VR Headsets....

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VR Headsets....

rogue518
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Post by rogue518 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:25 am

Ok, I will be the firsts to ask, what VR headset works with X-wing Alliance?. Do I need to get an expensive one?

(1) How do you use it?

(2) Could I use a keyboard and mouse?

Just need some input on the subject.... :D

Sincerely, Rogue518
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Driftwood
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Post by Driftwood » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:44 am

rogue518 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:25 am
Ok, I will be the firsts to ask, what VR headset works with X-wing Alliance?. Do I need to get an expensive one?

(1) How do you use it?

(2) Could I use a keyboard and mouse?
1. You put it on your face.
2. You can use whatever interface controls that you want (of course XWA uses joystick, durr durr mer dee hur); caveat is obviously you can't see your interfaces so you need to be able to access whatever buttons or controls by touch sense or voice commands* alone. Actually, voice commands would be both an immersive and functional hands free input for use with VR controllers.

*Go look up Voice Attack, you can program keybinds or macros to it to respond to chosen voice commands. It's reasonably priced, and I've used it with much success with Elite Dangerous combined with the HCS voice packs (your ship AI talks back to you).
https://voiceattack.com/
https://www.hcsvoicepacks.com/


Concievably, and maybe I'll make up a profile eventually that has Astromech beep boop bops that play on success (understood/correctly spoken) /fail (misspoken/missunderstood) of voice commands.

EG. R2DPoo set shields aft. R2DPoo shields at increased charge.

The game would using the examples above push (default keys for Eg) S twice so shields are full rear, and F10 twice to set an increased recharge rate. The AI would respond with whatever positive .wave/mp3, whatever file and keypress(es)if you spoke correctly, or negative wave/mp3 file if you misspoke with no keypress(es) at all.


Allegedly STEAM VR looks like it's the "best value" for PC users.

https://www.pcmag.com/article/342537/th ... r-headsets

I don't know why these are still so expensive. This clocks in at 600 bucks basically.

That said, you're going to need an amazing computer to be able to use VR headsets. Using Elite Dangerous as an example, though this concept generally applies to all games in VR.
Here are the minimum system specs you'll need, straight from Frontier:

OS: Windows 7/8/10 64 bit

Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K Quad Core CPU or better / AMD FX 4350 Quad Core CPU or better

Memory: 16 GB RAM

Graphics: Nvidia GTX 980 with 4GB or better

Network: Broadband Internet Connection

Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
Unsurprisingly the system requirements for Elite Dangerous in VR take a big jump from what you need to run the game normally. Minimum RAM goes from 4 to 16 GB, while your graphics needs soar from a GeForce GTX 260 to a 980. As we've previously heard, the graphical demands of virtual reality are even greater than many gamers realize, especially for a game as complex as Elite Dangerous.
Also some min specs for Occulus Rift
NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
8GB+ RAM
Windows 7 SP1 or newer
2x USB 3.0 ports
HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture
And the Steam VR specs
Here are the SteamVR System Requirements (Minimum)
CPU: Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
CPU SPEED: Info
RAM: 4 GB
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later, Windows 10
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better
PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 4096 MB
SteamVR Recommended Requirements
CPU: Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
CPU SPEED: Info
RAM: 4 GB
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later, Windows 10
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, AMD Radeon RX 480 equivalent or better
PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 4096 MB
If you're just looking for, or open to utilizing headtracking which honestly is super nice in and of itself in XWA, any flight sim game that is supported, and several others (ARMA series, DayZ, ect) Track IR is pretty easy on the system as well as the budget clocking in at 169.99 for the Trackclip Pro model (don't waste time on the others, the LED headset is better than jury rigging a work around or using the terrible hat-clip with reflective tape; the pro clip is more precise and it's only 35 bucks of value included in the Pro package price which nets you a slight discount on buying separately), and on the budget comparatively to a 600+ dollar headset, some seem to be selling in the 1k+ USD range.

System specs are only
TrackIR 3 Series hardware or newer
Windows Vista or newer
60 megabytes of free hard disk space
Granted, it's not VR but it's significantly cheaper and gets you the same functionality of head tracking of course without the shiny VR display.
https://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/


I'd love to use VR for XWA myself, but I have a few other 600+ dollar purchases that are a bit more important if and when I have the money.

