I'm a professional game developer from Wakefield, England, working as a senior programmer for Rebellion North.
I'm a married father of five and I a also sometimes do Retroburn stuff.
Martin 'Bytrix' Caine
Father. C++ Games Programmer. Cyclist. Guitarist.
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Thursday, May 16th 2013 / Gaming

Day Five With The Oculus Rift - SHOCT

So today I really wanted to try out Portal with the Rift. Unfortunately Valve have not rolled out Rift support to titles like Portal, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, or Left 4 Dead 2, so the only option currently is to use the Vireio driver.

After my less than optimal experience with the driver on previous days I looked in to the SHOCT calibration some more, read through the whole guide on how to properly calibrate it and loaded up Portal.

After a few minutes I had properly moved all those lines about and lined things up just as the guide said. I was a little disappointed that things all looked a bit flat, there didn't seem to be enough 3D depth.

I went back in to SHOCT and tried adjusting the lines yet again. This did result in slightly more 3D depth being apparent but I expected the portals themselves to look cooler, especially when passing through them.

Back to SHOCT I went, though this time I walked right up close to a camera and used it as a visual point of reference while adjusting my view. I did manage to get the camera looking much more 3D but it introduced issues when looking at objects up close to the camera (if I walked up the edge of a door it was like I was going cross eyed.

So again I backed off the 3D settings slightly, this again made the image look a bit flat but when I picked the Portal gun up that did actually look pretty cool.

Overall I managed to play around with Portal for about 20 minutes, my longest Rift session, but easily my least exciting session. The lack of any real depth to the image didn't really want to make me keep playing. I know the Vireio driver lists support for Portal as being 'poor' so I'm guessing it will improve it's support in the future, or perhaps the vorpX driver will be better. Ultimately I hope Valve see fit to add the Oculus code in to all their Source engine games and even release a Source SDK update so all those third party games and mods can add it too!

Tomorrow I think I'm going to check out some of the mini demos people have been posting on the VR forums, most of which have been optimized using the recently released Oculus SDK.

If you found this post helpful please leave a comment below:
Sobchak / 2013-05-16 23:29:14
It looks like the left/right images are swapped for all these portal 2 screenshots. Unlike the screenshots for your previous blog posts, the left image is for the right eye and the right image is for the left eye. If you're viewing it that way with your Rift, that'll be the cause of a lack of depth, right there...
MissCelle / 2013-05-16 23:50:12
You mentioned in the fifth paragraph that you felt as though you were going cross-eyed while adjusting your settings, and from looking at these pictures you're absolutely right.

For some reason, a lot of the games I've tried in Vireio default to reversed images for the left and right eyes. In the config files it will say "swap_eyes="false"", but you actually want it to be "true" (don't ask me why). You can achieve this same effect in-game by hitting F6.

Give that a shot, and I think it'll make a world of difference. :)
Martin Caine / 2013-05-17 06:26:24
Thanks guys. That makes sense now looking at the shots. I suppose I'll give Vireio another chance and see if it looks any better :)
Danworld / 2013-05-17 18:20:07
I applaud you for your experiments and for your keeping up a VR blog.

But people might get the wrong impression of the Rift since you seem to be dealing almost exclusively with Virieo which is buggy, hard to configure, and non-native VR.
Martin Caine / 2013-05-17 23:40:53
Not really. All I'm doing is what any other Rift user would do, I've searched for games supported by the Rift and the top searches bring up Vimeio, TF2, HL2 and Minecraft.

I've tried all of these so would hardly say it's been exclusively Vimeio. There's very little currently out there to try and most of the smaller things people are making are hidden away on forums and websites which aren't ranking too well in Google Searches.

I'm only on Day Five too, I intend to continue this on for some time and hope that these continued experiences will help point other novice users in the right direction with regards to configuration and finding games to play with their Rift :)
Tags:   3d   calibration   gaming   oculus rift   portal   shoct   vireio   vr