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Steam Half Life: Alyx

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by RedFlames, 18 Nov 2019.

  1. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Unfortunately, some people are really susceptible to VR sickness. I have a Russian friend who is a crazy hard b*stard and even a few seconds of any VR game is enough to make him ill. And trust me, he really tried :hehe:
    Same. Space Pirate Trainer was fine, as was another game who's name I can't remember (you could play as a Cleric, a ninja or a shotgun dude against robots). Racing games and FPSs where you controlled yourself conventionally (i.e. with a control pad to go forwards, backwards, strafe) make me ill in seconds. Sliding games I'm okay on, but I did almost fall over the first time :duh:
     
  2. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    After reading Bit-tech review.......
    Ok, that's it. I'm buying a 2060 and Oculus Quest to play HL Alyx!
    No where have any stock of Quest :(

    I know minimal requirement is i5-7500. Would my i7 2700k OC'd to 4GHz with 16GB DDR3 RAM be enough?
     
  3. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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    I've decided to get a Rift S, nowhere has stock for delivery, but one is available at a local sainsburys through argos, but with the lockdown I'm not likely to get over there to pick it up, :wallbash:
     
  4. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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  5. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Yes. It's not CPU intensive from what I have seen. In fact, it's very frugal indeed like most of Valve's other titles.
     
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  6. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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  7. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    Yes, the 2700k will be fast enough. The game is very well optimized and looks great even at low settings. It'll also suggest settings for you upon launch that should ensure a smooth experience.

    Also, the Quest is great for what it is, but if I were trying to go budget VR, I would either go used Vive w/ Index controller upgrade or Windows Mixed Reality (such as Odyssey+) which go on sale almost monthly.
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Not here in the UK they don't. I had my eye on a few sets for nearly two years and they are grossly over priced here. Even the crappy Dell one is £400.
     
  9. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    PC VR gaming isn't the only thing I want a VR headset for.

    I like the idea of Quest where it's a VR headset that can do PC gaming (possibly even wirelessl!) as well as stand alone for times when I just want to watch a video, or play basic non-graphic intensive activities. The reason I didn't get into VR was because I don't want an expensive monitor tethered to the PC for just one purpose. I'd have gotten on Quest earlier if I knew it can play PC games.
     
  10. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Rift S and Quest controllers (identical and interchangeable) come with hand straps to prevent nearby displays catching Wiimote Syndrome.
     
  11. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Hmm. That'll teach me to listen to a Youtuber. Oh well, at least I will have spares :)
     
  12. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Yeah so get this - when I first got my Vive, I left the missus in charge of choosing the first game to play, and she picked a downhill skiing game.

    I felt so ill I actually whited out and couldn't stand up, it was ****ing horrible.
    I had the same idea, I wanted to try VR porn, VR movies, VR youtube, 360 videos - all that jazz. Tried them all on the Vive and found them weird and underwhelming because of the resolution of the screens and the oft-remarked-upon 'screen door' effect. Especially when going from a 4k and/or OLED TV down to the Vive headset, it's like, "wow, I can reach out and touch the pixels".

    For gaming it's not an issue because you're involved, and your brain kinda switches into active mode. For media consumption, I found it really distracting and ugly.

    Some of the other headsets have higher pixel density than the Vive now, but I'm not sure they'll be high enough yet to overcome this problem. Moderns TVs and monitors have gotten us used to pretty liquid images and going back to jaggies for media consumption is a nope for me.

    On a separate note since I mentioned it: approach VR porn and other airquotes "immersive" experience-focused videos with extreme caution. They made me feel off - not motion sick, but like it was just goddamn weird. Where normal media taking place on a screen is something we're used to suspending disbelief for, VR immersive videos just feel 'off' somehow. I couldn't suspend disbelief, found it massively distracting to be 'inside' a real video. Like when people who've never seen theatre before try it and can't stop thinking "that's just a guy in a costume and I could reach out and trip him up", I couldn't stop thinking "wow this is awkward, the person holding this huge 360' camera must be breaking his neck right now".

