Unity + Oculus Integration on Mac

 

How long does it take to create a test project for the Oculus Quest on Mac with Unity3D? Well fortunately it does not take very much time at all, although it will take a whole lot more time to make something decent and of interest. But if one just wanted to connect up all the equipment, it is pretty fast!

According to Rescuetime I spent 33 minutes in total in Unity in order to complete these steps on my 15″ Macbook Pro 2019, including all the downloading and importing. The writing of this documentation is probably taking far longer.

The Chinese New Year Weekend is too short! I want to spend maximum fun time with the Bean, and get some catching-up-with-sleep-time, but I also want to learn how to make something for Oculus using my Mac alone?? I found several posts online claiming to be able to teach you to set up your Oculus device in 10 minutes. HA I suppose they definitely didn’t use a Mac for these speed runs (my Mac has now decided that its new calling is to mimic the hideous sound of an airplane taking off). Still, I persist in valuing the retina display+portablity over practicality and doing everything on my Mac. Will I be forced to retreat back to using a PC again after much frustration? Let’s find out!

The Oculus is a type of Android device so have to check for Android Build Support in the version of Unity I’m using. Just created a 3D project in Unity in the version of Unity I happen to be using.

Unity Asset Store has this default “Oculus Integration”. Whilst waiting for that to download, I saw there were so many different integration packages out there for VR and more. Actually got lost browsing all the rather interesting sounding “Tools/Integrations” category on Asset Store. Which ones do the most interesting things? NO CLUE. I guess I will just try Oculus Integration first before actually trying the others.

There are several updates and Unity will need to restart, after which there will be some new Menu items for Oculus like this:

Under Edit > Project Settings > Player > XR Settings > Virtual Reality should be supported.

Another step I would add in is to preemptively remove Vulkan Graphics API, because if you don’t, it will throw up an error about XR being incompatible with Vulkan. (Alternatively, I suppose one could go into the OVR scripts which is stopping the build and find the lines where it checks for Vulkan and comment out the checks?)

So I also went to read up on Vulkan Graphics API and what it does – the internet says: “Until now, the mobile graphical interface has been using the OpenGL platform. While the platform was suitable for intense mobile applications like gaming and photography five years ago, the old platform isn’t enough to handle today’s AR/VR intensive applications. It is also not possible to pack in massive hardware in a restrained form factor for running intensive mobile applications. The Vulkan API was developed by Khronos to ensure improved graphical performance with lesser resource usage. The new API has been built from scratch for rendering console quality graphics on existing mobile hardware. What that means is you will be able to enjoy the PC-like graphics on your high-end smartphone”.

ALRIGHT BUT WE WON”T USE IT.

OH WAIT AS OF 1 FEB 2021 the internets say that Unity now supports Vulkan for Oculus Quest? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Ok whatevers. At this point I just removed Vulkan for the time being so I can continue.

Next is to create a developer account and app ID. Now I definitely have mixed feelings about the Facebook integration, which means I have to take several precautions regarding privacy. If I was buying a VR headset only as a casual user, then the issues with forcing users to login with a Facebook account would make me reconsider getting this device. However, the reason I’ve gotten a Quest 2 is for portability in VR development. Consider all the factors on your own before getting a VR headset device!

Go to http://dashboard.oculus.com/ in a different browser and set up the Developer account.

Connect the Quest to the Mac with the usb cable. Under Build Settings > Android > the Quest should now be available as a device.

Build & Run > and when its done, you can put on the headset and it will start to load your scene. Probably could have used the prefabs to make a scene but there are some demo scenes that came with so I just loaded that first.

Wahooey a demo scene!


NEXT STEPS?

Tiltbrush? Building Tiltbrush which has gone opensource?

How does I workflow???: Workflows: The process flows you should follow

How to screenshot on Oculus Quest 2? Press the Oculus Button + any trigger button. The app needs to have permission to save to storage beforehand.

Where do the screenshots on Oculus Quest 2 go to? Turns out that the Quest is a kind of Android device so on a Mac you have to download Android File Transfer and find screenshots under Oculus > Screenshots.

A Glorious Bale of Virtual Hay: Second Life worlds and their visual references

My Second Life Avatar is now approaching its teens! Monster Eel is 13!?… (and Monster wasn’t even my first character). Every few years when I return to Second Life I’m delighted to find that it has its own life, going on strong. Things are even more detailed now. Who is doing all this? Who is paying for people to do this? Is it all just a passion project for people? Why does this unnecessarily detailed digital bale of hay exist? There’s a whole cottage industry of people making exquisite virtual hairpieces and billowing blouses and freckled skin and distressed furniture and plants and antiques and futuristic gizmos for sale (sometimes dispensed via some unnecessarily complicated gacha machines)!

