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#4309461 - 11/06/16 12:16 PM VR Support  
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Stickshaker Offline
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I understand that official plans for Virtual Reality support (Oculus Rift) have been abandoned, but I thought Id start a thread in which unofficial support efforts can be posted. FSX has no official VR support but you can buy the FlyInside add-on for it. Perhaps something like this could materialize for RoF also. It seems Cliffs of Dover also has unofficial VR suppler made by users, so a lot seems possible. I, for one, never fly without the Rift anymore and I could imagine that VR support could give RoF a new lease of life, given the excellent quality of the basic product.

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#4309630 - 11/07/16 01:50 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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I've looked into that a couple of times, starting back when I had an Oculus DK2 (now moved to Vive). I suggested Rise of Flight to Dan Church from FlyInside, but I think it will always be too small a niche for him. I also had one of the devs from Vireio look into adding Rise of Flight support, but I think he had a hard time dealing with the FOV and other settings - in any case it was never developed.

Now, with no plan to actively develop for Rise of Flight or its successor in the next 5+ years, I'd also love to get some sort of good (ie FlyInside level) VR support for RoF. Being a coder myself (but not for gaming) at work, I've slowly considered whether I might try developing that myself or not - the answer is probably that I won't be able to find the time though, but I'll at least give it at look.

The other option for WW1 in VR would be WOFF UE - I suspect the tricks that Dan Church applied to FSX might port quite well to CFS3 - but then again this is possibly even smaller a niche. I've certainly mentioned it on FlyInside forums before, but with xplane support being worked on currently I wouldn't expect to hear anything about that in the next few months.

A shame really, there's no doubt that WW1 flying is a perfect match for current gen VR, and it would be a dream for me.

#4311717 - 11/13/16 04:23 PM Re: VR Support [Re: FlyingMonkey]  
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Hello FlyingMonkey,
Thank you for your elaborate answer. There is potentially some good news in it. Indeed; I would already be happy with WOFF VR, even though RoF is my favorite WWI sim. Even if the price of a VR interface would be higher than for more popular sims I would almost certainly buy such an add-on. I hope that you may find the time to develop a UI. I fully agree that WWI planes are excellent for VR.
It occurred to me that, in a few years time, adding VR support would be a relatively straightforward way to extend the commercial life of RoF. Then, many people will probably have VR and there will be experience with adding VR support to, for instance, Battle of Kuban. Even with modest upgrades to the sim itself, with VR it will present a whole new experience.
Best regards,
Stickshaker

#4311720 - 11/13/16 04:34 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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I dont think there is any appetite from the Devs to extend the commercial life of RoF that requires any sort of Dev time.
Dev of RoF and active support of anything beyond maintaining the master server has stopped. Albeit without an official announcement.
If they do come back to WWI, it wont be to update RoF. It'll be for a RoF 2. But I'm not holding my breath for that either.

#4311840 - 11/14/16 12:06 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Not holding my breath either for RoF VR support - at this stage they would need to port the DX11 support back into RoF, which would require some significant work I'm sure. And then it's pretty clear that RoF 2 isn't going to happen in the next 5 years - who knows about later, but that's a long wait.

Just to be clear, if I do develop anything for RoF it will be something free - I'd just do that as a hobby and you'd have to expect something simple, without elaborate GUI. The other option would be to become more acquainted with vireio and possibly try actively help the devs supporting RoF with that.

#4312376 - 11/15/16 08:36 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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I would be great if you did contact OBD about the VR support. Keep in your mind Woff UE is still based on the DirectX8.
Just hop in to the Woff forum, here on SimHQ and let them know.

#4312514 - 11/16/16 02:54 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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I just did that 2 days ago Dutch. It's not impossible at all to get a DX8 game supported by VR - some other developers have implemented support for games new and old, and I hope I'll get some tricks and tips from them (especially the ones who did freeware implementations) to get started. If I understood rightly WOFF UE already uses some sort of wrapper to get DX9 shaders working (something new to UE I think). My plan is to do the initial research in December and that's when I'll probably figure out whether I'll go on with RoF or WOFF UE (I've got the feeling that the latter might be easier but we'll see), but beyond that it might take a long while before I've got anything to show (assuming I don't get stuck) because I don't have loads of spare time - still, this is something I'm highly motivated to work on because otherwise we might wait a very long time before we see any ww1 action in VR.

