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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/18/2021 at 1:53 AM, Filizitas said:

I heard there is a new volta mission in the make??
I didnt read anything about it here :c

Yep Volta 3 and 4 are coming! I can't say when exactly because I'm pretty busy IRL, but they're getting pretty close!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just played a little bit of Unreal 1 just for the giggles. It's been 23 years or so since my last visit to Na'Pali and that game was the first game I played on my first very own PC. Man, that game looked awesome back in the day. And I have to say, to some degree, it still does. The lightmaps, lensflares and detail textures all work really well to hide the age of the game. The low poly count not so much, however! 😄 

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been throwing myself at undying which is also one of the good old unreal games :) forgot how difficult this game can be 😅. Been sprucing up the old unreal games park with d3d11 renderers with bumpmapping SSAO and hidef textures, and they stand the bite of time pretty well indeed.

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btw anyone tried DXVK ?, its a D3D9 to 12 to vulkan wrapper. got it working with horizon zero dawn so it is now possible to play it on win7, performance still leaves a bit to be desired but its actually playable on high with a 970gtx with the wrappers. Also seems to work for other games though results are a bit mixed, crysis2 and 3 runs fine while crysis1 crashes, same goes for bioshock1 and 2 though mysteriosly it works with unreal2 🤨 and rune.

guess that can be expected since it is still very much in beta and normally used for gaming on linux, but woa!!!.

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Curious things happening on the PCVR front.  A new headset, codenamed "Deckard", was found in the SteamVR files and Arstechnica has confirmed that it's real.  Also other things suggesting a split rendering system (mixing parts of rendering between a PC and processing within the headset), "inside out" tracking that also works with lighthouse tracking, wireless, and possibly standalone functionality.  Seems awfully similar to Valve's patents for split rendering, a new kind of tracking sensor, and headstraps with integrated wireless and processing.

Most interesting thing to me though is that based on public filings from a 2020 lawsuit, it's been revealed that in 2018 Valve invested $10m in the company ImagineOptix.  IO is an optics manufacturer that uses photolithographic processes to pattern thin film (few micrometer thick) liquid crystal optics that can be layered and electrically controlled.  IO entered a contract with Valve which included a Master Supply Agreement and the construction of a factory to mass product these optics for Valve.  The factory was finished in mid 2020 and in early 2021 Valve filed ~10 patents describing the application of the technology to a variety of things important for VR.

From Valve's patents, they want to use the technology not just for variable focus but also optical/eye correction in the headset (i.e. no glasses/contacts), optical blur and dynamic angular resolution adjustment in different fields of the FOV, pancake lens-like features, and many other things.  The varifocal aspect is similar to Facebook's "Half Dome 3" prototype (which they showed in 2019 through a short video) but apparently Valve was already making moves to mass produce similar liquid crystal lenses a year prior.  They also recently filed a patent for a form of eyetracking I haven't seen used much, which would be necessary for most of this stuff to work at all.

Of course patents and leaks don't necessarily mean anything about actual products, Valve could cancel it, accurate eyetracking is hard, and if they actually release a VR headset that's this advanced it would fundamentally change the experience VR--it seems too good to be true.  A solid state lens that can be electrically controlled to perform so many dynamic optical functions is like something out of science fiction.  On the other hand, they built a factory to mass produce these lenses and Arstechnica says speculations about these lenses are "on the right track", so it's somewhat tantalizing.

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https://github.com/HansKristian-Work/vkd3d-proton/tags <- directx 12 wrapper for dxvk

https://github.com/doitsujin/dxvk/tags <- directx to vulkan wrappers D3D 9 to 11 eg. dxvk

if you want to try it with horizon zero dawn you need to copy out dxcompiler.dll from Tools\ShaderCompiler\PC\1.0.2595\x64 and bink2w64.dll from Tools\bin and place them next to HorizonZeroDawn.exe.

then copy over dxgi.dll from dxvk and d3d12.dll from vkd3d and place them next to it to.

now fire up the game and let the shaders recompile -> profit.

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2 hours ago, woah said:

From Valve's patents, they want to use the technology not just for variable focus but also optical/eye correction in the headset (i.e. no glasses/contacts), optical blur and dynamic angular resolution adjustment in different fields of the FOV, pancake lens-like features, and many other things.  The varifocal aspect is similar to Facebook's "Half Dome 3" prototype (which they showed in 2019 through a short video) but apparently Valve was already making moves to mass produce similar liquid crystal lenses a year prior.  They also recently filed a patent for a form of eyetracking I haven't seen used much, which would be necessary for most of this stuff to work at all.

By variable focus you mean foveated rendering or varifocal adjustments (I forgot the term for it)? Because all headsets could use foveated rendering in the long run and it also requires eye tracking.

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14 hours ago, jaxa said:

By variable focus you mean foveated rendering or varifocal adjustments (I forgot the term for it)? Because all headsets could use foveated rendering in the long run and it also requires eye tracking.

