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30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset 59

Posted by timothy
from the inside-your-head dept.
muterobert writes "Owlchemy Labs, the developers behind the excellent Oculus Rift ready game, Aaaaaaaculus!, share their impressions of their time at Steam Dev Days and detail their experiences using Valve's secretive virtual reality HMD prototype. An excerpt: 'I was told to walk off of the cube and it was physically difficult to step forward into the space where there was no solid footing, even though I knew that there would be a solid floor with a rug right there for me. It's amazing how the mind can trick you.'"
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30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset

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  • Hmm.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dohnut (189348) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @12:53PM (#46111419)

    I'm coming out with an application called "Solitary Confinement".

    Required hardware will be a VR headset, noise-cancelling headphones, and a typical closet or shower (shower/tubs will not work). You can play single player but it's much more realistic if a friend or family member takes on the role of the warden. I'm integrating it with the steam API and am currently ironing out the achievements.

  • Familiarity counts? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @12:55PM (#46111437)

    An excerpt: 'I was told to walk off of the cube and it was physically difficult to step forward into the space where there was no solid footing, even though I knew that there would be a solid floor with a rug right there for me. It's amazing how the mind can trick you.'

    Given the game in question is just an Oculus Rift version of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAA!!!!!, clearly the person testing it is not experienced in the game. As any veteran of it knows, the whole point of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAA!!!!! is to happily take running leaps off of cubes.

    Though this does make me wonder if people who are used to the game already would have the same apprehension over jumping off the (to them) familiar-looking buildings they've jumped off hundreds of times before...

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:10PM (#46111579)

    An excerpt: 'I was told to walk off of the cube and it was physically difficult to step forward into the space where there was no solid footing, even though I knew that there would be a solid floor with a rug right there for me. It's amazing how the mind can trick you.'

    Given the game in question is just an Oculus Rift version of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAA!!!!!, clearly the person testing it is not experienced in the game. As any veteran of it knows, the whole point of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAA!!!!! is to happily take running leaps off of cubes.

    Though this does make me wonder if people who are used to the game already would have the same apprehension over jumping off the (to them) familiar-looking buildings they've jumped off hundreds of times before...

    The point in AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAA!!!!! is to walk off the cube in the game, i.e. using the game controls. The difficulty the user here had was stepping forward in real life while wearing the headset that made it look like he would be physically stepping off a cube (even though he knew he wouldn't).

    It actually brings up an interesting point about VR/AR: mixing the real world (where there is a physical floor ahead of you) with the virtual one (where it appears there isn't), and overcoming the self-preservation instinct by stepping forwards anyways could potentially lead to the self-preservation instinct being dangerously suppressed over time. With current video games, it's easy to know the difference between the real and virtual world. But with VR, specially VR that replicates physical actions into the game world (so that stepping forward in the game involves stepping forward in real life, not just pressing a key), that line may well become significantly blurred to the point where video games might actually have harmful effects (in this case, suppressing the instinct to not step off buildings).

  • by EnglishTim (9662) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:46PM (#46111979)

    I've been experimenting with using the Kinect for body positioning - allowing you to walk around a virtual room by walking around a real one. There are two big problems: First, the fidelity of the Kinect isn't great, so positioning is a bit inaccurate and gets jumpy with distance. Second, I had to make a cord bundle extension to give me room to walk about and you're always worried about tripping over it.

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