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 11/16/16 02:55 AM.
#4312661 - 11/16/16 08:14 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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It is great to hear that you will be giving it a try, FlyingMonkey! I have no computer skills whatsoever, so but I was involved in some aircraft testing in WOFF and I can contact the developers if you want and ask for their help or information.

#4312732 - 11/17/16 12:43 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Thanks Stickshaker - it's all good, I am now in contact with them. I'm planning to do some initial research in about 2 weeks to evaluate how much work will be needed, how much help I can get from people who have developped 3rd party VR support (would be great if I can get some advice from Dan Church who developped FlyInside FSX) etc. I'm just a C++ coder - no experience with gaming code so don't get too hopeful yet as I might discover that it's too hard for me.

#4313425 - 11/19/16 02:23 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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FlyingMonkey, it is hard not to get excited or hopeful, but I will do my best (as, probably, many others will).
Regardless of whether you will succeed, many thanks for your efforts!

#4315640 - 11/27/16 05:10 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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FlyingMonkey, I believe there is a mod for giving VR support to Il-2 Cliffs of Dover, too. May that be any help to you? I can try and find out more if you want.

#4315709 - 11/28/16 12:07 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Stickshaker - I thought the VR support for ClOD was still in early development - but in any case if I can find who is doing it and discuss how they did it that might help me - the fist thing I'll do will be to find people who implemented similar VR support so that I don't need to reinvent the wheel.

A lot of these mods need to do the same thing: intercept directX calls to translate them into DirectX 11 and therefore have access to the steamVR API. Then there's the issue of obtaining a lagless 1:1 head tracking solution - I've got the feeling that this might have been the trickiest part for RoF (using vorpx or tridef based solutions always led to a very laggy and unresponsive head tracking because there's always some sort smoothing applied to head camera movements - the same might even have been the reason why IL2 BOS has a laggy head tracking in the current VR mode) - I don't think that's going to be a problem for CFS3/WOFF UE.

#4334827 - 02/05/17 04:13 PM Re: VR Support [Re: FlyingMonkey]  
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Hello FlyingMonkey,
Far from wanting to hurry you, I was just curious whether you have new thoughts on whether eventually VR-support for RoF or WOFF is possible. Have you acquired new information or ideas in the past months?
Best rergards,
Stickshaker

#4334928 - 02/06/17 04:44 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Very slow progress so far, but after some initial exploration I've decided to try working on WOFF first. I've done some initial research on how to do it and thanks to discussions with someone who implemented a similar system for Morrowind, I know what I need to do - I'm just very short on time currently, so I haven't gone further than reading (and I'm not done with that yet). I'm very confident that VR can be done in the case of WOFF. People like Ankor have already succeeded in implementing a directX wrapper than can manipulate the viewpoint and that's the basic thing I need to do (duplicate viewports, shift them a bit and then connect them to headtracking).
Now if it was someone else than me with more time and experience, I'd be confident that it could be done in a relatively short time, but if it's just me it's going to take a long time - we're talking months. So by all mean if anyone else wants to tackle it, feel free to do so, don't count on my work to go anywhere in the short term.

As regards ROF, I've got a bad feeling about it because of existing bugs that make trackIR stutter unless smoothing and inertia in the camera settings are set to max. This might also explain why the crude Vive support implemented in IL2 BOS felt stuttery and laggy even on high end hardware. So basically I'm a bit wary of spending a lot of time coding something that might totally fail.

We'll see how things go, but one thing is sure: our fist baby is due early May, so I'll do what I can before that, but then I'll disappear for a while until I can find spare time again - who knows how long that might take

#4335157 - 02/06/17 08:12 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Hello FlyngMonkey,
On the whole that is excellent news! I mean, it seems possible to have VR for a WWI sim after all. Pity about RoF, but it cannot be helped. Take your time, getting your first baby is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. WOFF will be around for a while.
Best regards,
Stickshaker

#4335292 - 02/07/17 01:49 PM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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FlyingMonkey, I have recently figured out how to control cockpit view in CFS3/WOFF and added mouse look function there. So if there's VR API that can provide head-tracking data it shouldn't be a problem to support it.