Over the weekend Beano decided to have a long nap whilst strapped to me (WOW!!!!) so Mummy went on to Second Life to have an adventure without leaving home… and also to look at the types of interactions in these ‘installations’. If we think about the references that each of these worlds draw upon, I realised that the places I visited could be divided into 6 different categories….

1. Depicts an abstract world
Betty Tureaud’s Rooms
https://secondlife.com/destination/rooms-by-betty-tureaud

2. Replicates real world and has specific references
Paris for Ara
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Simpson%20Bay/114/79/27

3. Replicates real world but has no specific reference
Breath of Nature (Serena Falls)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Serena%20Falls/28/82/22

4. Depicts a fictional world and with specific references to fictional works
Kintsugi
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Runaway/71/123/23

5. Depicts a fictional world with some realistic elements set in the past
Puddlechurch Rye
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Puddlechurch%20Rye/128/182/44

6. Depicts a fictional world with some realistic elements set in the future
Planet Vanargand Outpost Fenrir & Solveig Village
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amazing%20Island/148/169/242

[Admittedly, I have been writing a lot of LESSON OBJECTIVES lately and this might be seeping into the above…]

The categories are not black and white, they blur into one another. Perhaps there are unknown references behind them all that I am not aware of. To what extent are these novel creations, or are they actually faithful copies of weirdly specific things in some specific world of the creators? I… really don’t know. Will some of these mysterious anonymous SL creators ever reveal a bit more about their own design process…? Is it recorded somewhere in the world via the odd blogger webpage or flickr group, posted online under pseudonyms that I can find?


1. Depicts an abstract world
Betty Tureaud’s Rooms
https://secondlife.com/destination/rooms-by-betty-tureaud

This is like looking into a early 2000s book on Creative Coding, or Intro to Processing, or looking at a folder of three.js’s webgl experiments. Experiments and snippets, I say, because these abstract rooms are more like raw snippets than actual stories or narratives or worlds to explore.

The iridescent rooms look empty but when you walk into the middle of the rooms (probably triggered by your avatar walking onto the slightly raised surface), this triggers different interactive animations. This reminds me of the SL in the days of yore, when interaction and realism were even more limited, so all you could write a LSL script to rezz up were a bunch of basic geometric forms that were randomly coloured whenever you entered a space, and for interaction you could move these about randomly (although to what end, this would be unclear). In fact, this is EXACTLY what happens in some of the rooms.

Whilst I love these rooms because they definitely look nothing like real life (and it seem to me that Betty Tureaud’s works over the years have been focused on creating abstract worlds that don’t exist in real life, peppered with statues of human forms), I still think that the interactions for these have come a bit as an afterthought, or isn’t as naturalistic or intuitive as it could be (based on current available technology in SL). Its just like how we don’t use marquee or iframe or mouseover or flash anymore and javascript mouseovers and css transforms don’t really impress anyone anymore. (It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy walking through the rooms though!)

2. Replicates real world and has specific references
Paris for Ara
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Simpson%20Bay/114/79/27

Paris for Ara is a location in Simpson Bay labeled under photogenic spots, and boy is it photogenic. I’m betting that many a SL fashion shoot has been done here. Although it is supposed to be Paris, it looks a bit more like Carnaby Street in London than Paris per se with all the English signage mixed in, and with the prominent rainbow pride flags everywhere (yay!), parts of it also feel more like Soho. The vision for this is ostensibly to render a real world scene into Second Life.

Some of the details are crazy amazing even when you zoom in, like for example, these steaming hot beignets (french donut fritters) I found on a cafe table. I’m impressed!

A photogenic spot like this is probably quite universally understood and enjoyed by all, since it has a real world reference (even if its been fudged a bit by mixing elements from different countries, but you know, ‘generic european city with street-side cafes and pubs’), and some of the buildings are even faithfully rendered in their interiors, so I would imagine these to be spots designed to be rented out to residents or for retail purposes. I walked into what I think was a cream cake shop and there were 3 floors of empty rooms above, overlooking the street. There was even a torch by the stair, because you might have that in the stairway of a real stairway in reality, but I didn’t use it because I had set the environment to SUNRISE.

