March is coming closer and thus the Oculus Rift developer kit. Time for some details about what you can expect from vorpX, I guess. There’s much more going on than in a ‘normal’ 3D-driver. And as far as I’m concerned, otherwise the whole thing woudn’t make much sense at all. I’m quite confident you will be with me in this regard, once you tried more than a quick test of any older game with your own Rift.
Literally several hundred hours of work went into the project already, and extensive (but fun) tests where done to identify and then tackle many of the issues that inherently arise when you want to play older games on the Rift.
So, here we go:
1. Adaptive 3D-Algorithm
Image based 3D normally does not work like a pair of eyes. While your eyes focus and converge (in the physiological sense meaning that both eyes rotate slightly inward so that their lines of sight meet) at the same point, 3D images do something else. They separate focus and convergence. Convergence is always a fixed value. That is also true for typical 3D drivers, and it makes every sense in the world for an image or screen, since you want to be able to focus anywhere on the image.
With a VR device like the Rift on the other hand it makes much more sense for a 3D algorithm to behave like a pair of human eyes instead. vorpX does that. The images automagically converge where you look at, just like your eyes do. This can, but doesn’t have to, be accompanied by a slight DOF-blur, simulating your eyes way of focusing.
All of this is purely optional, of course. If you want manually configurable convergence, you always can.
2. Configurable VR Hotkeys
This may sound more practical: how to press buttons when you can’t see your keyboard? A serious problem for many PC games that use more keyboard shortcuts than just WASD and a few extra keys.
vorpX has a freely configurable (via an ingame menu) virtual hotkey system to tackle this issue. At the touch of an easy to reach button, <SHIFT> middle mouse button per default, a semi transparent menu pops up in front of you, All you have to do then is to look at the button you want to “press” and release the mouse button. Extremely useful, pretty natural, and it can’t get easier.
That’s it for today. There are more of these things that I like to call the SUTs. Small Useful Things. Although they are more than useful. Taken together they are a plain necessity if you want to really play games on the Rift that are not specifically designed for the device. Stay tuned (if you like).