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Oculus Rift - The Dark Mod - Vorpx


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If astronauts can get over it so can we. o/


(Except some prospective astronauts never get over it. It's a genetic thing I think.)

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Hmm. The steam video of the game looked interesting but I'm kind of at a loss for words. It looks ok. Kind of looks like a cross between Thief and Dishonored and... 30 years ago? Seems a bit mixed. Really all I wanted to do what sit in front of the fire on the rug and watch the kitten sleeping.


TLDR:: SteamDolls? what? Dolls? Naked pagan girl in the intro? Guy in a modern suit? Not my thing.


The rest of it was not something a developer should put in to peoples hands without further "work". I love the disclaimer they put on these things, This is early alpha build and thanks for your understanding or whatever.


Why would a dev with a prospective game idea think it would be a good thing to push something like this as a demo of a game they're making is beyond me.


Here is the premise: We'll put you in a room and you can move around, look around, and you have hands. The hands disappear whenever you grab something and when you grab something the hand animation closes over the coarse of about 3 seconds. Right, its alpha, we'll forgive that.


So, you're in a room and you have to touch everything in the room to see what does what. And only one thing will do something! That's the exciting bit. All the stuff that does nothing... we won't give you any audio clues, queues, or... any sound what-so-ever so you won't have any idea what's going on. UNTIL! you find that one thing that I want you to find and then, that's your next clue. So yeah, behind a restoration, find the card behind the painting, and then it has a radio station on it and there's only ONE radio in the room so you go in you can tune in the radio of course, why would you be able to do that so you go get the card and drop it on the ground about 7 times trying to stick it IN the radio but that does nothing so then you try every other thing, like hitting it with hammers, throwing screwdrivers at it, then you're back to the stupid card with the station on it.


Ohhhh... you have to push the paper playing card in the freaking monitor... F!@!!#@%@$ ok.... alpha? eh... noo... ok alpha.. whatever. So the dude comes on the screen and says something and its nice because there hasn't been a single sound since the kitty was purring by the fire and tells you to reset the circuit breaker or whatever.


So... Ok... panel on the wall with electrical symbol on it (which doesn't look like a breaker box at all) and yeah, there are screws in each corner so you're going to need the screw driver but hey, you threw that at the TV you put a playing card in so... ok, lets see if we can find it ... nope, BUT you found out that you can teleport straight through walls in to the black void that is your life as a developer. So, ok, reload... do everything again (is this dark souls but 20 times more frustrating with no audio?) and then you take the panel off by touching the tip of the screwdriver to the screws. Inside is what looks like a button and an "odd" fuse (two of which are lying on the floor in the other room) and what appears to be 3 switches on the right side.


The switches don't frob, nothing of course gives you any feedback as to yes/no, button doesn't frob, fuse doesn't frob. The two fuses on the floor won't do anything and I can't pry it out with screwdriver, pliers, gigantic vise grips, or the hammer. No thanks. Exit.


Why would a dev with a game he wANTs people to play put out stuff like that? Wow... lots of time went in to that. No. And a dumb rhetoric on the radio something about "getting rich" rofl.


Fairly dissapointed. Also, the name is really dumb. The positive would be, sitting by the fire watching the cat which is nearly the only place there's audio.

Edited by Lux
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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's another "Thief-inspired" VR title in the works. Clearly "Steam Dolls" needs a lot of work & seems to be more "adventure-gamey." This short clip here looks to be more stealth focused: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuKzJh7l3NI. Thief DS-style climbing, huh?


On another note, I was thinking about one other possible way to get TDM in VR. Since someone has modded Doom 3 to work in VR & TDM was at one point a Doom 3 mod, maybe getting that up & running on the latest hardware & then running an older version of TDM would do the trick. This Doom 3 mod claims to have VR working with Doom mods: https://forums.oculus.com/community/discussion/13130/doom-3-wip/p1. It's old & not updated to work with the latest Rift runtime, but I imagine it could be possible to update. If I ever get the chance, I may try to hook up the old DK2 & get it running on an old runtime. Then I'll download an older version of TDM & see if I can get it running. If I can, then I'll see about contacting the dev to find out if he could get it working on the latest hardware.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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).

Edited by woah
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Well I just updated to the new vorpx version, which now allows gamma adjustment and got it working again after some messing about. I uploaded my new vorpx profile for TDM if it is of use to anyone.

The game is playable on the vive now, but tbh after playing proper made for vr games the past few months, I find it difficult to go back to using this vorpx hack. The experience is really sub-par compared to what is possible with native vr support. I will return to playing TDM on a flat screen as it was designed.


Cheers and have a Happy New Year!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi mikulabc, I intend to update the OP to be more clear & concise and to reflect the current state of things, as it was originally written for the DK2. Sadly, I've been quite bogged down with work & don't know when I'll have a chance to get to it. If you have a Vive, you may want to start by downloading grodenglaive's cloud profile from the vorpx launcher (assuming you have vorpx). That profile is for the Vive & I admit it didn't quite work for my setup. I use vorpx with the Rift.



I'd also add that you'll want to look into how to unlock the framerate, which now works with the 2.05 update without speeding up the game. You may want to set a custom resolution in the dark mod config file and tweak the fov. The OP goes into how to do this. These variables work in tandem. I chose an 8:9 aspect ratio and set the fov ratio to around 0.9. If you choose a 4:3 (or any other) aspect ratio, you'll need to tweak the fov ratio to compensate. You can use console commands to play with the fov ratio while in game, which should help you nail down something that feels comfortable. I'm sorry if this is unclear. I promise I'll try to get a more detailed step-by-step posted as soon as I can.



Just keep in mind that this is a non-native experience. It's not going to compare well to a polished made-for-VR experience. It's still very special though, in its own way. But that's because TDM is quite special. This is just a different way to experience the game.

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  • 1 month later...

Looks quite interesting. Not sure if I like to walk by swinging your arms, but maybe you get used to it quickly. A bigger problem for me right now would be to get a VR headset...

The developers confirmed they'd include an option to use the Vive trackpad for a more "traditional" control scheme. Also, they're working on bow mechanics.

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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.

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  • 10 months later...

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