3. Replicates real world but has no specific reference
Breath of Nature (Serena Falls)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Serena%20Falls/28/82/22

Next I visited another photogenic spot, Breath of Nature in Serena Falls. A beautiful flower meadow with pastoral elements rendered in loving detail – an endless sea of soft dandelions, a white horse, a windmill, an old farmhouse, some sheep, a rustic wagon… I know, people dig this shit. Can’t go outside into nature? Well here’s nature for you in Second Life. Oh and with some generic amercian top 40 alt rock country pop internet streaming radio channel playing by default in this SIM… as always. I’ve always wondered if this is the soundtrack by which the creators of these objects live by. Once in a while a SIM has good radio tastes, but most of the time, its just this not-very-interesting generic internet radio streaming through wherever I go, punctuated by the sound of my avatar thudding against things by mistake (THUNK THUNK THUNK THUNK).

There are some gems here though. A bale of hay with an ingenious way of seeming real. I know, these tropes of construction must have been devised years ago, and I admit I have never been deeply involved in building things in SL (and more of a tourist in SL), but there are some cool tricks to be found here. Its not hair particles which gives our hay bale its realistic appearance, it is a few strategically placed strands which do the trick.

I’m all like, who decided to build this in such detail? How many hours did it take? For them to construct the chicken coop with its wires, its distressed wood texture, to decide on its form. Is it a person with a chicken coop just like this? Did they HAVE to design a chicken coop first or did they use a reference from somewhere? I mean, this is not even a normal chicken coop. Its a set of shabby chic drawers converted into chicken coop. With a pile of rustic bricks by its side.

Finally, this bucket of ducklings with a duck about to jump into the water with mother duck looking on. This item even chirps. Yes, the ducklings, they are chirping. The water is cleverly done with just a partially transparent alpha layer on top with a translucent white pattern that makes it look like a reflection on water (not a true reflection of anything, but it doesn’t have to be in order to look real enough from a distance!)

4. Depicts a fictional world and with specific references to fictional works
Kintsugi
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Runaway/71/123/23

This parcel is named Kintsugi (the japanese term for repairing cracked pottery with gold) but really it is a tribute to Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, which I will confess that I can no longer remember the story line for. It is supposedly based on the fictional world in the anime, and this plot relies a lot on notecards and the chat system to distribute information about the world to the user. Personally, I am not so much a fan of notecards, even though I like words – because all these notecards fall into my inventory and become a big mess over time.

A magical house on an island….

A series of red torii shrine gates… because why not, if you already have made one beautiful torii gate?

The water isn’t really Second Life water, but some other object which has these obviously faked water ripples on them which look realistic from a distance but then when close up, start to look very artificial. You can walk on the water, which I think is the point of this magical world (in most of SL, you can walk into the water and ocean and even have a rather long walk into the ocean although it might be quite boring).

The mist and atmosphere is nice, but once again, like with any role play environment, the reverie of being in a mystical forest is sometimes punctuated by other SL residents walking by. Yeah one thing I don’t get is why there are so many SL residents dressed as ladies with big bosoms and big hair and big butt in a tight dress…

5. Depicts a fictional world with some realistic elements set in the past
Puddlechurch Rye
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Puddlechurch%20Rye/128/182/44

Another photogenic spot, Puddlechurch Rye is an event space which is reminiscent of a warehouse space, dressed up as a 1920s parisan speakeasy cigar lounge with plush carpets, stacks of antique books, delicate chandeliers, a stage for performances, and a gallery space. Reminds me a bit of when I visited the Museum of Everything in Paris (a travelling museum for artwork by outsider artists).

How much of a world like this is actually created entirely from scratch by one person (or a small team of people)? How many man hours goes into designing a world like this? Or, is this in part a very clever curation of well chosen objects from different creators to paint for us this speakeasy ambience?

What’s interesting is the detail to which the exhibition has been set with draperies, with conventional framing and unconventional framing. Can’t do a real world exhibition? Well this is pretty close, although the artwork is also the world which has been rendered for us in such detail.

