So this came today:
I mostly knew what to expect. Michael Goodfellow wrote pretty extensively about his experience with the device. I count myself very lucky that I’m not nearsighted like himI only need to wear my glasses when I’m going to be driving or otherwise leaving the house. so I don’t need to worry about cramming a set of glasses inside the headset. This process is complex enough as it is.
It works like this:
You’ve got the headset itself. It has a cable that runs to a splitter, which has wires that go into an HDMI port (the “monitor” cable) and a USB port. You also have a camera that needs to sit atop your monitor so it can track your head movements. It has two more wires. One of them goes into the splitter box and the other goes to USB. The last piece of this Rube Goldberg contraption is a power cable that runs from the splitter to a wall outletSo the splitter has a total of 3 inputs and 2 outputs..
My desk is already home to my computer, my second monitor, my wife’s computer, the printer, the household routerWith several RJ45 cables running to machines elsewhere., the cable modem, a midi keyboard, the hookups for my digital camera, plus the many accouterments for all of the above: speakers, game controllers, headphones, etc. Adding the Rift to this mess seems like asking for trouble. I’m assuming that the consumer version of this thing will eliminate one or two of these cablesMaybe limit it to one USB plug, and one cable to the camera instead of two..
The main demo people use is the Tuscany demo. (Pictured above.) It has a pretty slow walking speed for a viedogame. Without the Rift, I was constantly holding sprint. WITH the Rift, I really wanted a SLOWER walk speed. Part of the problem is that there’s no acceleration, so the moment you tap the forward key you’re moving at a brisk walk, which feels too abrupt. I was content to move around the house at normal speed and didn’t experience the same impatience you feel in a typical game. It’s interesting how freely you can switch between these two. The moment I take the headset off, I’m mashing down the sprint again. It’s not that moving fast in VR makes me sick (although it doesn’t feel good) it’s just that moving slowly in VR feels better.
Stairs do not feel good. Again, I feel like I’m moving much too fast. I wanted some kind of modulation of speed as I began ascending and descending steps. The stairs are treated as a ramp, which is good. That’s the only correct way to handle steps in VRIn real life, your brain cancels out the yo-yo head bob you experience as you climb steps, so it feels basically smooth. but abrupt change in vertical motion when beginning or ending a stair-climb was uncomfortable.
I really want to start working on my own VR stuff, but I can’t. A couple of weeks ago I agreed to help out a friend with a game he was working on. The stuff he wanted me to do was dead simple and I didn’t think it would be a big deal. But he’s using Visual Studio 2012 Professional and I’m using Visual Studio 2010 Express. (The free version.) There are some radical changes in VS between these two versions, including some significant additions to the C++ language itself. So I thought I’d just install VS 2012 Express and everything would be okay.
My basic problem here was that I began this task with the expectation that what I was trying to do would be – or at least SHOULD be – easy. So I didn’t treat this task with the respect it deserved. I didn’t take note of the changes I made, I didn’t carefully document the errors I was getting, and I didn’t make backups. I just jumped from one action to the next, always expecting that the problems would sort themselves out any second now.
The upshot here is that I think I broke my install of Visual Studio. Not only can I still not work on my friend’s code, but I can’t work on my own code, either.
Then just to seal the deal I got fed up and rage-quit after a couple of hours and lied to myself that I’d come back “in a bit” and sort this out. Instead I bought Magix Music Maker and spent all my creative time making music.
So now it’s been weeks and I’ve forgotten what I did and where I left off. I strongly suspect that I need to uninstall one or both versions of VS to sort this out. I haven’t even explained to my friend where it all went wrong, and I’m very much wishing I could time-travel back to that one afternoon of foolish half-assery and prevent it from happening.
Which is to say: I can’t write code right now and I have a big mess waiting to be cleaned up when I finally go back to coding.
In any case, the Rift is a very interesting experience. As others have said, this isn’t going to replace traditional gaming in any way. This is something new. It’s fun, it’s stimulating, but to make it work we’re going to have to come up with new kinds of games. I enjoy the Rift, but when I’m in a VR world I have no urge to bunny-hop around and shoot people.
 I only need to wear my glasses when I’m going to be driving or otherwise leaving the house.
 So the splitter has a total of 3 inputs and 2 outputs.
 With several RJ45 cables running to machines elsewhere.
 Maybe limit it to one USB plug, and one cable to the camera instead of two.
 In real life, your brain cancels out the yo-yo head bob you experience as you climb steps, so it feels basically smooth.
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