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Post by rogue518 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:48 am

Thanks Driftwood... for the detailed explanation... :D I also have a capable PC system, here are my specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.7GHz Turbo

AS Rock Fatality Z370 Professional Gaming 6/ or AS Rock Z390 Phanton Gaming 9

Vengeance RGB 24GB RAM (I know overkill but hey.... :) )

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC Gaming, 8GB GDDR6, Dual HDB Fans & RGB LED Graphics Card

Cooler Master HAF-X Case

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

I do have a Network: Broadband Internet Connection


Oh... I built the PC myself.... ;)

I still would like to get a VR system.... will check into it.

Sincerely, Rogue518
Last edited by rogue518 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ual002
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Post by ual002 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:01 am

I swear by track IR but am still a little interested in VR eventually.
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Post by blue_max » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:58 am

There's one thing you should know before you buy any VR headset: SteamVR imposes a hard constraint on the max frames per second. They have their reasons and they're good; but that means that no matter what you do, your experience will be capped at 90fps. However, I usually see it dropping to 45fps or even ~15fps when the screen is too busy. Right now, the only way to fix this is by rewriting ddraw to be multithreaded... and that's not going to happen any time soon (or probably never, actually, since making it multithreaded may cause even more trouble). This problem affects *all* PC headsets (Vive, Oculus, Pimax and pretty much anything they can make in the future because the problem is in the SteamVR layer).

The PSVR on the other hand can be used as a second monitor so you don't need SteamVR and your performance will not be capped. I can easily achieve ~100fps with this method on my Surface Book 2. The caveat is that the PSVR has lower resolution than other VR headsets. On the other hand, the PSVR is also cheaper. The PSVR doesn't have positional tracking, so you'll need additional hardware to achieve that. I use a couple of PS3 Eye cameras, ping pong balls and LEDs. It cost me only $20-$30.

So, do you want a better resolution but lower framerate? Or better performance; but lower resolution and a little bit of hacking?

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Post by rogue518 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:35 am

blue_max… out of curiosity, what system do you use? Thanks for the advice.... SteamVR was not an option for me since I use GOG for X-wing Alliance and other Lucas Art games. @ual002 you say you use TrackIR? if you can explain what it is, or you too blue_max I kind of looked it up, but I prefer to hear it from someone's own experience.

Sincerely, Rogue518
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Post by Harriscot » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:25 am

I'm guessing you need a really good rig to be able to hit the FPS cap on the SteamVR set. Or is that no longer the case?

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Post by ual002 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:04 pm

I identified a need for head tracking hardware well after thinking I was done with XWA in late 2000ish. In simulation flight sim titles, say based on WWII like IL-2, where there is no locking radar or anything and most of your combat is done by seeing the enemy before they see you and keeping your eyes on them, I recognized a need to find a smarter way to move my head in game other than a joystick 4 way pad.

Track IR is a headset or hat mounted system that is observed by an IR camera placed on you monitor that interprets LED or reflective tape patterns as you move your head, into controller inputs. Most flight and sim games in the 2000 era began baking in support for track IR as an additional input device.

So basically I wear the gear, turn on the camera software and when I move my head it sees that movement, and then I can adjust much of the sensitivity settings. If centered and configured correctly it is highly accurate and takes very little time to get used to. Once you do you can't go back, and having this functionality in XWA is quite frankly ground breaking and still has me gobsmacked. I cant imagine how many dead threads about Track IR support are probably in this forum pre Blue-Max.

VR is my next logical step, but seeing as I have Track IR, I have less motivation to make the jump, considering I have an adequate solution right now.
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Post by rogue518 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:18 pm

blue_max and ual002 I have to admit I am kind of sold on TrackIR for budget reasons..... looked at a few youtube videos, I think I will be getting this in the near future... :) @ual002 I would love to have a VR system in the future also... but they cost too much. I am going to order a new joystick this Saturday..Thrustmaster 16000M FCS Hotas ( currently have a Logitech Force 3D Pro, upgrading a bit .... :) ). Then I will get the TrackIR
thanks guys... your thoughts would be appreciated.... :D

Sincerely, Rogue518
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Post by ual002 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:25 pm

I say track IR is a good tech to get started with, its pretty universal as far as flight and combat sims go, and very intuitive. The pluses include not being blind to the real world, allowing you to see your keyboard and stick, in addition to it being clipped to say just a headset, walking away for a few moments isn't a whole ordeal, and depending on your setup, completely wireless.