An exhibition space for flat 2D artwork, shown in several different ways…

Conventionally framed artworks…

Along with some unconventional framing…

And finally, some moving louvres to display 2D artwork. Not entirely interactive, but some ideas here on different ways to present a work in a virtual space…

6. Depicts a fictional world with some realistic elements set in the future
Planet Vanargand Outpost Fenrir & Solveig Village
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amazing%20Island/148/169/242

The thumbnail for this outpost on the SL destinations board was a huge “alien” mountain. But really, mountains are just boring old mountains like the ones on earth unless you say… ITS A SPACE BASE FROM THE FUTURE and here’s a space outpost to go with it! I landed in this space outpost floating in the sky (no biggie, not a hard thing to build) and immediately was overrun by other residents rezzing on top of me, skimpily dressed ladies dressed in tight dresses and high heels running around over small old me. Yeah so much for the scifi vibes…

I enjoyed walking around this space base until I went through a door which said “NO ENTRY” which I assumed was written specifically to entice me to enter anyway. A few metres further down they must have not finished building the space station because I hilariously walked into a big hole in the floor, immediately falling about 3000 metres down back to ground, landing noisily on a giant geodesic dome…

Finally I found myself in an empty carpark in this alien world admiring the detail of the snowflakes blowing past me. No detail has been spared! The snowflakes are not just circles, they are images of SNOWFLAKES.

At this point Beano woke up so I had to terminate my adventures in SL…


Why haven’t I made an ‘art’ project on Second Life before?

Last year Linden Endowment for the Arts closed. For many years now I have always wondered if I should apply for the land grants in the past, but I never got around to it because Second Life was something I enjoyed as a game, exploring without a specific goal. It simply wasn’t high on my priority, since it requires quite an investment of time to build this all, and I’ve got a lot of real world projects to finish. Second Life was leisure and enjoyment for me, not work, the same way one might enjoy a pleasant walk through nature without the desire to reshape it all. I suppose if you were just dabbling and not too sure on whether you would commit to building such a project, it might have been useful to give you a nudge to go and do it without any financial startup cost. Land tiers aren’t cheap after all. And if this is not art per se, then, is this all a ‘vanity’ project?…

However, the closing of LEA is not as much a loss as one might expect. I suppose if I am really motivated to create art in SL, I would continue to make it regardless of whether I had a land grant or not, and even with the closing of LEA, there continues to be lots of art on SL. To be honest I never really got into the community for SL artists. Besides a run in with some people in Singapore building an amazing Sikh temple several years ago (what happened to it I wonder?) I don’t know what happened to other SL makers in Singapore…. Or maybe if you are out there, give me a holla…?

Dream Syntax VR

Back in January I spent about 2 weeks working on a VR interpretation of the material from my old project Dream Syntax. Dream Syntax was a project in which I tried to map out all the dreams I had in map form. Those of you who know me when I first started doing it will also know that I had also wanted to map it all out in 3D but this was simply too time consuming. So I made a selection of 10 of my dreams from 10 years ago to visualise in 3D, and then stitched them up together so that one could walk through them one by one – in VR.

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100 dreams

On the wall: “100 Dreams”

I originally meant to spend much longer building the project, but I was still adapting to teaching full-time alongside my artistic practice at that point, so in reality when I look back on the madness that was this project, I realise that I only really spent 2 weekends developing this project. I slapped it together in Unity with VRTK because it was just the fastest to work with – although it does seem that VRTK has since reached its end of life.

Here is a list of some things I discovered whilst developing the project:


 

STAIRS AND SLOPES IN VR

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Stairs. People really do have great difficulty with stairs in VR. Your position is partly determined by the location of your head, therefore if you stand on the edge of a step and lean your head out over it, you will involuntarily ascend or descent to that new step without even having to move the rest of your body. A BUCKET OF SIMSICKNESS FOR ALL! At this point, I don’t know how to get around this besides making it a third person experience rather than first person experience.

CROWDS AND VR

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Too many people may block the lighthouses or if the room uses false/raised hollow flooring, footfall may shake the lighthouses and stop the vive from working entirely. The user experience is also really strange – you come into a room full of people wearing headsets – tell me what kind of weird dystopia of technological escapism is this?

LIGHTHOUSE POSITIONS AND WIRED CONNECTIONS

The idea of a VR exhibition with several VR works sounds nice, but logistically it presents many new challenges. If you put several lighthouse setups in close proximity there will be intermittent tracking interference (ie: controller or headset position jumps around) and grey-outs (ie: headset loses sight of the lighthouse and compositor goes grey). I learnt this the hard way on opening day, where it became clear that my installation was repeatedly getting tracking interference from the lighthouses of the tiltbrush demo right next to me. One solution would be to NOT PUT THESE INSTALLATIONS SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER in the first place. But if that is not possible, these following sketches should be self explanatory about how to solve the interference issue.

