VR Adventures

Dave

Staff member
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#1
I figured instead of cluttering up the epic win thread I'd make one all about VR. I was going to make it "Dave's VR Adventures" but if anyone else gets a system or has questions, that would have limited them.

I don't have any videos yet but I will very soon. I even downloaded OBS Studio for this very purpose.

I got an HTC Vive and have the following system specs.

ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
32 GB DDR3-1600 Memory
NVIDIA - Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Western Digital BLACK SERIES 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

All the rest is cheap or easily replaced like the mouse, keyboard, etc. I use a 50' HDTV as my main monitor and a 22" Flatron W2240T monitor as my second that sits off to the side.

So I got my package this morning at about 8:30. There's a lot more in there than I thought there would be, but it was all pretty easy to set up. Only a couple of glitches but thankfully I had the ol' internet to get me going. Here were my issues and their solutions.

  1. At first the system wouldn't acknowledge that the headset was turned on. It gave me red lights but no real indicator as to why. I did get an error message that said that the thing was plugged in to a bad USB port, but I knew that wasn't the case. So I did some digging and found this Reddit thread response by a guy named /u/rainbowparade. In essence, the SteamVR always puts everything in the same place, regardless of where YOU set up the software. And since I put all Steam stuff on my A: drive, my logs and config files were pointing to a non-existent place. I pointed them to A: and suddenly we had green lights everywhere.
  2. The next step were controllers. One went instantly green but the other stayed blue and unworking, even though they were both in the same place. I didn't find a specific thread for this one, but I did find a place in the SteamVR program that fixes this. By SteamVR there's a dropdown button. Click that and choose Devices --> Pair Controller. Bam. Fixed.
And that was it. That's as difficult as it got. Now, I'm very, VERY glad I bought a couple of things that will make my life easier. First were a couple lighting tripods and clips that go with them.



This allows me to set up the VR wherever I want instead of having them bolted to the wall and non-portable. This is important for a couple reasons I'll be getting to soon.

The tripods (as you can see from the Amazon page) have very easy clips that you can use to raise/lower without any trouble and they lock into place and are fairly secure. They aren't the heaviest of equipment, but at $25 for the pair I plan on getting a couple more for safety sake.

2016-07-06 15.07.22.jpg 2016-07-06 15.08.07.jpg

It's important that I got the tripods because there are three ways of using the Vive. Sitting only, standing (very small spaces), and Room Scale. Siting would be just like having any other VR system (like the Oculus). Yeah, you're in VR, but you are still just sitting down and you can't really move around at all. Room Scale is when you take the dimensions of your room and the VR allows you to basically wander in a preset space with warnings and a kind of squared off boundary called Chaperone. And then there's the one I have to use. Standing. My man cave is not big enough to fully take advantage of the Vive. So I am relegated to a fairly small area. I have a rug that I put down that warns me when I'm getting close to the edge.
2016-07-06 15.08.17.jpg

I do have more room in the living room but wanted to explore it a bit myself before I went out there. So far here are my initial reactions.
  • HOLY FUCKING SHIT IS THIS COOL!
  • The Lab (free program) is insanely fun. I played the one where they attacked your castle and you had to fend them off with a bow & arrow. My arms are killing me! I can't wait to get a program for exercising!
Basically, I love everything about this so far, with only two exceptions.
  • The headset does not feel like it's going to stay on very well. Mostly because there's a big fucking wire hanging off the back of it. But you get used to that fairly quickly.
  • What's NOT so easy to get used to is the fact that I have to keep my glasses on. I wear bifocals. Please note that you need to have clear near-vision to see very well. I keep having to crane my neck up so that I'm looking through the bottom part of my lenses. I'm going to have to go get some reading glasses so that I won't have to keep continually readjusting. This is kind of a big problem as too much usage gives me a headache. Not because of the VR but because of the bifocals. I have this trouble in real life as well, but in VR it's comstant, which makes a difference.
All in all I love this thing and am going to be possibly using it as a gimmick for my entertainment company. Post proms would LOVE this, as long as I can find a way to turn it into a team game. I think I already know how I'm going to do this, but I need more testing to make sure it's viable.

So look for some videos to be popping up hopefully soonish. I would have taken some when I first started playing with it, but I was so excited I forgot to hit record...
 
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#3
When you do go the upgrade route, your single biggest benefit will probably come from replacing your boot drive with an SSD. The fastest (affordable) ones are about 400-500GB right now, but more should show up on the market by the time you're ready to upgrade.
Also remember that when you do finally get around to replacing your MLB and CPU, you're going to have to replace the RAM as well, since most modern stuff is moving to DDR4 now. On the other hand, you might be able to sell your old MLB/CPU/RAM as a combo deal or repurpose it all with your old GPU and slower HDD as a complete second spare computer.

--Patrick
 

Dave

Staff member
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#4
It'll be years now before I upgrade again.
 
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#5
That's what I say, too, and yet I still build a new system for myself about every 6-8 years. They just take 2-3 years to build, that's all.