I'll probably swear by VR some day, in fact Ive been finding more videos of realistic mil-sim style FPS games and flight sims, so my itch to try VR is even getting bigger.

My point is they are two different technologies, both useful for thier own thing and ultimately having both (to choose from, depending on your mood) is probably not a bad idea.
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Post by rogue518 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:20 pm

ual002 wrote:
The pluses include not being blind to the real world, allowing you to see your keyboard and stick,
And the was the key point ual002 … :)

I can still use my stick, keyboard and mouse. From what I gathered with the VR system it would be hard to do.... not impossible but hard.

Sincerely, Rogue518
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Post by Turgidson » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:57 pm

VR indeed makes keyboard usage impossible. You'd need enough buttons on your stick/throttle (and setup combos), anduse voice commands (like Voice Attack) as a complement.

Second-hand VR sets aren't that expensive, though. A PSVR could be found at around $/€100, plus software to run on a PC (Trinus or iVRy). Carboard + additional software (like Trinus, iVRy) might work too. The main issue being the lack of support with Trinus, the developper isn't very responsive these days (last version is buggy as hell and never got patched, you'd need to hunt for an older version).

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Post by Trevor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:06 pm

I use the Oculus Rift and I have no problems using the keyboard, mouse and joystick.

The steam VR layer is compatible with any steamvr client - eg blue-max's ddraw.dll (GOG game makes no difference, ddraw is the client)

I have gotten used to using the steamvr layer for both input and display, but blue's comments above got me thinking about something I might try to improve framerates

Trev

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Post by blue_max » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:13 pm

Turgidson wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:57 pm
VR indeed makes keyboard usage impossible.
That's why I'm working on the Active Cockpit project ;)

Just to be clear, SteamVR is not related to the Steam Version of XWA. Just like Trevor said, SteamVR/OpenVR is a software layer that allows your PC to talk to any VR headset. I run the GoG version using SteamVR too.

Also, no matter how good your PC, you *will* get performance issues with SteamVR/OpenVR because the API forces the developer to call a blocking function on every frame. This blocking function won't return control to the game until the next V-Sync. This is fine when your game is multithreaded because only the renderer thread gets blocked and the rest of the engine can continue to compute the next frame. XWA, however, is not multithreaded, so the game gets blocked behind this call on every frame. This is very irritating if you have a very powerful PC because you'll still get ~15-30fps on busy frames no matter how much hardware you throw at the game. Although, to be fair, I get ~45fps on average using SteamVR, so that's not too bad.

@Trevor, let me know if you can find ways to increase the performance of the game under SteamVR. I always find your input very useful.

On the other hand the PSVR doesn't have this restriction. I can play on my laptop (GeForce 1060, Core i7) and get ~100fps without problems. I do have to wear a silly ping-pong ball on my headset; but I'm fine with that :P

TrackIR is a very fine option too -- and that reminds me that I should release the 5dof hook for that.

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Post by ual002 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:20 am

blue_max wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:13 pm
TrackIR is a very fine option too -- and that reminds me that I should release the 5dof hook for that.
*Fingerguns*
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Post by keiranhalcyon7 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:13 am

Hmm, that's irritating. Does this SteamVR blocking call return any necessary info, or otherwise alter state in some way that needs to be read back after it returns?

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Post by blue_max » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:17 am

This is a blocking call to intentionally sync with the HMD presenting images; but it also returns the hand poses and -- most importantly -- sets the focus to the caller app. Without this call, nothing will be presented on the HMD. This is the call in question:

https://github.com/ValveSoftware/openvr ... itGetPoses

If you search the web, you'll see people complaining about its "poor performance"; but there's a good reason to make it a blocking call: it should be used to implement the Running Start Algorithm. But this only makes sense if your game logic and the renderer run on different threads...

I don't know, maybe there's a clever way to fix this; but I haven't figured it out yet. I'm open to suggestions, though :)

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