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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Wednesday, May 15th 2013 / Gaming

Day Four With The Oculus Rift - Minecraft

Today I had a little more spare time so I took the time to check out the new Minecrift (yes that's how it's spelt) mod for Minecraft. It's not exactly the most straight-forward thing to install since you have to modify your minecraft.jar file and install some VC++ 2012 runtime packages but once I got it running it worked surprisingly well in-game.

It almost feels as if the FOV is set too low in-game as everything seems absolutely massive! However I believe that's simply how Minecraft should feel if you think about it. The player character is about 2 blocks tall in Minecraft so those blocks are pretty huge, you don't really get a sense of scale when playing on a monitor but the Rift makes it feel totally different!

Laura had a go for 5 minutes too and seemed to enjoy it though she fell in to a deep cave and then got attacked by a bat which scared her:

I then thought it'd be worth running Laura through the TF2 calibration tool just so we can write down her IPD and keep a copy of the settings if we need them. It was while running the calibration tool that I realised (watching on the monitor) that you probably can't even see all the way to the edges of the screen when you have the headset on. Thus, the issue I described yesterday with the Oculus demo using much more screen-space than Half-Life 2 probably makes no difference. As far as I can tell, Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 are both filling the visible area of the screen so it's not like you'll notice any of the black part around the edges.

Next I thought I'd run through the calibration again myself to make sure it's all correct and I copied over my calibration settings from TF2 to HL2. I continued on from my save from a few days ago:

The HEV looks so much cooler in VR! The little details in the game look really cool when close-up too. Watching the HEV charger animate while using it was pretty awesome:

As I mentioned the other day, standing up next to characters and looking at the detail on them particularly shows just how good the VR looks. This is proper 3D, I can move around and look at Barney's face and it looks so good!

HL2 and TF2 both support multiple aiming modes, the default mode allows for aiming with the mouse on screen without the view moving. If you move the mouse far enough left or right the view will turn but most of the time you're moving your head to look up and down and look at objects. It works pretty well but when I picked up the crobar and saw my arms for the first time I immediately saw a problem with this aiming model. When moving my head in certain directions it looked as if my arm was coming out of my chest!

I had similar views when I picked up the pistol but aiming and shooting the combine enemies felt pretty easy. I played for a good 15 minutes or so this time without any funny feelings but then within the space of a minute I had 2 or 3 when falling from a high platform and then when turning too fast to shoot an enemy. I decided that was probably enough for today. I was pleasantly surprised after removing the rift that I felt no nausea at all. Clearly the calibration helped but I still don't think I'm ready to sit playing for an hour just yet.

If you found this post helpful please leave a comment below:
Gerald / 2013-05-15 23:39:23
Very cool Martin - so you are getting there, slowly but those VR legs are building up.

Do you have a good resource on what you can setup in HL2 and the steps needed to take to set the IPD?
Martin Caine / 2013-05-17 06:25:25
Thanks Gerald, here's the link to the HL2 set-up guide: