HTC Vive first impressions

I received my vive last friday and just want to share my first impressions here because I think VR could be relevant for Battlescape in the future.

The initial setup is quite a hassle, there are endless baggies with cables in the vive box, but alsmost every cable is used. Once I finished placing the lighthouses and plugging in the hmd the rest went really smooth though. The software is quite good.

The headset is quite heavy, even with perfect strap adjustments you still feel in pressing on your face and pulling you down a bit. At first I thought the abscense of integrated audio is not a big deal, but it honestly would be easier to use with it.

Visual quality:
The fov is at first a little dissappointing if you use VR the first time, but thats quickly forgotten. The resolution is acceptable, in “the lab” the resolution is not something you have to complain about, but when using elite dangerous you will wish it was more pixels. The screendoor effect is still there, but it is not bothersome in most situations. Then there is the glare from the fresnel lenses, it is never a problem and only really noticeable in elite dangerous, but its really no problem.

Roomscale is freaking amazing, I can’t believe oculus didn’t think this was a priority. It makes all the difference, the ability to crouch and look at the ground up close or walk trough your space is mindblowing. The tracking is really solid, even with my less than perfect sensor placement I have fantastic results. The controllers are absolutly neccessary for good VR gaming that doesnt involve driving or flying.

Everything I played so far in VR was amazing, I would even say that VR roomscale gaming isn’t even gaming, its more virtual activities. Flying spaceships, jets or driving cars is really incredible in VR, once I tried it I can’t really go back to driving on a screen, there is no comparison - its just that immersive.

Side effects:
The first timenI played VR a long time I had to get used to reality again, I was afraid I would bump into stuff because in VR you can obviously walk through things.

VR is not just a gimmic like 3dTV, it definitly will be a big part of gaming, I don’t think it will replace traditional gaming, playing Rainbow Six Siege with mouse and keyboard still has its merits. But for any type of cockpit simulation users will probably all prefer playing in VR, this difference in fun is comparable to playing project cars with keyboard instead of force feedback driving wheel.
I hope the Battlescape devs will strongly consider integrating OpenVr into Battlescape once the userbase is bigger. As far as know the rift sold over 300.000 units, most games that aren’t complete shit are already considered must haves to most VR users.


I think a one-planet VR-Battlescape-Demo could bring quite a lot of people on board.


I read that wrong

Just a reminder for anyone reading this thread that we aren’t supporting VR right now not because we don’t want to - we just don’t have the resources at the moment. After the game ships to retail we’ll absolutely look into adding VR support =).


Not that I disagree with that decision (at all), but would it be possible to have the “look around” controls be individually assignable? This would most likely make VR a possibility for those who really want to get it to work, I hope without being too much extra effort on your part. No need for specialized menus or anything, just the strict ability to have “unique” inputs for look around.

I think implementing VR support is much more complicated than just mapping input.

Proper implementation, perhaps. However, I feel like there are probably third-party apps that could translate the movement for use in-game, and the headset itself should be little more than a monitor where the picture is rendered twice. Given the lack of short range distances, I’m not even sure that you need two POVs for the proper binocular effect.

That being said, I’m not a programmer of any sort. If it’s not possible to do, then it’s not possible to do.

Adding a second camera for POV is pretty trivial in a modern game engine, performance hit might be an issue though and some distortion could be present with two stock cameras. Going by how easy it’s to add a camera in Unity and assuming INE is on a similar level, adding a second camera should be one day’s work at most. Of course it’s up to INS to decide if it’s worth it. I think the movement is the bigger issue, but as you suggest, community can take care of that given input mappings for head movement.


I have my vive for 2 days now, VR is really on a whole new level of gaming. Vive support for Battlescape would be a dream come true. Planning on buying an nvidia 1080, should be able to run it then too.


We got our Vive 2 weeks ago at work, and roomscale VR blows standing/seated experience out of the water like there is no tomorrow.


Sounds great. But have you tried OR and if so how would you compare them? Thinking Vive is the way to go given you can move around or at least stand. Wondering how they stand up to one another for picture quality.

I only got to try the Oculus consumer version for 3 minutes at a conference, with a demo that was unfit to get a real impression of its visual quality. But until Oculus gets its own motion controller out later this year, a fair comparison is pretty much impossible. It is not comparing apples with oranges, it is comparing apples with cats.

