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Other VR "legs"

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by wyx087, 4 May 2020.

  1. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Do you get sick in VR games that move your point of view without you physically moving your body? If so, it is said you lack "VR legs".

    How does one get VR legs? How does one overcome the head-spin comes from WASD style smooth movement?

    I'd go as far as ask: Is this WASD style movement lazy game design? As we can walk around the game world physically, head and hands tracked, surely a different approach to locomotion is needed for room scale VR?



    So I'm nearing completion of Half Life Alyx. It's a fantastic experience. I'm using "Shift" locomotion, where I point at the location I want to go, and I shift to that location. This is fine for me and physically moving about is also absolutely fine.

    I've tried Beat Saber, Robo Recall, Steam Lab, SuperHot VR, Space Pirate Trainer. All of which do not have smooth locomotion, I'm fine with all of them. All of them are designed to be VR game from the grounds up. I note Robo Recall and Lab seems to have been designed with this locomotion in mind. SuperHot VR gives room scale an advantage and removes all forced locomotion options.

    But when I tried Boneworks, or smooth locomotion in HLAlyx. I feel like my head is swimming and I have to sit down or I'll soon fall over. Sitting down, I'm only okay walking straight forward and not move my head.

    Smooth locomotion simply feels like VR being shoehorned into a traditional K&M game to me......
     
  2. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    It's true that time practising can reduce VR sickness, but from my limited experience, it seems to be something that some people are inherently better that than others.

    Like you, I'm okay with games like Space Pirate Trainer and other similar games that allow you to teleport. However, after two, three, or more hours, I do start to feel a bit ill - it may be that at the time, my system couldn't give 90FPS, plus a few hours is a long time for any activity! I sympathise on the 'smooth locomotion' front. When I tried playing The Vanishing of Ethan Carter in VR, it made me ill within seconds and I had to take an hour to recover. Racing games also royally eff me up.

    There's something about VR sickness that is REALLY hard hitting. I used to get car sick when I was young, and still can feel a little queasy on a long trip if I'm in the back. If I try to read for more than a few seconds (especially looking downwards), it takes a while to recover. What I experience in VR is something else. Utterly debilitating. Seriously, it'd make a good torture option for Guantanamo Bay.

    The only way I've personally been able to get around it is to be in a simulator. I went to Gamescon 2016 and tried VR racing in a seat that moved to allow gravity to act in the direction of the expected force. Absolutely fine!
     
  3. suenstar

    suenstar Collector of Things

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    I get extremely bad motion sickness and I've found that I'm someone who has a really hard time with movement in VR while standing still... it messes with my head way too much, to the point that I can't play any game that simulates moving around an environment for more than 20-25 minutes without feeling awful.
    The last time I tried to play a VR game with motion, I ended up having to lay down for a good full hour afterwards.

    Can't even play regular games with motion blur turned on because it makes me feel sick as well.
     
  4. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    I have heard that it is due to our inner ears telling our brains that we are standing still but our eyes telling our brain that we are moving. Shift, warp, blink movement in VR overcomes the issue by removing the visual movement and the contradictory information to your brain. I am guessing that it is the same as sea sickness, but also the opposite where one is moving (inner ear signals to brain) but the eyes say you are standing still (looking at the boat which is moving relative with you i.e. is not moving).
     
  5. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    A few years ago I tried to play Half-life 2 with my Vive using one of the legacy VR compatibility modes created for the DK1. It was really bad. Here's the recording of that below.



    For the most part, any sort of perceived acceleration visually without the accompanying feeling on our bodies and inner ear is going to contribute to VR sickness in some way.

    I was playing Alyx for sessions of 4+ hours and would notice that I'd be a little sweaty and weird feeling at the end. I'm not sure if that's from some very low VR sickness or just because the Index gets hot from use. In my first playthrough, I played mostly using smooth locomotion with quick turning. The smooth locomotion is very slow, probably to combat motion sickness or otherwise control the pace of the game. In my second playthrough I teleported a lot more because I really just wanted to move faster.

    The game that's helped me the most is Rec Room. It's smooth locomotion, you vary in speed of your movement. You can jump. The gravity acceleration is your normal 9.8m/s. I think it's better than Boneworks in terms of not creating motion sickness. Boneworks has weird things like forcing you to movebackward if you try to force yourself through a wall. The net effect is feeling like the whole world just shifted out from under your feet and isn't great. Same for the climbing mechanics. Also, the simulated arms and legs are just dumb. I can bend over and pick things up and know how to keep my legs out of the way, but my VR body doesn't know how and that's stupid.

