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SherlockHolmes

Virtual Reality support?

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I did a search but only found one hostile answer telling someone to try search (Why bother to respond?), which otherwise didn't reveal anything.

 

I saw there is a demo of SB VR, but was wondering if it was planning to make it's way into PE?

 

Thanks

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Well, I guess the relevant search term would be "Oculus".

 

In short, No, it won't happen.

  • We cannot guarantee stable 90 frames per second
  • Would be immersive, but not necessarily useful; sole exception: Vehicle commanders
  • Requires rebuilding 3D vehicle interiors
  • No discernible use in the training domain; if at all it would be an exclusive feature for the Personal Edition, and most likely a severe and misguided distraction from our "real" work. eSim Games, despite the name, is first and foremost a simulation based training company.

So - training value is the litmus test for all our development, then the cost vs effect ratio (very high, in this case). We give preference to what's most useful for mopst customers.

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Adding to why current VR is no suitable for SBP: VR images are blurry, compared to monitor picture quality. The deeper you look into the distance of the virtual space, the blurrier it gets. I just have started with VR, and for the purposes I use it for, I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it. But VR does not work with just everything in games, simulations, software. A TC standing in the turret and looking at the landscape trying to see an enemy 1 km away hiding in the forest, most likely will see nothing there, just a green blurriness.

 

With today's consumer VR technology and displays and used fresnel lenses, VR in SBP simpy will not work well. You will see sufficient detail in the imminent vicinity of the tank, and at 10-15 meters you maybe even will be able to read written letters on signs, if they are big enough.  Planes in IL2-Battle for Stalingrad stand out from the blue background of empty sky, but are so featureless at ranges beyond 100m that you could not identify them, and at a kilometer they start to dissolve almost, still - IL2 and VR works well if you switch on labels. But a tank at 1 km, and not having contrasting background behind him, but the cluttered green and and brown and shadows of the ground - no way to play this reasonably.

 

The resolution of the displays would be okay, its is the fresnel lenses that widen the perceived field of view and also move the virtual image "away" from the eyes that do the damage here. The display sits two cm or so before your eyes, but the lenses project it in such a way that the focus the eyes adapt to is roughly an arm's length away. As long as you need to do this by Fresnel lenses, I see no escape from  the tradeoffs in image quality. You could do it by prisms or such things, I assume, but that would increase the size of the box on your face, and its weight.

 

Beyond that, if you have a beefy system, try VR. Used with the right software stuff, it is a BLAST and a real game changer like there has been none in the past 20 years or so. Racing sims are not what they used to be to ma anymore. Google Earth VR is a wonder of beauty and amazement. The free demos Air Car and Robo Recall show what is possible to trigger in physical reactions in people. That I start to sweat and breath a bit heavier when playing table tennis with  natural movements shows how convincing the illusion can be (I even suffer the same mistakes I did in reality). And what amazes me most is: they managed to have almost zero latency times. No latency you could notice. How they did that really would interest me. I never had a computer - including my new and extremely fast current one - with such low latency times, not a single racing sim where there is not a minor, unobstrusive, but perceivable delay between movement of the FFB wheel, and the virtual wheel in the game. In Oculus, moving the paddle or racket or golf club: zero latency that would be perceivable to my eyes.

Edited by Skybird03

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I too am having a blast with VR. I’m using Sony’s version and although it’s the weakest of the three big name sets it performs well. Sony is currently using OLED for its screens which will be the best choice as the future versions are developed and released. I spent last night hammering the demons of hell in ID’s Doom VR lol. I think the reason for such consistent frame rates may be due to a decrease in resolution. Really enjoying virtual reality at the moment. 

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VR for flight sims is simply outstanding, particularly DCS and il2 BOS. Once used you cant go back to even TIR. But I agree, I dont think it adds anything to the SteelBeast experience at this particular time. That will no doubt change as the technolgy does.

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yes, VR is pretty damn poor resolution wise currently. made a small uzi shooting game, and you can barely even make out targets at 50 meters. 