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Wired connection and position of lighthouses

Technically speaking the lighthouses are “dumb” and just need to be correctly PAIRED with the headset when you set things up. That means you could actually have TWO headsets using the same lighthouses. The only issue with having two headsets with two different games in the same play area is all the hitting and accidents that would happen from two people with headsets and controllers wildly flailing in each other’s direction.

VR MAY CAUSE FACIAL PAIN FOR SPECTACLE WEARERS

Both the Oculus and Vive don’t seem designed with the spectacle wearer in mind. My glasses are big and wide (all the better to see you with!) but with such a large frame which also had to be crammed inside the space of the headset, the load of the headset began to hurt my nose after a short while. The solution I found was to take off my glasses, position them deep INSIDE the headset, and then don both glasses and headset at the same time. Otherwise, you will find yourself squeezing your glasses hard into your face when putting on the headset, causing this kind of injury to your face.

PEOPLE HAVE SO LITTLE EXPERIENCE WITH THE TECHNOLOGY THAT EVEN THE ERRORS ARE LIKE MAGIC

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As a medium for telling stories or producing work, VR headsets are just so expensive that most users haven’t had much experience with them. The result is that people coming to see your interactive may get more excited about other accidental features you introduce rather than the work you originally meant to make using the platform. For example, I had a error/glitch in my app where at one particular position on the map you ran the small risk of leaning your head over the parapet and falling off the spiral staircase (damn you, stairs!!!) into the infinite galaxy skybox. Now, some users discovered this error, and when this happened a volunteer on site would help you restart your experience.

But no, as it turned out, some people really got big on “falling into the galaxy” and after discovering they could do this, they just kept on doing it over and over again – although that was not the point of this work…


 

Other works from the show

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With thanks to Meshminds for organising the show and making it all possible.

How to set up SteamVR with the HTC Vive

ITS THE NEW YEAR!

These last few weeks Meshminds gave me the opportunity to work with the HTC Vive and I’ve decided to build a small VR experience using Unreal Engine. I had a “VR Ready” laptop (Gigabyte Aero 15) but yet I must confess that the setup for the Vive is not as easy or straightforward as it seems. Here are some notes on the process…

Setting up the Play Area


Recommended setup

First, you’ll need to clear the play area. In our case, having just moved back to Singapore, our boxes haven’t arrived from London just yet, so we simply moved all the furniture out of the way. Technically speaking, all you need to clear is 60m2 (3x4x5) metres. But let’s be realistic: not everyone is going to have this luxury of floor space in their home or rental flat. And even if you think you’ve cleared everything (and even when you see the Chaperone boundaries) you’ll probably still violently thwack something with the controllers or stub your toes on the furniture you stowed away in the corner at some point.

[Note that the average HDB flat living room floor area will exceed the volume required so take care that the second lighthouse shouldn’t exceed a distance of 5m from the other lighthouse]

Vive Installation

The Vive came in a reasonably compact box, but once I took out the items from their neatly packed state, the cables somehow seemed to gain volume and a wilful desire to take over the entire room. After moving the equipment from one room to another (whilst trying to decide which was the room to use), I found myself spending time detangling cables over and over again.


Cable explosion after I took it out. Even with the diagram its difficult to put it all back in after you uncoil everything…

If you are renting, then you probably don’t want to do anything so drastic as to drill a permanent mount into the wall. After cracking our brains on what to do, we found two cheap $5 selfie sticks with 1/4″ camera screw mounts that also fit the Vive Lighthouses’s screw base. We took the selfie stick apart and mounted the lighthouse on the flat stick which gave us an adjustable mobile rig that we could stick to the wall with a combination of 3M Command tabs and duct tape. (Note that the base station generates some vibration so you definitely want to pile on the duct tape for safety)


DIY Vive Lighthouse Mounting – NOT PRETTY BUT IT WORKS

Troubleshooting

After spending countless boring hours installing new drivers and updates for Windows and the graphics card, we were able to run SteamVR intermittently. One recurring issue was relating to the VR Compositor. Every time we restarted the entire system, on the first run it always returns “Shared IPC Compositor Connect Failed (306)” and “Compositor is not available (400)” even when everything is already set to use High Performance graphics (set to default to the better GPU in the laptop). It seems to be a common issue – if you search online you will find several forums where many lost people are also asking the same question “HOW DOES I COMPOSITOR???”