    I would try Rec Room if you want to see if you can develop VR legs. Also, make sure you adjust your settings to never drop below 90fps. Also, you may just be more sensitive and moving up to 120hz or 144hz on a newer headset could help, but I know that's a $$$ solution that might not even work in the end.

    At this point, I still lean in response to smooth locomotion in Rec Room, especially when I first boot up the game. My body is trying to compensate for acceleration that isn't happening. It takes some time to adjust.
     
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  6. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Same here.
     
  7. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Maximum I've been in VR is over 2 hours playing HLAlyx, running Quest battery from 100% down to around 20%. No problem whatsoever shift and room scale moving around.

    Yes, VR sickness is really hard hitting. I don't usually get motion sickness, I've only gotten sea sick once, still managed to snorkel and ate food on the ship. But VR sickness always happens when I turn on smooth locomotion. I've never really pushed to the point of having to lay down though.

    Thanks, I'll give Rec Room a go. I'll also try leaning when moving.
    Unfortunately I'm stuck at 72 Hz. I'm absolutely fine with everything else at 72 Hz, would refresh rate matter that much for locomotion?
     
  8. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Sim Sickness is a real thing, and the inverse of Motion Sickness.
    With motion sickness, your brain is receiving input from the vestibular system that your head is moving, and input from the visual system that you are stationary. With sim sickness, your brain is receiving information from your visual system that your head is moving, but information from the vestibular system that it is stationary. This is important, because it means mechanisms for suppressing motion sickness (suppression of the vestibular system) are not effective against sim sickness. General anti-nausea treatments have some effect, but because you brain gives the visual system 'priority' over all other sensory inputs (even touch and pain reception) the effect may not be the same.

    Research from Oculus/Facebook has been that ~80% of the population will experience sim sickness on initial use of VR. Data on how many people can acclimate ('get VR legs'), and how long it takes, is a lor scarcer. An older US AFRL (Air Force Research Labs) study found ~20% of participants experienced nausea in aircraft and helicopter simulators, but that population (pilots) is self-selected for those who are both robust to motion and sim sickness (i.e. haven't quit due to vomming all over the cockpit all the time) and who have had extensive time to acclimate, and self-reported symptoms (so underreporting suspected due to the 'macho' culture among pilots). In the general population, those expected to be long-term vulnerable to sim-sickness is expected to be a lot higher.

    Factors that affect sim sickness include both hardware and software.
    For hardware, there is a minimum bar for entry: 6DoF tracking, sub-mm accuracy, low (sub-ms) latency for tracking, Orthostereo optics (current large-eyebox designs are a good approximation, but some like Pimax still screw this up utterly), acceptably high refresh rates (couples to field of view and max effective head rotation rate). Optics in particular are still a pain point: without 3D pupil tracking relative to the fixed lenses the calculated view and optics undistortion pass will never by quite correct, even ignoring focal distance. Larger eyeboxes (Rift S, Oculus Go) will generally be more comfortable than smaller eyeboxes with movable lenses (Oculus Quest, CV1, Vive, Index) due to the movement of your pupils when looking around being larger than the different in IPD that lens-shift is intended to accommodate (excellent Tom Forsyth blog psot here).
    For software, there are plenty of 'rules' to adhere to in order to avoid obvious sim sickness triggers: NEVER tilt the horizon, avoid whenever possible shifting objects in the periphery when head motion is not driving that motion, try and keep 'world fixed' (NOT head-fixed!) elements in view to 'ground' head motion and real world motion together (e.g. sit in a virtual cockpit fixed to the real world, with the virtual world moving 'outside'), don't f*ck with Orthostereo, DON'T F*CK WITH ORTHOSTEREO, use the player-height and inter-pupil distance provided through the API and don't try and half-arse your own 'calibration' on game start, avoid roatin the world when possible, or snap-turn when necessary (snap-turn, like teleportation, unfortunately interferes with subconscious mapping), and so on. Plenty published on this over the last few years.


    World locomotion is a separate problem, though can also impact comfort: unless you happen to have a space large enough for seamless Redirected Walking (think football-field sized) either you design your game around rooms no larger than the smallest space available to your playerbase (viable for standing and cockpit games), or you need some form of artificial translation. The mechanism of this translation has impacts on both comfort (moving the horizon is an ABSOLUTE no, smooth motion is generally poorly accepted, 'tunnel vision' over smooth motion can help by minimising peripheral movement, teleportation has the most visual comfort but impacts subconscious spatial mapping) and on game design (either knee-high walls magically block teleportation or you need to figure out other ways to restrict player movement). 'Just allow both!' means you have a major difference in locomotion capability which can make game-balance difficult if not impossible even for single-player, let alone for multi-user environments. There is no 'this is the One Twue Way' solution to VR locomotion yet.


    tl;dr 'VR leg' are rarer than assumed, comfort is easy to break and often broken by game design, many problems do not yet have adequate solutions.
     