Vari-focal adjustments, i.e. basically allowing each eye to correctly accommodate in a way that's matched to vergence.  Should make VR much more comfortable, more immersive, and less limiting (especially when it comes to near-field interactions).  Right now the focus depth is fixed and it sucks.

EDIT: Foveated rendering may be a thing as well but it seems to have been way over-hyped (in terms of realistic performance gains)

Edited by woah
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4 hours ago, woah said:

EDIT: Foveated rendering maybe a thing as well but it seems to have been way over-hyped (in terms of realistic performance gains)

I'm not sure what the performance boost will be in real systems, but I think it's going to be somewhere between 50% and 500%. At the absurd end of the range, you would have a tiny portion of the screen rendering at 8K or 16K for paracentral vision, and progressively lower resolutions for near/mid/far peripheral vision.

Beyond the performance boost, if it can lower the amount of data that needs to be sent to the headset, that could help wireless (not standalone) headsets. For example, 8K @ 240Hz is about 8 gigapixels per second. If you can lower the pixel count by 90%, it's closer to 4K @ 90Hz.

Ultimately, I think we want to see an ultra wide FOV of about 200 degrees horizontal, comparable to 8K or 16K resolution using microLED panels, at as many as 1000 FPS. That would be the end goal in 10 or 20 years.

Edited by jaxa
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On 10/3/2021 at 10:48 PM, jaxa said:

I'm not sure what the performance boost will be in real systems, but I think it's going to be somewhere between 50% and 500%. At the absurd end of the range, you would have a tiny portion of the screen rendering at 8K or 16K for paracentral vision, and progressively lower resolutions for near/mid/far peripheral vision.

Beyond the performance boost, if it can lower the amount of data that needs to be sent to the headset, that could help wireless (not standalone) headsets. For example, 8K @ 240Hz is about 8 gigapixels per second. If you can lower the pixel count by 90%, it's closer to 4K @ 90Hz.

Ultimately, I think we want to see an ultra wide FOV of about 200 degrees horizontal, comparable to 8K or 16K resolution using microLED panels, at as many as 1000 FPS. That would be the end goal in 10 or 20 years.

Heck, even 50% would be an incredible boost--that's like getting a new generation of GPUs.  The numbers I've typically seen are between 30% and 200% but it will likely improve over time.

However, I don't think it's going to be anywhere close to the >1000% that Abrash was originally predicting.  At the last Oculus Facebook Connect, Carmack reined in those expectations.  More recently he said this:

 

 

Edited by woah
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still pretty neat :), lets see where it goes when it gets avaliable.

been testing dxvk and vkd3d-proton with several games now and quite a lot of them work, even discovered that it is possible to hack around d3d wonkiness using a config file -> dxvk.conf which allowed me to use it with the old buggy call of cthulhu dark corners of the earth engine. The real funny thing is many of the old games actually benefit greatly from being run through vulkan, for instance the old witcher enhanced edition runs quite a lot faster with dxvk.

so i decided to roll my own version built using the msys2 clang compilers. The 32 bit version was built with large adress aware to allow > 3gb memory access and the clang compilers link natively to ucrt so it is better suited for win10 than the versions from the site.

i can upload my personal versions if anyone wants to toy with them :).

ps. you dont need to drop all the dll's in the dir with the game engine executable, but if unsure which ones it uses it does not seem to matter if you do.

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I just watched this interesting talk on how an indie studio implemented DevOps processes to increase their software quality and productivity. There's some really good advice in there, so I wanted to share it with whomever interested.

 

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  • 1 month later...

 

Continuing on with my previous posts about this topic, Carmack actually addressed the state of their varifocal technology in the above talk.  I guess the much coveted Half Dome varifocal prototypes they demonstrated (well, "demonstrated" as in "showed a through the lens video of it") still have lots of problems and didn't really work well outside of the lab.  Also, problems with cost and glasses.  Unsurprisingly varifocal that isn't "perfect" is worse than fixed focus.  It seems quite premature to me then that Lanman claimed varifocal was "almost ready for prime time" 1.5 years or so ago.  Carmack hopes they can collect a bunch of eyetracking data across wider populations with their next headset (to increase accuracy I suppose), but this seems to confirm varifocal isn't going to be a feature from them any time soon.  But just how accurate and robust does eyetracking have to be for this to work in a consumer product?  E.g. if eyetracking running at >200hz screws up your focus once every minute, does that create an unacceptable user experience?

 

https://skarredghost.com/2021/10/22/creal-ar-vr-lightfields

Then there's this demo of CREAL which approximates a light field: "CREAL states that its innovation is in not calculating low-resolution lightfields for many positions, but few high-quality resolution lightfields in a few selected positions around the eye of the user".  The impressions are very exciting to me because it sounds like it's another step along the path of addressing the primary issues I have with VR:

Quote

"the objects that fell in the lightfield region appeared more realistic than everything I have ever tried in VR in my life: the virtual elements felt so alive, crisp, and nuanced. I could change focus, and especially I could also focus on a little text that was written in the world, seeing it clearly and in focus, reading it very naturally. I usually have difficulties in reading text in VR, but in the lightfield region of this headset, the high resolution and the ability to focus on it made reading it incredibly easy."