As for viewport duplication it is a bit more complicated, but since my wrapper works by recording all DX8 draw calls in a frame, processing them, and then replaying using DX9, it should be possible to replay them twice with a viewpoint offset.
However I have no VR hardware, don't know what issues to expect, and most importantly don't have time to work on this frown

#4335409 - 02/08/17 01:44 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Hi AnKor, that's timely, I was planning to send you a message on that topic.

To keep it short, the best VR API to connect to at this stage would be openVR/steamVR which works both for the Vive and Oculus Rift. I own an HTC Vive (but can also do basic testing for the Rift using my old Rift DK2). Now the added pain is that openVR requires DX11 or 12, so it's not straightforward - but there are ways around that and it's possible to make the connection between openVR and a DX9 wrapper - that's what the dev working on the Morrowind VR solution was doing.

What other devs have done when they implement VR on an old game is exactly what you were mentionning: they intercept all old DX calls, apply the head tracking data to the view port, duplicate and shift it, and then they either go on and do all the work themselves, ie apply the correct transformation to the frame to be directly drawn in the VR headset (in which case I think you can still manage to do that in DX9 - I think Euro Truck Simulator 2 devs used do that in fact, although maybe not anymore. FlyInside used to do that in its early days too) or they pass that to the relevant API to do that for them (e.g. use openVR for that, but then they're translating everything to DX11 or later).


Depending on the cases, implementing VR can be straightforward, with the main issues being that the latency needs to be kept low and stuttering needs to be kept very rare. Now often the main complication comes from integrating the UI in VR, but in the case of WOFF it should be easy since the only UI that can potentially come in the way is the map. I'd aim to start with no UI work (and therefore a map no necessarily easy to use, but that's fine as a compromise to start with).
My initial plan was to develop my own code to hook on your wrapper (again following what the Morrowrift developper had opted to do) and that might still be a viable way to do it so that it doesn't take any of your time at all. But I've the got the same issue as you though - I really don't have much time, so we're talking about things that will move very slowly. Having said that I'm quite persistent when I start something and certainly don't like leaving things unfinished, so I'll keep working on that throughout this year when I can.

EDIT: oops, made it sounds worse than it is though: when relying on the openVR API there is not need to do the duplication of the viewport in fact. You pass the current viewport as determined per head tracking, and then openVR has a function to duplicate and shift that according to the user settings (ie their interpupillary distance), so that whole part is done by openVR anyway.

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 02/08/17 02:01 AM.
#4352762 - 04/22/17 10:10 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Hello FlyingMonkey,
Is there any news to tell? In can understand that you will be very busy in the coming months…
Best regards,
Stickshaker

#4353557 - 04/26/17 04:45 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Hi, well my time before is almost up. The due date was actually revised from early May to this Friday at some point after the 2nd ultra sound person had changed it while she was not supposed to. So in short baby might arrive any time now, and if not it will be induced sometime next week.

Meanwhile I have made way less progress than I was hoping. I've mostly learned as much as I could regarding openVR (and steamVR) despite a terrible documentation (if it can called that), but I've found it way harder to learn how to implement the part of the code which hooks with directX (something that AnKor understands really well though, from what I understand), and in the first place I would probably need to bypasse AnKor shaders entirely to have my own dx9 to dx11 code so that I can rely on openVR directly. This is the most important part for me to really start experimenting with VR and WOFF but I've barely started reading examples of code to do that.

With baby arriving, I don't think I'll go anywhere further before much later in the year - if I manage to find spare time again that is. WW1 combat flight sims in VR is still my biggest dream in term of flight sims so I'll do what I can, but I can't promise much at that stage. If anyone else have the same sort of interest and more spare time and/or expertise then they'll probably get it done way before me, but if I'm really the only one out there willing to code this then just be patient - it might take a while but this will remain my priority in terms of spare time development project.

#4354384 - 04/29/17 10:51 AM Re: VR Support [Re: Stickshaker]  
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Hello FlyingMonkey,
I hope all is well with you and your partner, and that you can fully enjoy the experience of parenthood. Hopefully, some tome you can resume your work on WWI VR and you will make many people very happy. We will just be patiently waiting. It is clear where your priorities should be during this important phase in your life.
All the best,
Stickshaker

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