Edited by dejawolf

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Perfectly understandable the reasons were given for not implementing VR in this sim. Like others have said it really is outstanding in stuff like DCS. I have had my Oculus for 6 months now and the buzz of being inside the cockpit and flying around still blows me away. I've heard 4k for VR is just around the corner. Dream come true.

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VR really needs 4K can't stand the pixilation dots that I clearly see in my OR.

 

Glad this one is sticking to non VR...  Agreed the sharpness needs to be there in observing distant targets.

 

VR isn't the perfect situation for every game.

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I don't see a reason to be glad that SB isn't moving towards VR (yet?), as long as it would remain optional.

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I could see SB being a fantastic VR-title in the future.

- The interiors,

- The outdoors,

- Situation awareness,

- The pace,

- The action.

Some complex parts of SB that has to be developed, but I personally feel it is a very suitable concept for VR. That being said, it may have to wait for a massive development effort (just speculating), new approach/engine(s) etc.

I do DCS, IL2, AC, ED, Bridge Crew and Lunar Flight in VR.

 

Edited by Ingolf

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Rumours say 4k displays could come to VR in late 2018 already, both HTC and Pimax seem to work on them. What that would mean for image quality imporvmeent you can see in the second (anmated) illustration in this text, pretty much at the top.

 

https://vr-world.com/htc-vive-2-neue-virtual-reality-brille-2018-4k-display-samsung/

 

There would be a clear improvement, if this illustration is real, and still, at large distances it still would prevent you from seeing as tiny details as you are used to pay attention to in SBP when triyng to scan for the enemy. Already zoomed in by binos or tele-optics may work, but the bare eye trying to spot the turret of a IFV hiding between trees 1800 meters away? No way.

 

I am not convinced that games will be the driving force behind the future success of VR, but its possible, and I am quziote certain that VR this time has come to stay for sure. Eventually display and lens technology will have advanced that much that the issues SBP now would have with it, will be no more issues at all. But we are not yet there. Two years minimum, I guess.

 

Since the industry' course for better displays seems to be certain, i recommend to go with cheaper VR sets now if now is the time you want to dive into it, namely Oculus. It costs 450 Euros, compared to 700 Euros for HTC's base pack. That way your loss is smaller if you go with a later headset again in two or three years, depending on when 4K will be available for the price of today'S Oculus. Becasue now that I hgave one set, I have no intention to spend more money on a new one then what I have spend right now: 450-500 Euros. IMO Oculus also has the better image quality over HTC.

 

In how far PC specs will be tackled by higher resolution VR sets, remains to be seen. I expect to see that the minimum specs for gfx boards needed will rise and minimum cards that now work will no longer work with the new ones. Probably only today'S higher end cards will be sufficient.

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3 hours ago, Ingolf said:

I could see SB being a fantastic VR-title in the future.

- The interiors,

 

As Ssnake himself already said, they would need to redo all the interiors - and this for a studio of their size. Quite a task. While technically it is possible to be done, I do not really wait for it to happen.

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I can imagine one of the biggest thresholds is the FPS and SB being quite heavy on CPU. It has to deliver steady 45/90FPS (or more for future technology?) and at the same time carry out all the calculations. But we sure are a bunch around here that could assist with a VR-beta-branch when/if SB feels it's ready to go down that road.

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As Ssnake said: it won't happen. ;)  He may change his mind one day, but I think that time is still several years away. Many years, most likely. If ever.


Just saying. Just to motivate you to control your enthusiasm. eSim is no game developer, the focus and contract obligations that really pay for their bills demand them to set different priorities.

 

Small expectations - small disappointments. Big expectations - big disappointments. No expectations - no disappointments: just the cozy feeling of having been right. :D

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6 hours ago, Ssnake said:

as long as it would remain optional.

 

Exactly, I certainly wont be advocating replacing 100s (1000s ?) of PCs to accommodate it.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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Skybird, no need to dampen my enthusiasm. I know perfectly well what's going on.