However, there's no actual eyetracking and the lightfield portion of the display is limited to a mere 30 degrees (the display is foveated, there's a standard fixed focus display around the perimeter and the transition between the two is abrupt).  I have to wonder if it's possible to use a similar kind of display but with eyetracking so the lightfield region follows your eye--sort of similar to what @STiFU mentioned a while back (though that was with a holographic display).

 

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I get the impression that you want a eyetracking sampling rate that is around double the framerate. Tobii can do up to 1200 Hz, although that kind of rate is for professional products.

Edited by jaxa
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On 10/3/2021 at 4:36 PM, revelator said:

btw anyone tried DXVK ?, its a D3D9 to 12 to vulkan wrapper. got it working with horizon zero dawn so it is now possible to play it on win7, performance still leaves a bit to be desired but its actually playable on high with a 970gtx with the wrappers. Also seems to work for other games though results are a bit mixed, crysis2 and 3 runs fine while crysis1 crashes, same goes for bioshock1 and 2 though mysteriosly it works with unreal2 🤨 and rune.

guess that can be expected since it is still very much in beta and normally used for gaming on linux, but woa!!!.

Interesting. I've known of DXVK and other wrappers to get DirectX games running on WINE, but it never occurred to me that you could use it to get DirectX 12 games running on Windows 7 by passing it through to Vulkan. That's quite clever I guess and makes perfect sense, but maybe it never occurred to me because Windows 7 went end of life at the beginning of last year so no-one's talked about this solution much. I still appreciate the technical methodology though. :)

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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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for windows it is so so :) but imagine having an older card which atleast on paper should be able to run the game but it only supports dx10 and vulkan (p.s not many cards do looks evily at my old gtx 560ti) in that case you can run it without forking over the money for a new gfx card which at the time are still in the higher segment of pricing if at all avaliable :S.

a few older games also run better on vulkan than dx witcher 1 for instance runs beautifuly on vulkan :).

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Seems like there are a rash of FUD videos about how "unstable" it is to use Linux

This has all the ingredients of a targeted video meant to scare non-Linux users.

1) Starts by implying that Linux "might finally be ready for users". ( As if Linux having a good user experience is a "completely new development". )

2) Talks about how a hot new Arch distro now can make it easy for users to install and play games. ( As if Synaptic Package Manager or Snap Store are impossible for standard PC users to understand )

3) Encounters a wild buggy experience when installing a single App

4) Starts going into the weeds with all sort of jargon about distro issues and keeps waffling between "Linux good vs Linux bad".

Anyone scared to try Linux will encounter item 3 and immediately look for a silver lining or happy ending but once they hear all the jargon and distro talk will just nope out.

Ubuntu needs to wake up and start combating the FUD. For some reason, there is a big anti-Linux push.

Maybe this has been stirred up because of SteamOS and it's presence on their Steam Deck game console is now a real threat and Windows 11 issues are driving folks to consider Linux instead.

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Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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On 11/11/2021 at 3:47 PM, nbohr1more said:

Seems like there are a rash of FUD videos about how "unstable" it is to use Linux

This has all the ingredients of a targeted video meant to scare non-Linux users.

1) Starts by implying that Linux "might finally be ready for users". ( As if Linux having a good user experience is a "completely new development". )

2) Talks about how a hot new Arch distro now can make it easy for users to install and play games. ( As if Synaptic Package Manager or Snap Store are impossible for standard PC users to understand )

3) Encounters a wild buggy experience when installing a single App

4) Starts going into the weeds with all sort of jargon about distro issues and keeps waffling between "Linux good vs Linux bad".

Anyone scared to try Linux will encounter item 3 and immediately look for a silver lining or happy ending but once they hear all the jargon and distro talk will just nope out.

Ubuntu needs to wake up and start combating the FUD. For some reason, there is a big anti-Linux push.

Maybe this has been stirred up because of SteamOS and it's presence on their Steam Deck game console is now a real threat and Windows 11 issues are driving folks to consider Linux instead.

I haven't been following this much, but from what I can gather it's mostly been led by a couple of dudes on Linus Tech Tips trying to see how well they can go with running a Linux-only system on their regular gaming machines. It's been a mixed experience with Linus having the most trouble due to how an issue with APT on Pop!_OS caused the installation of Steam to effectively uninstall the desktop environment (https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2021/11/system76-patches-apt-for-pop-os-to-prevent-users-breaking-their-systems). I believe the experiences of the LTT folks are genuine and not attempting to demonstrate any FUD especially since they've talked positively about Linux in the past. But from the point of view of the end user trying Linux, when things go bad it's easy to just crawl back to Windows because despite its problems it's at least the devil you know.

If anyone else is trying to piggyback on this by pushing anti-Linux FUD then yeah I have a problem with that. But the videos of people's experiences when done in good faith (very important) are useful if only to demonstrate that there are issues and they do factor into people deciding if moving to Linux is worth it.

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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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