    So many things about VR are hard to anticipate accurately. You gotta try it I guess. I know loads of people who love immersive video, VR porn, and even that weird 'cinema' mode where you watch films in a virtual cinema (seriously why), but I just don't get on with them.

    On an Alyx-related note, why are devs ramping up their VR requirements so ridiculously high? I'm still on 3rd gen i5 and it's taken everything I've thrown at it. Which is hardly surprising considering the performance jump across the subsequent 5 years is like...50% (where by Moore's law it should be about 300% by now). Devs are clearly still aiming for the ~3470k target, because everything works on mine seamlessly, including VR and Modern Warfare 2019, but the requirements are all consistently telling me I shouldn't be able to run anything any more.

    Are they just in Intel's pocket and trying to stimulate consumption of new hardware, or what?
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2020
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  13. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    '360 video' and '180 stereo video' are absolute trash. Worthless garbage whose association with VR lessens it as a medium.
    The primary issue is that they lack any sort of accommodation for head motion. No head motion = near zero feeling of presence, in addition to rapid onset nausea. And that's in a best-case with obscene resolution, obscene bitrates, and display-matched framerates. Add in the realities of encoding video for a normal PC (let alone a mobile device) to handle and you have a steaming pile of crap.

    Because performance for flatscreen gaming != performance for VR gaming.
    For flatscreen gaming, you can be doing multiple things in parallel, like having one frame postprocessing while the next frame is rendering and the frame before that is getting the geometry ready to pass to the GPU, and the frame before that is doing the physics simulations. Several frames of latency is not only tolerable but almost unnoticeable for most parts of the pipeline, and GPUs are designed around doing a bunch of stuff in parallel whenever possible.
    VR demands low latencies uber alles. You have a 20ms budget from starting your frame to having it displaying on the HMD (often called the 'motion to photons budget', as it starts wehn you head moves and ends when you see the finished frame), and going beyond that means you've got a frame miss and need to be rewarping a past frame to replace it (in reality, fixed latency overheads like frame scanout and the time to get that rewarped frame ready mean you have ~17ms of time for Oculus OVR API games, and ~11ms for SteamVR API games, withi nwhich to get all your rendering done). That means that CPUs and GPUs that run faster (rather than being wider') are dramatically more effective for VR performance even if that has little effect on 'normal' gaming performance.
    That 20ms threshold is the maximum time that is acceptable for comfortable viewing. You gain comfort benefits for getting things done faster, but going above that is a guaranteed unpleasant experience. This is why everyone now uses universal post-render rewarping for every frame (so it is already accounted for in your fixed latency budget) and everyone has a frame-synthesis technique to accommodate frame misses (because if a frame takes more than 20ms to be ready it may as well not have been rendered at all). Frame synthesis is not perfect, so you can have a very dramatic change in perceived quality fro ma very small change in performance: if you're handling 19.9ms per frame you're golden, if you're getting 20.1ms per frame you're stuck in constant frame synthesis.
    The other problem is that everyone is used to looking at framerates. You have a 90Hz HMD, you are getting 90FPS, so everything is good, right? The problem is framerates tell you nothing whatsoever about latency so are utterly worthless for gauging VR performance.
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2020
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  14. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    That was a very interesting infodump, thank you!
     
  15. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    That's interesting, in your opinion VR as a medium are only really good for games?

    I have to admit, reason for Quest was 3 fold:
    - possibility of able to consume media on plane or the like, to drawn out other distractions.
    - "immersive media" :naughty:
    - possibility of wireless VR gaming without spending more for wireless adaptor. Link cable was my fall back options
    I know all 3 are in the category of "try it first".

    On the other hand, if I get Rift S, I'd at least guarentee a good budget/mid level HL Alyx experience and able to try other two and decide if it was worth buying when second or third generation stand-alone PC-linking headset later. Decisions, decisions.....

    I've only briefly tried VR simulator on Vive, it was great; a ultra-cheap cardboard smartphone holder, that was utter rubbish. Mainly due to poor controls and low resolution of a iphone plus, as well as the cheap lens.
     