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  9. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    That's interesting, all reviews I've read seem to favour IPD adjustments rather than Rift S style lenses. Of course, most are tech journalists are probably just comparing spec sheet checkboxes.

    "thou shall not do smooth locomotion" or am I misunderstanding meaning of this?

    I find this to be true. I didn't use snap turn at all when playing HLAlyx, I found it disorinting when playing room scale.

    I've found people seems to have a preferred locomotion. Those are okay with smooth locomotion seems to look down on teleport style (noteably Boneworks museum)

    Shrinking FOV when running is rather stupid. I tried Journey of the Gods demo native on Quest. The shrinking FoV made my sickness feel worse as I am forced to move my head more to look around.

    Which game would you say have good smooth locomotion that could allow one to be an easy time acclimatse?
     
  10. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    It's a non-obvious effect, and one that is difficult to detect even when looking for it.
    If you try and do a 'direct comparison' between HMDs, you'll invariably end up with:
    - The lenses off-axis and looking straight ahead being obviously awful
    - The lenses lines up perfectly (much more difficult than it sounds to de repeatably, due to most faces not being symmetrical), looking straight ahead, and the view being much better
    - The fixed lenses being off-axis, looking straight ahead, and the view being 'worse'

    Which totally makes sense and confirms what you expect (that moving lenses are better than fixed lenses), except your quick switching between HMDs means you've done very little normal usage. Which means you've spent little time actually looking around within the HMD, and missed how the distortion changes as your pupils move off-axis, and changing distortion is really hard to directly compare without the ability to chop two HMDs in half and wear both at the same time.
    Your subconscious picks up on it easily, but it's difficult to detect consciously as your brain tries its damnedest to correct for it as fast as possible (same as when you put on corrective glasses, or wear goggles underwater). The best way I've found is to pick a world fixed object, fixate (stare at) it, and rotate your head around while fixating to 'swish' the object around the field of view while using the VOR (Vestibulo Ocular Reflex) to keep the object in view without saccades disrupting things. This should highlight any squishing of the object as it moves around different parts of the eyebox.
    No HMD is going to be perfect here without 3D pupil tracking and active compensation (or metamaterial optics), but it should highlight the difference between (e.g.) the Vive with it's very small eyebox, and the Rift S with its very large eyebox.

    It doesn't need to be combined with freeroaming locomotion. One of the older (DK1 era) demos was 'slow teleportation' with tunnel-vision in place of blink teleportation. The idea being that it minimises the nausea of freeroaming smooth locomotion, but still provides enough visual stimuli for Place cells to form a coherent map of a space (minimising the spatial disorientation teleportation can produce).
    As someone who has not gained 'VR legs' after a couple of decades of use, the best advice I can offer is that whatever you are using, stop IMMEDIATELY on the slightest hint of discomfort. If you pause early, let your visual and vestibular systems stop arguing and telling your brain you're poisoned, the recovery time is a lot shorter than trying to 'push through' and just feeling ill for a few hours.
     
    Last edited: 6 May 2020
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  11. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Wow, more than a decade and still feel nauseated in some VR!

    This advice of stopping on discomfort is echoed everywhere I look regarding training for "VR legs".

    I've played a bit more in Boneworks. I feel okay if I'm sat down and don't do too much head movement and only walk forward. Climbing monkey bar surprising didn't feel any discomfort. Taking it slowly.
    I'm considering going for a few missed achievements in HL Alyx in room scale and also use smooth locomotion.
     
  12. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    While it hasn't helped much for me, something that has worked for others is that instead of staying seated with smooth locomotion (the 100MPH wheeley-chair effect), stand up and take a single 'step' forward when you push the stick forward, and do not turn while in motion (i.e. go in a straight line, and stop if you need to turn). This seems to help in triggering a 'reverse Broken Escalator effect' and convincing your brain that you moved and are seeing motion so things are OK.
     
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  13. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Ha, I've experienced the broken escalator effect first hand, on a broken escalator.

