself to read very much of it. Still, the first two books are incredible. When the phone's screen is fixed, I'll probably try reading the Quincunx again
  7. woah

    Steam sale

    I picked up The Forest and Overload (for their VR modes)--both are amazing. Also Downward Spiral: Horus Station but that wasn't actually on sale. However so far it's definitely one of the most immersive VR games I've played--the atmosphere is incredible (reminds me of some classic 80s scifi). I can't comment on the flat version of the game (could be completely different) but I'm really hooked on this one. Also considering getting Detached, Pulsar: Lost Colony, or Star Shelter. I love the idea of Pulsar and that it is cooperative but from what I'm reading there are still some issues with the VR mode. Star Shelter also looks great to me but it's not clear to me to what extent the developer intends to flesh it out. If it had a cooperative mode I'd buy it right now though.
  8. I'm considering swapping the Vive HMD for this one but I'm waiting for more impressions and I want to see the final specs of LG's HMD (yes I'm aware of the prototype that had gen 1 specs). I also want to know how well it performs in dark environments. The peripheral "warping" they described seems to be due to rendering math in steamvr and game engines rather than it being an issue with the HMD. The VRSource impressions claimed there was slight ghosting but oddly Tested didn't seem to notice anything like this. There is value in talking directly the head of the company but I really wish Pimax also had someone that could speak better English. Really impressed with the pricing of the HMD as well. Clarity (resolution, SDE, lense anomalies) is my #1 issue with gen 1 VR hardware. After that, the cable--I'm so sick of stepping on and getting tangled up in the cable in Onward and other games! Overall I'm really excited to see multiple manufacturers competing with compatible hardware. OpenVR/SteamVR will have to suffice until OpenXR comes to fruition.
  9. Oh man, I can't believe I didn't see this until now. Even if there are many technical challenges, I really can't think of a better type of game to adapt to VR. Not only that, adding VR support could bring in many new players and perhaps get more people interested in developing for the mod. VR users are starving for this kind of content. And while many gamers don't have the patience to play the flat version of a Thief game, I think this will be different since from my experience VR lends itself to slower, more immersive gameplay. The mod could also benefit from the many performance optimizations that VR would necessitate. @cabalistic By the way, did you make a post on /r/vive a while back requesting suggestions for a game to mod VR support into? I vaguelly remember someone requesting this and then someone else suggesting this mod.
  10. woah


    A friend recommended Thief 2 to me and I ended up getting it as a present. He said something along the lines of "I think this game will really suit you" but I I didn't think much of it at the time. It sat in the box for several months until we had an internet outage. I was hooked after the first mission I actually didn't end up playing Thief 1 until much, much later.
  11. Saw this a couple days ago. Looks cool. They've gone down the list and "checked off" the most basic features necessary for a good Thief game but the execution will determine whether or not it's worthwhile (obviously). Really hope they revamp the lighting in some of those levels though--I can't stand that "washed out" look. As far as arm swing goes, I've used many different VR locomotion methods and to be honest I think arm swing is a terrible idea for anything except sprinting. I know they are including a controller relative joystick/trackpad locomotion option but honestly arm swing is so clunky that I don't even think this is a good idea. Just looking at the guy trying to interact with one controller while swinging the other back and forth made me cringe.
