VR Research and Game Development (Update 1): What I’ve been up to

It’s been a while since I’ve last written anything on this blog before the last few updates, so I suppose it’s about time to fill you in. I won’t bore you with life-related stuff, but I will mention that I got a new job. I’m still an IT Tech, but it’s better now than it used to be.

The Durovis Dive

The Durovis Dive

In terms of gaming, it’s another matter. Playing has been sporadic, but I did get a chance to try out a few VR devices. The first thing I tried out was a Durovis Dive helmet, which, while rudimentary, I found to be a complete paradigm shift in the way I thought VR would work (considering I’d never tried anything like it before). It’s basically a plastic case that you put on your face, along with a couple of lenses that allow your eyes to focus on the phone you would use as the screen. Not much of a high tech solution, but it works well enough to give you a bit of a taste of what stands for VR these days.

The Google Cardboard

The Google Cardboard

Second I tried the cheap Google Cardboard. It’s basically the same thing as the Durovis Dive, but it’s made of cardboard – hence the name. A cheap alternative, and it’s still using your phone or tablet for a screen, but it’s also less comfortable than the Dive, and you personalize it much. You get what you paid for, I suppose.

The Oculus Rift DK2

The Oculus Rift DK2

Lastly, I tried out the Oculus Rift DK2. This is the step I needed to see to really believe that VR is going to become a thing, a real thing that is going to be successful and actually be used. The sense of wonder took quite a while to wear off, but it did once I realized that the tech is so new and unexplored that there really isn’t much you can do with the Oculus for now. It feels great, responsive and all, but you’re stuck to a chair. You can look around corners, but you barely ever need to, since moving in games independently from your own body will (probably) make you sick. I know it did make me sick when I tried playing TF2 with it. Games like War Thunder, or any other game that involves a cockpit, do work, and they work well. All others… I think need more work, or at least some sort of reliable input device that involves your hands.

Of course, since I’ve tried these, they’ve become obsolete. There’s been loads of announcements, what with the headset HTC is making with Valve, the Samsung Oculus Gear thing, Microsoft’s Hololens (which I rather like the idea of), as well as other assorted headsets. I’m still a bit wary about it all though. It is rather awesome the first few times you try it, but I tend to get motion sickness from it, which isn’t what I sign up for.

For next time I tried VR, here’s a teaser (apparently embedding does not work on free wordpress websites):

https://www.shrimpeyes.com/video/36/unity-fps

Use Chrome for this.

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