What i can tell you is that the reaction of people to Oculus DK2 and moving with an XBox stick ( mismatch between physical + virtual body movement ) and Vive consumer version and physically moving in room scale + teleporting when the room is too small is worlds apart. Not surprising really, the mismatch between physical and virtual movement is sharing the number one spot for most important cause of simulation sickness with insufficient framerates.

For seated experiences ( all cockpit based games ) i expect both headsets to be pretty much equal. Both have identical resolution, heck, i bet their screens are produced on the same assembly line. Optics may differ somewhat, but should both be high quality. ( Vive is high quality, Oculus seemed so from the 3 minutes. )

The only flaw of the Vive that i see as a clear advantage for the Oculus is the lack of firmly integrated headphones. It plain and simply sucks to have a 3rd piece of hardware to handle ( Headset + 2 Motion Controllers + Headphones ) that is also tied with cables to the headset, especially when putting the whole gear on and off.

The laser tracking is pretty awesome, with some childhood issues though. Reflections of large glass surfaces or direct IR light sources ( intense sunlight ) can screw up the tracking. And of course you need to have the space in the first place. If you do, it feels amazing. The demo suite and free VR content on steam will give you many hours of initial content. Steam VR integration is really well done, it makes the Vive’s own menue/store - thing pretty much redundant. Cant judge the Oculus store cause it does not support the DK2 ( No backwards compatibility for things that are barely a year old and cost quite some money to get… yea if thats how you want to roll it is not a nice confidence building start for your customer relations dear Oculus team… )


Jupp, the lack of integrated headphones is super annoying, hopefully third party manufacturers will provide some good solutions.

Well, on the other hand the Rift lacks a camera unlike the Vive, which means when you’ve put it you’re blind to what’s happening in reality. Hitting a key on the keyboard becomes a game in its own self.

Room scale is definitely one big advantage of the Vive, however I’m wondering what kind of games/apps can really make use of it. Due to limited physical space and the need for the virtual space to mirror it, it means you can’t really make any game where you can freely move a lot. So it might end up being underused, or used only for limited-movement games which might have less freedom/interest than your typical AAA game; so I’m afraid it might end up as the Kinect of VR, if you see what I mean. Might work well for sports game though ( since those have limited movement in reality to start with ). Maybe a golf game, tennis table, boxing, etc… would be awesome in roomscale !


The teleportation mechanism, that some vive games (like The Lab) have, works good for greater than roomscale movement, it also doesn’t cause any motionsickness but I hope they come up with better ways to move. Some of the experiments that were posted on the vive subreddit looked interesting (running in place to move, or using hand swinging etc).
Maybe GVS will solve the motion sickness problem


Btw: Vive users are currently buying a lot of games that are rushed or very simplistic. I think a real game like Battlescape (even in alpha stage) would be super popular.
A one planet VR demo for <10$ released on steam might make business sense… especially If the buy the full game later on.


Still having fun with Windlands here. Swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan is so cool! :slightly_smiling:

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I thought that this was a very good comparison of the two headsets. Lots of technical details from the guy on the right and straightforward consumer information from the guy on the left.

From what I remember of the review, the Rift’s biggest win is that it is much more comfortable to wear. The Vive’s big deal is the hand controllers. The Rift has such things coming, but they’re not there yet, so interacting with a 3D game via XBox controller kinda limited the thrill of playing in 3D.

As I’ve sworn off early adoption of new technologies, I’m going to wait a few years to see where this goes.

As planned, Battlescape is far better suited to the Rift with its stationary player and XBox controller. The Vive is much better at interacting with the environment as a character, and Battlescape is fundamentally about being a ship. Star Citizen is a much better fit for the Vive because the player controls a character.


Vive can do seated experience too without any issues, dont have to use the motion controllers. Just support joystick and gamepad and tada - ready for space fighter things.

( And with a bit of development time, the motion controllers can in fact make some awesome inputs for spacecraft. )


It was quite a roller-coaster ride between the two but I think the Vive stands out - the only thing that is a concern is comfort where the oculus is a step ahead. But it is really still too early to decide given they are both first generation…going to sit this one out for a while and see how things stand a year from now.