  12. So I have Windows 10 running again and I've successfully blocked the telemetry/forced updates: 1) Install openwrt/gargoyle custom firmware on your router (I already had this anyway) 2) Add a simple iptables rule (on your router in /etc/config/firewall) to DROP (not REJECT) all WAN traffic over all protocols from your windows PC by MAC address. LAN traffic is still good. 3) Install and configure a SOCKS server on your openwrt router that simply forwards connections from clients right back onto your network (LAN and WAN). Dante (aka "sockd") is in the repos and it supports TCP, UDP, ICMP as far as I can tell. 4) Install an application "proxifier" client on your WIndows PC and configure it for the SOCKS proxy server on your router. Then selectively proxify each application. I'm using SocksCap64 because it supports UDP and automatically proxifies child processes. The application is freeware but proprietary (tries to load up an advertisement in its GUI but it fails to load since it doesn't connect to the advertisement through the SOCKS proxy). If your Windows applications have integrated SOCKS proxy support, may as well use that. As far as I can tell this works fine (at least with everything I've tested, including Steam and multiplayer games). I realized that any software firewall / bandwidth shaper I installed in windows itself was likely going to get circumvented since ultimately the OS has control of everything up to your NIC. There's probably some line of code in there that checks for internet connectivity before control ever reaches your userspace firewall/bandwidth shaper application. But with the above setup, from the OS's perspective it just looks like I'm running Windows on a LAN-only connection. So unless the OS opportunistically takes over the proxified applications's connections and tests for internet connectivity, I don't see them getting around this. Will have to give this some more time of course and monitor things closely to ensure that there aren't any issues with this. Can then write up a guide if anyone's interested.
  13. Regarding Thief in VR, I played a great game of Onward last night in the night/dusk version of its "Downfall" map. We all agreed to not use nightvision and the result was pretty incredible. The low lighting made it really difficult to identify enemies (anyone more than a 20 feet away just looked like a black silhouette) and people would blend right in with parts of the environment if they didn't move. I kept second guessing myself thinking rocks or blotches on environmental textures were enemies. Movement is what really gives your position away, but in VR it's quite a bit more difficult to stay motionless. Get close enough and you can see (or hear) someone's breathing. Flashlights and laser pointers would immediately give your position away. The result of all of this was that each team was forced to stick close together and carefully coordinate things in order to avoid friendly fire. The fact that normal voice communication is always on and proximity based, that mic communication requires one to move their hand up to their shoulder (destabilizing one's aim and making them vulnerable), and that enemies can hear you (and whispering actually works) made it all the more compelling. It got me thinking about how a multiplayer Thief or Splinter Cell game would be a great fit for VR, moreso if it had a dynamic climbing/mantling system made possible by the motion controllers. And Lux, just curious how you're adjusting to VR. I know not too long ago you said Onward was making you feel warm. The same thing happened to me the first time I played it, but now I don't really have any issues anymore. In my Onward thread in the Off Topic section of the forum I talk about how it took me about 3 sessions to get to a point where Onward's artificial locomotion no longer affected me. Most people can adjust pretty quickly if they follow the right procedure. After demoing the Vive to many people, a strange thing I've found is that the more immersed someone becomes, the less smooth locomotion bothers them--it's as if forgetting about it helps. Seeing how well and quickly people have adapted to Onward's locomotion system, I'm no longer worried about simulator sickness in VR being a significant hindrance to the medium--especially since there are many more things developers can do (e.g. motion triggered FOV restriction, something Google Earth VR does well). I'm sure most people can think back to a time where mouse-based rotation in flat PC games made them feel slightly motion sick too (not nearly as serious, but I'm just saying that most forget we had to adjust to that too). Truly, if developers do things right we really don't need to have an astronaut's vestibular system in order to tolerate smooth locomotion in VR. (except for an unlucky minority of course) Regarding the Doom 3 BFG OpenVR mod ( code here: https://github.com/Codes4Fun/RBDOOM-3-BFG/ , discussion here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/250820/discussions/0/208684375415458884/ ), I'm not sure how much overlap there is between the code bases but that would probably be the place to start with getting TDM working in VR. However I must say that on top of getting things to render correctly, there is a lot of work that has to be done with respect to movement. The developer of the aforementioned mod has eliminated many of the simulator sickness triggers (e.g. environmental screenshakes, camera-wall collisions decoupling real and virtual head movement, etc etc) but there is more work to be done. There's still an inertia and acceleration to movement that's being caused by Doom 3's physics system. In VR the player should be able to (almost) instantaneously change velocity, but in this mod movement feels floaty and "off" in VR. I know many people rave about it but I don't recommend the mod to anyone as a result of this. All developers of smooth locomotion VR games should look to Onward's locomotion system for the bare minimum level of comfort (and to be frank, not release a paid game until they at least manage something comparable).