The demand for VR-development might even (some day, if not already) come from the professional military environment. Something I'd ask for if I was head of education in a SIM-department. No pain, no gain - and esim should know about it. Whether or not it's a good investment - today - is up to esim to decide. We, as personal users, can only benefit from it if development takes this direction.

 

If there's no demand for VR in the military industry, fine!

I'll use my personal gear for DCS (and other development branches) and continue enjoying SBproPE for what it is - namely a superb desktop simulator!

 

 

 

Edited by Ingolf

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Demands coming form  their military customers, can be pricetagged by eSim accordingly (as long as they have not already been covered by past contracts). This then would allow eSim to assess whether they have the capacity to carry out the order or to refuse it, or what it would cost them to enable themselves to cvarry out the task. We gamers probably cannot offer than ammount of financial incentive. Our share in their income is most probably too low. 

 

 

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Of course our (personal desktop users) share is too low. We're just a few riding the waves. :D And I have absolutely nothing to say about that but "THANKS" eSim for providing the personal desktop version. (Well, not really true, I've asked for the ability to create maps using GIS-data in the PE-version, since I'm a GIS-developer myself).

 

I don't think that the VR discussion is out of place here, but expect little until pressure comes from the industry...

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ingolf said:

Skybird,

The demand for VR-development might even (some day, if not already) come from the professional military environment. Something I'd ask for if I was head of education in a SIM-department.

 

Refer my earlier post.

 

Just because its "nice to have" it needs a bit more justification (Training Needs Analysis, etc.) before most Defence organisations spend a lot of tax payers money on buying new machines, etc. Especially in an environment of constrained defence budgets.

 

We primarly use SB as a constructive sim to train and test trainee's plans (i.e you are the Platoon / Cbt Team / Battle Group commander) and spend 90% of your time in the map view or maybe F8. We don't use it much for crew training - since usually the vehicles come with their own Crew Proceedural Trainers as part of the purchase).

 

Here we have several Sim Centres, each with near enough to 100 PCs each and a couple of mobile sets.

 

If they needed to be replaced / upgraded to run VR we'd need to spend a bucket of money that wasn't forecast for. We'd also need to buy a swag of the VR sets to make it worthwhile (you can't give 1 in 5 PCs a set of the gear).

 

In addition most equipment bought has a product life cycle so if we bought gear today it may well be 2020 before its due to be replaced. That means that a hardware refresh is at best 3yrs away.

 

Then you also have the copies we are allowed to put on soldier's personal computers - requiring them to spend their own money for VR sets would meet with a fair bit of resistance.

 

Basically what sounds like a great idea at the individiual level may not scale up that weel to the organisational one.

 

Of course other countries may have a different view.

 

Edited by Gibsonm
Typos

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Lets face it, VR is in its infancy.  Obviously there will come a day when the hardware is flawless and software will struggle to keep pace, just like now with cutting edge PC’s. How long will it take? Years, but by the time it’s mainstream and accepted technology the price point should come down due to consumer demand. It’s just a matter of time. I remember when quad core tech was the stuff of dreams and now look, smart phones are going beyond that.

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While I would love the option to play Steel Beasts Pro PE in VR, I have yet to spend much time looking around the 3d interiors. Unlike flight sims, I saw very little gain when TrackIR support was added. As a game, I am largely looking through a gunsight or controlling units from a 2d map. So, I understand why it is not cost effective to support VR. The present resolution of Oculus Rift and its competitors is unacceptable for combat sims which require visually detecting and indentifying contacts. DCS World is a great VR experience for flying, especially helicopters which showcase the benefits of a huge field of view in the vertical as well as the horizontal and 1:1 head tracking in a 1:1 scaled cockpit/world environment. But the resolution limits of the current VR technology make combat flying tedious at best. It is like going from Steel Beasts Pro PE at 1080p back to the original Steel Beasts at 800x600. Hopefully VR succeeds and continues improving until the field of view exceeds the limits of human peripheral vision and the resolution exceeds that of the human eye. Of course, for that to happen, PC cpus and gpus need to keep making big leaps forward, too. I hope to see that in my lifetime or better yet in the very near future so I can enjoy it a while.