--Patrick
 

Dave

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#7
List of games I have and my initial thoughts on them:
  • Big Screen Beta - Didn't know whether to go with this or Virtual Desktop. I went with this one because it's free and because the other one doesn't work with the Vive controllers yet. It's okay. Typing is a pain in the ass but I'm new to it, so who knows. It's like having a moving movie screen in your face.
  • Elite Dangerous - Doesn't work with Vive controllers. So it would be sort of VR but not in first person, I guess and I'd have to use the keyboard and mouse. Not exactly immersive. I will try it out later.
  • Fantastic Contraption - I suck at these kinds of games. You know, where you build things to take a target from point A to point B over and around obstacles. I'm not cut out to be an engineer, it seems. Could be fun but the challenge ratings go over my head quickly.
  • Job Simulator - I want to try this one but it takes Room Scale, so I'm going to have to wait until I'm in the living room for this one.
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes - Party game. Need at least two people. And nobody wanted to play tonight. :(
  • The Lab - NOW we're talking! A free game by Valve that would probably be able to make them a killing. This has a lot of cool stuff but the only thing that's really got replayability is the bow & arrow one - and there's a separate game that does this that I might just pick up. Still, it's free and really shows what the Vive can do.
  • Portal Stories: VR - If you have Portal 2 (and you SHOULD have Portal 2!) you can get this game for free. Basically, it's Portal 2 style puzzles in VR. And that's just cracking wonderful.
  • Tabletop Simulator - I haven't done this on in VR yet. Probably going to play with it tomorrow.
  • Tilt Brush - This one is seriously cool if I could utilize it properly. It's another one that needs Room Scale to really shine. I mean, I can play it and it's neat, but not being able to fully walk around your creation makes this one dull a bit. Plus I have no artistic ability, so...
  • Waltz of the Wizard - This one is seriously cool, if not kind of limited. You can do all sorts of stuff in it and I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface of it, but essentially you are a wizard who cooks up potions and stuff like that. You can make things fly, you can throw stuff around the room, you can shoot cute little mice with a crossbow. Again, maybe not the best replayability, but it's good for showcasing to people.
  • Rec Room - You'll notice I saved this one until the end. The rest were in alphabetical order but this one needs to go last, because...wow. This free game is an automatic multiplayer game that has to be seen to be believed. Again, the games themselves might not have high replay value, but in the short time I played it I:
  • Got into a dart fight with another guy.
  • Played Frisbee golf (terribly) with three other people.
  • Had someone put a basket over my head so I couldn't see until someone took it off.
  • Played dodgeball (terribly).
  • All the while we were talking to each other and laughing. The social aspect of it was quite fun.
I'm looking to next get a couple games that I really want to try like Vanishing Realms (Action RPG) and Pool Nation (pool and air hockey)! I also have Vivecraft (Minecraft in VR) but I haven't fired it up yet.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#9
It's not like real jobs, you nut.

I hate this guy's voice, but...

 

Dave

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#13
Vivecraft. Holy fucking shit. Minecraft in VR. It's kind of amazing. And free if you already own Minecraft. But if you are afraid of heights you're fucked because your mind doesn't quite process that you are NOT 30 blocks high.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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#14
Vivecraft. Holy fucking shit. Minecraft in VR. It's kind of amazing. And free if you already own Minecraft. But if you are afraid of heights you're fucked because your mind doesn't quite process that you are NOT 30 blocks high.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Related, I really want to try this:

 

Dave

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#15
That would fucking slay me. I mean, I climbed up a tree in Minecraft to reach the higher parts to mine and then wanted to go back down. But in this version, even if you destroy a block below you, you don't fall. So I was suspended really high and my gut just clenched.

Also, swimming is nearly impossible unless I'm missing something. To Google!
 

Dave

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#17
You won't use most of them.

Welcome to the VR master race.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#21
I'm nearsighted as well and I have to wear mine or I can't see. Nothing I do makes it clear.
 

Dave

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#24
Have you found a good way to record what you see? I've tried a few programs and they either don't work or record in "stereo-vision".[DOUBLEPOST=1469573569,1469573561][/DOUBLEPOST]And it's awesome, isn't it?
 
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#25
Have you found a good way to record what you see? I've tried a few programs and they either don't work or record in "stereo-vision".[DOUBLEPOST=1469573569,1469573561][/DOUBLEPOST]And it's awesome, isn't it?

It is super awesome. It is not perfect, the resolution of the actual displays is low compared to most PC gaming standards, and anti-aliasing doesn't seem to work in 3D, but honestly it doesn't matter. Once things start moving, your brain just accepts it and it looks amazing.


As for recording, you can set up mirror visual and audio in the steamvr settings, and just mirror it to your monitor, and then record that stream. I've done this so friends and family can watch while someone is in the vive and see what they're seeing, although the flat image in no way does justice to what it looks like in full VR.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#28
Oh, I haven't recorded shit.
Well I've mirrored to let people see what's happening, I just haven't been able to record anything even using OBS. When I use OBS I get nothing but black screens.
 
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#29
Well I've mirrored to let people see what's happening, I just haven't been able to record anything even using OBS. When I use OBS I get nothing but black screens.
Have you tried using shadowplay? You can go into the options and set it to record screen
 
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#34
"My brain is telling me if I reach out, I will feel cold white metal"

This is exactly what the Vive does, and why it makes it difficult to explain to people without just putting it on them. Watching it on a flat display is nothing like actually being in the experience.
 
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