  14. So for a while I was using Netlimiter to block non-local traffic traffic coming from Windows 10 OS processes, but eventually Windows 10 started locking up every time I did this. Not only that, but Windows 10 wouldn't give me access to my local network if I blocked non-local traffic during the initial connection phase. Logging into the router I could see it assigning the computer an IP, but Windows would not give me as the windows user access to the network until I unblocked non-local traffic and let it talk to Microsoft's servers. Enraged, I uninstalled Windows 10 and installed Windows 7 on a VM with the dedicated GPU, soundcard, PCI NIC, and a second USB controller passed through to the guest. Host is using the onboard GPU and audio and a USB NIC. I'm able to block everything with Netlimiter without the system locking up and performance is about 97% of native according to 3DMark benchmarks. VR games and everything work absolutely fine and there's no need to reboot into Windows anymore. And my kinesis advantage keyboard works through the VM even though the USB controller it's plugged into is being passed through to the guest. (this was my original reason to uninstall Windows 7) So yeah, fuck Windows 10. Not looking back (or forward?)
  15. Well this is all I'm going to say: As a rural American I thought I had a good sense for how stupid Americans are. I was way off.
  16. Was hoping that this would be the first presidential election where I would actually want to vote for one of the candidates rather than settling for the lesser of two evils. In the unlikely case that Clinton loses it will be a result of her own unlikeability and untrustworthiness--behind the scenes she's probably happy she's up against Trump and not someone even slightly more reasonable. Taking the purist route and voting third party would be a disaster. The problem is the first-past-the-post election system we have here (along with the many other ways that the current system favors the dominant parties) makes voting third party unviable. Bernie did pretty well considering what he started from and I hope that a more organized campaign with an earlier start will be more successful the next time around. It's about working within the system but not becoming too entrenched in it. (e.g. with the way you raise money)
  17. Well, I think you should give it a shot anyway. The rounds are now limited to 6 minutes so people are focused on the objectives. (the soon to be added point capture game mode will be different, of course) I could see you getting at least a few rounds in with your schedule and to be honest just about everyone sucks right now, haha. E.g. everyone goes wild when someone gets a sniper kill that would have otherwise been rather unimpressive with M&K haha. Also, as long as you play less than two hours, you can refund the game on Steam.
  18. Have to establish some preliminary stuff first: All of these VR games have their own locomotion systems (lots of experimentation going on now) but I have to say that with respect to artificial, smooth, translational locomotion, Onward is a step above the rest. By "artificial" I mean that one is not moving their virtual body in sync with their actual body. By "smooth" I mean translational movement that is not teleportation/instantaneous but continuous movement as you would expect in any normal desktop monitor first person game. It should be noted that most developers have been hesitant to support artificial smooth locomotion because they are afraid of inducing simulator sickness in people. Most single player and multiplayer VR games are using point-to-point teleportation and you can imagine how that limits the type of experiences that are possible. For myself this was kind of a real bummer because teleportation is very immersion breaking for me. But with Onward's success I expect that many other games will start incorporating something similar to Onward's artificial smooth locomotion system in the future. It just "feels right" and is easily adapted to. As mentioned in my original post, "comfort modes" using e.g. motion induced FOV restriction will also help (motion is sensed at the periphery of one's vision and even slightly blacking out the periphery helps with tolerability, see here ) But on to the movement scheme: When setting up the game, you specify your dominant hand and height. The dominant hand is used to hold the pistol grip on firearms and the non-dominant is used for movement (among other things) So, the Vive controllers have those circular steam controller trackpads on them (that can also be pressed in and combined with the thumb location to simulate many different buttons). The trackpad on the Vive controller in your non-dominant hand is used for translational movement relative to the direction the Vive controller is pointing in the virtual space (and independent of your head direction). Imagine a vector extending from the origin (center) of the trackpad to your thumb location on the trackpad, the direction of which determines your movement direction relative to the direction the Vive controller is pointing in the virtual space and the magnitude determining the speed at which you move (so with