Apparently this error is caused either by too many display devices (monitors, etc) connected or the Intel graphics card somehow taking precedence over the Nvidia GTX1060 in this laptop. The fix for it is to go to SteamVR Settings and Disable Direct Mode and then Re-enable Direct Mode. SteamVR will restart each time you do that. Sometimes this works, SOMETIMES THIS DOESN’T. Okay, most of the time it will fix it.

At this point it seems worth asking, so what is the VR Compositor? If you read Valve’s documentation, it says:

The Compositor simplifies the process of displaying images to the user by taking care of distortion, prediction, synchronization and other subtle issues that can be a challenge to get operating properly for a solid VR experience.

If I understand it right, the compositor runs the VR display, and when an application wants to use the HMD (Head Mounted Display) it asks the compositor for access to a buffer and begins to render into that buffer. The eye buffers are a bit like layers that are ontop of one another. Vive’s Chaperone is an example of one such layer that already asked the compositor for access at the very start – so you see the room boundary in the HMD when you walk too close to the edge.

The standard or normal rendering of the 3D world is rendered into each of the eye buffers (one for each eye!) and then the warp pass/spatial as well as chromatic distortion is executed over the eye buffers to allow the final image to match the curved lenses on the HMD so that you see it as a 3D image with the headset.

[Another issue we had was hardware related – one of the lighthouses seemed faulty – one LED does not light up (instead of 17 only 16 LEDs are lit). In the meantime, we simply used the working Lighthouse as the front facing one and tried not to turn 180 degrees in a hurry so it wouldn’t grey out. Apparently it still mostly works with one Lighthouse so long as if you are still kinda facing the single Lighthouse]

ANOTHER FUN READ: Teardown of the HTC Vive

To take a screenshot in SteamVR, press System+Right Trigger at the same time. The image in SteamVR is quite confusing as the prompt on screen is not very clear – I read it as a suggestion that you press System and THEN press Right Trigger. So I thought the screenshot feature was broken until George told me to press BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. As for where these screenshots are being saved, its really not very obvious either. For example, you can’t set the folder for it to be saved. It took me a while to figure this out, but the screenshots are being saved into the userdata folder in Steam. For me, by default the screenshots were being saved here:

C:Program Files (x86)Steamuserdata760remote250820screenshots

Besides the 250820 folder, there were other numbered folders for different apps or sessions. Look in all of the folders inside remote to find your screenshots.

Also note that the screenshots are PRE-warp/distortion. So you’ll get screenshots that all look like two normal views without the overlay of the other buffer layers such as the Vive Chaperone, etc.

Now for the fun… testing out various VR apps!


 

The Lab

On Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/450390/The_Lab/

First stop is surely The Lab. Pet your robotic dog on a mountain side and play with other very solid VR experiments in The Lab. This free title is deservedly highly rated – you’ll definitely find that there are quite a number of VR games appearing on the market which are simply clones / rip offs of the devices from this portal-themed collection.

VR Museum of Fine Art

On Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/515020/The_VR_Museum_of_Fine_Art/

Art? What art? I came here specially to look at the potted plants used to decorate the dusty corners of the museum. 10/10.

Google Earth VR

Google Earth VR is super impressive in 3D cities like London where you can fly around in a warped clone universe…

and with a wave your hand you can instantly change the time of day into THE TIME OF THE APOCALYPSE

There is also another frightening feature…

AIN’T NOBODY WANTS TO FIND THEMSELVES FLOATING OVER EARTH AT THIS ANGLE!!! URGHHH. Which brings us to the issue of sim sickness. Its not great when the motion in the graphics suddenly does not correspond with the user’s own head movements…

Job Simulator

In Job Simulator, you play a human being assigned to do some artisanal jobbing for robots who have developed a refined taste for their services and products being made sloppily and badly by humans in a world of limitless machine perfection. I liked this game too much, because I’m not very good with following instructions in an open roaming world. I haven’t tried all the jobs yet, but here I was being a chef – burning lemons on the grill, drinking virtual wine on the job, and throwing raw meat at the frowning robot customers.

SUPERHOT

Superhot works on the premise that time only moves when you move. The graphics are simple but the rapidity with which things move when you accidentally make a wiggle of your head in VR is very effectively. It also however leads to a lot of unintentional arm or hand flapping when you somehow need to make things go faster, so it was quite amusing to watch George playing this.