    This sounds remarkly similar to leaning:
    I've tried Rec Room. Personally, it's not engaging enough for me to spend my precious gaming hours away from wife and kids. I want bespoke experience like HLAlyx, not socalise with randomers.

    I'm going to try leaning and/or step forward in HL Alyx with smooth locomotion tonight, to get the missed achievements.
     
  14. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    Rec Room has a bunch of smaller games baked into it, like paintball, laser tag, weird sports things, free running, frisbee golf, a VR fortnite clone, rock climbing. I agree, talking to random people isn't fun. But there's enough weird stuff there to explore and you'll usually find something you enjoy.

    But Alyx is a much better game and the smooth locomotion is much more tame. I'm not sure if that's better or worse for gaining VR legs, but it's definitely a more polished experience.

    I was running my OG Vive on an i7 2600 and a GTX 1050Ti for a while. That was my HTPC in my living room. I had to turn the settings down in a lot of games, but it worked surprisingly well and is well within the range of affordable.

    Now I have some current gen i5 something-or-other and a 2080Ti. I want my Index running at 120 or 144hz and I don't want to turn the settings down.
     
  15. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    I *think* I have now gained VR legs. ^yay^

    Spent ~11 hours in my second HL Alyx playthrough with smooth locomotion almost exclusively. It's indeed very tame, I'd even go as far as to say HL Alyx is designed to ease newcomers into VR. I can highly recommend this game to get VR legs.

    I'm now well over halfway through Boneworks, just completed the level "Tower", according to list of levels, only a few levels remain. Initially it felt strange, but I'm now very much used to it, I can run, jump and gun all at the same time without feeling nauseated.

    Interestingly, I too got a bit sweaty during tight encounters in Boneworks........ not sure whether it's motion sickness from running and gunning, or just combat was intense and result of sense of immersion.

    I'm running VR with a 8 year old CPU and a 5 years old GPU in a system originally built in 2007 (remember Q6600?) and last upgraded in 2015. On the system, normal background stuff like cloud sync softwares are still running. The old mid-range GPU not only renders, also do x265 encode on-the-fly to wirelessly stream to my VR headset. Total system cost today from ebay? No more than £300 (similar level main components).



    Edit: I've upgraded my system now. Now running r5 3600, 16GB RAM, b550 and 1070 Ti 8GB, all these costed £600 to buy. This puts me at High preset for HL Alyx, max setting for Boneworks. Medium setting for Asgard's Wrath.

    I was running VR on i7 2700k at 4.5 GHz, 16GB RAM, z68 motherboard, GTX 970 4GB slightly overclocked, also had a sound card. The 5 components sold for £282.50, so my estimate of £300 for VR-capable PC is spot on.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jul 2020
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  16. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    I'm late to this but you're the goddamn fount of knowledge on VR, edzieba. Please never stop contributing to these threads.

    Also please write a blog or something about VR technology so we can get our wisdom in one condensed location. I don't know where you get all this stuff. (Industry insider?)
     
  17. Speedo

    Speedo Member

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    I realise this is a somewhat 'older' thread, but I found it very relevant to my VR experience and enjoyed the read.

    I recently picked up a PS4 + VR combo to try it out, VR itself is a great experience (if a little blurry on the PS4), but nausea is never far away. Static games (as above) are fine, but even gentle locomotion (such as Astro Bot) is a struggle. Does anyone have any other recommendations for easing into this, as I'd like to see if I can find my 'VR Legs' before investing in a PC headset.

    Ideally I would like to be able to play Racing Games (I have a wheel & playseat), however I can barely manage a minute on Dirt Rally, Driveclub or GT Sport before I have to pull the headset off and take a break.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jul 2020
  18. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Yeah, although I can manage running and climbing in Boneworks. Dirt Rally is another level, I simply cannot finish any track. I, too, would be interested in any game or tips to ease into VR racing genre.

    I suspect it's the virtual turns that really triggers sickness. FPS type games require you to only turn off lateral senses, most use snap-turning. Whereas racing games require you to turn off both lateral and rotational senses.

    It'll be interesting how Star Wars Squadron manages this with their VR enabled gameplay.
     
  19. Yaka

    Yaka Well-Known Member

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    you should try playing gt sport few mins at a time then slowly increasing the time you play it a friend of mine would throw up now manages around 2 hours of it fine took him a long time and stuff like bone works he can manage it now up to twenty minutes at a time.
     
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  20. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    You have no idea what kind of weird sh!t was going through my mind when I read the thread title.

    Suffice to say, I was geared up and ready to call you a fecking pervert! :hehe:
     

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