your thumb in the center of the trackpad the magnitude of that vector is 0 and thus there is no movement, and at the periphery of the trackpad the magnitude of the vector is maximized and thus your movement speed is maximized). With this setup you can fine tune your direction and speed without your head direction interfering with movement. The trackpad is slightly concave so it becomes second nature to find the origin. You do not need to press the trackpads in to trigger movement--just rest your thumb on it. (constantly pressing your thumb in would probably be fatiguing) It is easy to adapt to this movement system because your brain always has a good sense of the direction which your non-dominant hand is pointing in (which is the direction the Vive controller is pointing). Even when using your non-dominant hand to help steady and assist in aiming a firearm (the non-dominant controller can also "attach" to your firearm), the sense of direction is pretty intuitive. Movement speed is further adjusted by taking into account the player's stance (the more upright you are, the faster you move), whether you have a firearm raised or lowered, and the pitch of the controller relative to its comfortable resting position. There is no artificial rotation in the game. If you want to rotate, you need to do so in real life. (turn around in real life) Artficial smooth rotation from the first person perspective seems to trigger simulator sickness in just about everyone, whereas for most people artificial smooth translation can be adapted to--especially if it is designed well like Onward. The movement speed is generally pretty slow in Onward which helps with adaptation and there are very few unexpected movements. The only artificial rotation system that seems to work well is when (1) you're in a cockpit and you expect that kind of movement (e.g. racing game or flight sim) and (2) you rotate the player in fixed increments rather than smooth motion (for example, I believe Altspace VR has an option for 15 degree fixed increment rotations). And of course if your place space is big enough, you can just walk around in the virtual space. With the Vive, there's this thing called "chaperone" which overlays your place space bounds with a grid when you get close to them (can be adjusted, my place space bounds only appear as a rectangle on the floor so as to maximize immersion). Side note: I was really surprised to see that the PSVR demos at E3 were using artificial smooth rotation with the gamepad's joystick. IMO this was fucking insane and it shows how clueless those developers were. The PSVR will be limited to a little over 180d of tracking, so in order for it to be tolerable they should be using fixed increment artificial rotations that simply shift the 180 degrees in which the player has synced rotation. For first person experiences, I'm guessing you're going to be seated.
  19. At some point I want to make a general VR thread (or maybe I will just make per-game threads like this, not sure) but I've owned a Vive since June and I have to share this game. It's been out for less than a month and it is already one of the most incredible gaming experiences I've ever had and the only VR experience that I keep coming back to. I should say that it's not that all of the other VR experiences are junk but rather they are not designed well for longevity. Onward is essentially a realistic modern infantry simulator--think Insurgency--but in VR. While it's still early in development (it's on Steam Early Access), it has the main features of a good infantry simulator: no hud or death messages, realistic damage model (usually 1 shot means death), rewarding guns, slow gameplay (not for impatient types), good maps, etc etc. But what makes it special is not just the immersiveness of it being a VR game (and yes the immersiveness is incredible--especially in tense situations where you're cooperating with your team), but rather the "designed for VR" implementations of its communication system, gun mechanics, and locomotion system. Here's a great video of the game (NSFW language). Video is currently recorded from the left eye and that's why you don't see them looking through the sights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyz5l5oe4 I won't get into too much detail because most of this can be inferred from watching the gameplay, but one uses the Vive controllers to manipulate firearms as you would expect (manual reloading of magazines, racking the slide, blind shooting from behind cover, looking down scopes by just bringing the scope up to your eye, just about any other sort of 3 dimensional manipulation that you can imagine). Voice communication is always on, is attenuated based on proximity, and is affected by the environment (and enemies can of course hear you too). If you want to use the radio, you need to bring your hand up to your shoulder and pull your Vive controller's trigger button. The locomotion system is a combination of roomscale and trackpad artificial locomotion. If you want to peak around a corner, crouch, go prone, play dead (yes this works), jump, etc etc, you just do it in real life and the game does a pretty good job of matching your virtual