  16. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Personally I'd focus the budget and the expectations on the gaming end of it, yeah. A lot of VR gaming is really good and I'm enjoying it in small doses - still not the kind of thing I can play for hours on end, personally, 'cos of comfort, heat, and general disorientation. But video and media? Eeeeeh...

    I was honestly really psyched for VR porn, I've always loved porn (who doesn't, right) and it seemed like the next logical step. But for all the technical reasons edzieba mentioned, immersive video is reeaally bad and weird, and for other psychological/personal reasons I found porn in particular to be super bad. Generally any video where there's people, interactions, social settings, things close to the camera - even just a 360 video of some people on a rollercoaster or whatever - it feels silly, and the camera tech does not trick your brain the way a game engine does. I couldn't turn off the part of my brain that knew I was sat alone in the dark, feeling like I was uncomfortably close to total strangers whilst simultaneously knowing full well that it wasn't real.

    This might be different for other people, it might just be because I'm quite introverted and cagey in general. But your thing about planes brings up another point, I find it really odd to sit and use a VR headset with other people around. I guess I knew too many ****heads at school, but all I can think the whole time is "someone's probably ****ing around with me 2 inches from my face right now and I don't know it". Unless you're a super chill person it's quite discomforting to know that there are people very close to you but be unable to see or hear them. Playing standing games in a group with VR is a blast - you take turns, laugh at each other, and it goes down really well. Probably my favourite thing to do with it is introduce people to Gorn, Space Pirate Trainer or experience games like The Blu. But using sat-down entertainment for long periods with other people around feels uncomfortable to me. Me and the missus will happily sit playing games on our rigs all evening - different games, even - but I hate sitting and using the VR for something like Elite Dangerous when she's there, because it feels antisocial and I'm very aware that she can just see me, sat there like a neo-noir tech zombie.

    The sheer number of 1st person pronouns in this post sums up how deeply personal and individual all this is, though. My experiences won't necessarily be your experiences. And that's kind of the problem: VR is a hugely individual thing. This, to be briefly not-off-topic, is why I resent Alyx as a Half-Life instalment, because so many people will fundamentally just not like or even be able to use VR, even if they want to and have the cash. It's as personal as whether you enjoy rollercoasters, whether you can watch horror films, or what flavours in food make you gip.

    So Rule 1 of VR, whatever you're gonna buy, find some way to try it first.

    edit - oh you literally acknowledged this already in your post. But yeah, a thousandfold yeah, try it first.

    edit 2 - oh, and the immersive video thing has one notable exception, which is super high quality documentary/scenic style video. Slowly gliding along a river on a boat, plane flight over the Grand Canyon, all that ****. It's got a sort of Planet Earth-esque appeal that doesn't rely on immersion, so as long as the purpose is purely to go "ooh that's pretty" and see amazing sights, as a passive observer, there is some value in that - providing the source quality is really good, to overcome aforementioned technical issues.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2020
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  17. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Ok. Thank you for the valuable information. Unfortunately it's kindda difficult trying out VR experience at the moment :duh:

    Yes, I think this is the way to go for now. The Quest is far from perfect, very much a first generation product (front heavy, slow-ish processor). I can try everything with PC tethered headset first, if I like other aspects of VR, I can then upgrade to 3rd or even later generation standalone PC-link-capable headsets.

    What would be a reasonable price for second hand HTC Vive? Looking on eBay, seems £150 for headset with strap, 2x £90 for base station........ plus old not-ideal-for-Alyx controllers, it's going to be over £400, price of Rift S, might as well wait for Rift S to be in stock.

    edit: Or Oculus Rift cv1? Just under £350-400, less display resolution than Rift S (so screen door effect?) but other than that, seems compatible in usability (don't mind base stations) and readily available.
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2020
  18. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    One thing I'll say is that VR is AMAZING for aiding CAD. Only got to try it once, but to actually be able to walk around a design is incredible.

    Combine this with VR conferencing and someone could make a lot of money...
     
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  19. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    IrisVR are probably doing quite well at the moment.
     
  20. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Just a big FYI: Quest Link is in beta - and it is definitely NOT ready for full release. It works like 25% of the time. I'm using the Anker cable (that Oculus Recommend) and its been a frustrating experience.
     
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