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On 25.12.2017 at 3:01 AM, streakeagle said:

While I would love the option to play Steel Beasts Pro PE in VR, I have yet to spend much time looking around the 3d interiors. Unlike flight sims, I saw very little gain when TrackIR support was added. As a game, I am largely looking through a gunsight or controlling units from a 2d map. So, I understand why it is not cost effective to support VR. The present resolution of Oculus Rift and its competitors is unacceptable for combat sims which require visually detecting and indentifying contacts. DCS World is a great VR experience for flying, especially helicopters which showcase the benefits of a huge field of view in the vertical as well as the horizontal and 1:1 head tracking in a 1:1 scaled cockpit/world environment. But the resolution limits of the current VR technology make combat flying tedious at best. It is like going from Steel Beasts Pro PE at 1080p back to the original Steel Beasts at 800x600. Hopefully VR succeeds and continues improving until the field of view exceeds the limits of human peripheral vision and the resolution exceeds that of the human eye. Of course, for that to happen, PC cpus and gpus need to keep making big leaps forward, too. I hope to see that in my lifetime or better yet in the very near future so I can enjoy it a while.

 

1. The Rift has 1080 x 1200 per eye (in sum 2160 x 1200). It's just a few years ago that i played on a 22' tft with 1280 x1024. So if your theory is true than simgaming wasn't possible then. 

2. The cv1-version of the rift is the first consumer version. Cv2 with a much higher resolution will come in 2019 maybe earlier. From my point of view: If you want to prepare your software for that "revolution" then you have to make strategic decisions NOW. 

3. The benefit of it all? Well, not on the tactical side (for that i'm playing a lot of "ugly" looking 2d hex-based wargames and have a lot of fun). But on the sim side: Immersion and the look (and feel) of beeing inside a tank and manage the systems would be a complete different story.

4. I played DCS since its first module. On my opinion VR is/will be a sim-gamechanger. 

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the Problem for esims field of work, between the desktoptrainer and a cabin trainer... VR does not add any benefit. 

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10 hours ago, Haferja said:

1. The Rift has 1080 x 1200 per eye (in sum 2160 x 1200). It's just a few years ago that i played on a 22' tft with 1280 x1024. So if your theory is true than simgaming wasn't possible then.

 

Access violation in basic logic module, Error 101:

  1. The Rift displays a horizontal field of view of about 160° where on the standard monitor Steel Beasts would use about 100°.
  2. Next, you must not simply add the two horizontal displays' resolution - because you're rendering a stereoscopic view. That means, BOTH displays need to cover 160° FoV with their 1200 pixels.
  3. Therefore each pixel in a Rift subtends an angle of 160°:1200px = 0.1333° per pixel (horizontally)
  4. On your CRT example we have 100°:1280px = 0.0781° per pixel (horizontally)!

That means: The same target may be 1.7 times farther away on the classic monitor before it shrinks to below pixel size, which is the detection range limit. The same ratio applies to identification range of course. The upside is that the Rift offers a wider field of view, which can be beneficial wherever peripheral vision is more important for maintaining situational awareness than detection range (e.g. urban combat, racing games). But this is a rather marginal benefit compared to the massive development effort to turn a conventional game into a VR title (just look at Skyrim VR during combat to realize that there's way more to VRification than "just" maintaining a high frame rate and adapting all the artwork (which in itself is already a substantial undertaking).

 

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Posted (edited)

While there Vr might not work with SB right now, its incorrect for people here to BASh VR headsets as not yet being capable enough for gaming.  Current Commercially sold V.R headsets are not the same Early  limited sale Developer Model  headsets of Oculus or other brands that were being sold a Few years ago which were less mature state. One also has to remember that next Gen V.r Headsets are already in the works. For EG with HTC Vive 2 already teased being unveiled later in 2018 . So V.R is  a Worthy Investment by this point in time.

 

Vr works fine for DCS from the Main ones already available.  And  alot who have bought it actually prefer their headsets to Track IR. 

Edited by Kev2go

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