body as seen by others to your actual one with IK (of course there are hilarious bugs as you can see in the video above) However, it is not just the aforementioned "serious" aspects of Onward that make it a great game but also the social experience enabled by VR. I have just as much fun messing around with people in this game as I do playing seriously (and mixing the two). I guess that's why I chose the above video. Once you get immersed in the game it really feels like your teammates are right there next to you (nevermind totally forgetting your RL orientation). I'm not exaggerating when I say that one's personality can be conveyed to a certain extent through the head and controller tracking (in combination with one's voice). It's unlike any gaming experience I've ever had before and it's the first game that's made me feel like VR is truly the future of gaming. Here's another funny one: A few other notes: * Aiming is difficultJust like in real life, it is very difficult to aim well. Sniper rifles are particularly difficult. And I've found that this improves the experience rather than frustrating it. See, this is the first game I've played where suppression actually works and where snipers aren't overpowered. Even in a game like Insurgency twitch shooting is a possibility. The mouse is the problem, and I say this as someone that also loves M&K twitch shooters. Sure, a PVC gun stock can be made for like $10 USD and it really helps with aiming rifles (I built one), but motion controllers in VR will never afford someone the precision and control that one has with a mouse. I think this is a good thing. * Lack of simulator sickness despite artificial locomotion Now when I had first heard about this game I was not confident that simulator sickness wouldn't be a huge issue for people that are sensitive to artificial locomotion. And yes there are extremely sensitive types that this game won't work for (just as there are people that can't even be in the same room as someone that's playing an FPS game on a monitor). However I've been amazed with not just how comfortable Onward's locomotion system has been for myself but for most other people as well--especially people that are otherwise quite sensitive. My first session, I played 10 minutes, 30 minutes on the second time, and thereafter there hasn't seemed to be a limit (I played 4 hours continuous yesterday, felt fine during and afterwards). Note that I could have probably played much longer in the first two sessions but I was following some artificial locomotion adaptation best practices where one intentionally does not play until they get sick. In fact, before Onward I was a little bummed about VR in general because I felt that VR's locomotion problem would severely limit the types of experiences developers were willing to make. That may still be true to a certain extent, but I feel like Onward is proving that you can make compelling VR experiences with artificial locomotion assuming you adopt a similar movement system. For the sensitive, other "comfort" options would certainly help too (e.g. dynamically restricting FOV based on acceleration).
  20. Recently I was "forced" to upgrade to Windows 10 due to my keyboard (kinesis advantage) not working in Windows 7 with a new mobo. Just went through the procedure to remove all of the telemetry, forced upgrades, and shovelware. Man, what a shit show. UPDATE: Even after going through like 10 different reddit threads and articles covering how to disable all of this shit, there was still some mysterious traffic coming from svchost.exe with traffic akamai servers. I ended up blocking all internet traffic from svchost.exe and it seems to have worked. I am using netlimiter for this but I imagine there's a non-proprietary solution out there. Don't block local traffic too--svchost.exe is used for DNS resolution. I imagine they'll still sneak something else in at some point but this will be good enough for an OS that's used purely for gaming.
  21. I'm going to hold out for the VR version which should be released shortly. (although it will initially only come out for the rift, should be able to play it on the vive with Revive) I never played Myst but I imagine this type of game would be pretty incredible in VR. At some point I'll have to put together a general VR impressions/"review" post
  22. When I first heard about NMS this was my first thought as well. Can you really use on-the-fly procedural generation to create a galaxy of worlds that are varied enough to keep things interesting for a pure exploration game? I doubt that this is possible with today's consumer hardware. The fact that you have next to no agency in this game doesn't help. There's some sort of fallacy here about abundance somehow compensating for mediocre content. I am by no means one of those people that believe there is some magical "human touch" which computers will never be able to simulate, but I just don't think we are there yet. There are very few "open world" or "sandbox" games that I like, and the ones that I do like often involve a multiplayer scenario where humans have agency within the confines of the sandbox.
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