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smilr

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  1. smilr

    ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: GO TO HELL

    Ugh. Game dungeon has really gone to hell this time. Excellent episode Ross!
  2. smilr

    ROSS RANTS: 3D

    I'll say it: I enjoy most 3D movies I've seen. But I agree with Ross -> they don't push the depth into the screen space well enough in my opinion. Long distance shots feel like matte paintings 20 feet behind the foreground all too often. I HAVE used an Oculus rift in controlled settings (PAX Prime) on two occasions. Let me share some anecdotes and impressions: The first was with the original devkit , and the experience was just a VR movie of you sitting in an F1 race car and making a lap or two on a course. HOLY CRAP this blew me away. I couldn't control the car, all the action was scripted - but I seriously wanted to go around for another ten laps after it was over. The immersion was very strong. At a couple of points through the simulation another race car will overtake you. As they catch up and pass you can see them in the side mirrors of your car. I caught myself shifting my head / body side to side trying to keep the other car in the mirror as the angle changed. This didn't work as the old Devkit1 version only had rotational not positional tracking, but the feeling that it should have worked and would have been so natural and just like driving in a car was impressive. Next time I had a chance to fly a space-combat simulator with the Revision 2 devkit. This one had positional tracking and a better screen, and we got a controller in our hands to direct the action with. Here I could shift in my seat and the POV shifted in the cockpit to match. First thing I did once the game started was to hit the afterburners and shoot forward into the arena... straight at what looked like a small asteroid in the distance. This 'small' asteroid quickly became MUCH closer and actually dwarfed my little space fighter. All I could do was push down on the stick and try to dodge under it. Such was the turning radius for my ship and the course I had placed myself on that I ended up with the entire forward and overhead cockpit glass FILLED with a closeup view of the asteroid as I *narrowly* managed to not scrape said cockpit off against the rocks. There I was, scrunching down in my seat craning my head back and wide-eyed staring at where I almost pancaked my virtual fighter while it's terrain flowed past. It seriously gave me that gut-dropped into your feet vertigo / fear of heights / just fell off something feeling. Awesome. Also with regards to Scott's claims that VR wouldn't be helping professional gamers much, I'd say it depends on the game. For example: in the space flight sim they had 4 players dog-fighting, 2v2. The game paints a cross-hair centered on the goggle's field of view. Look directly at an enemy for a couple of seconds and you'll get a missile lock-on and can then deploy a salvo of seeker missiles after your target. I remember playing older games like Wing Commander I would get into so many turning battles with enemy fighters where the target would always be *just* off the edge of the screen no matter how hard I banked after them (never let me claim I was any good at these games). Here - I just had to look up/to the side in the cockpit and I could SEE them above me as I chased. No more staring at a pip on a radar or arrow pointing off the side of the screen, I can WATCH you as you try to escape me. This greatly improves the feel of aerial/space dog-fighting. On one occasion I tracked a target like this through a tight corkscrew turn and was able to launch a missile salvo while we both were turning. Very gratifying to watch my missile salvo slowly... steadily... creep up on them as we both kept banking - nothing they could do but prolong the inevitable as the missiles clawed closer and closer. They finally banked the other way to try and shake the salvo but the missiles turned faster > At another time I was trailing both enemy targets - and was able to aim the fixed forward cannons on one, and turn my head slightly to the side to get a missile lock on his wingman at the same time. SO much fun, if a bit tricky to aim one way with a stick and the other with your face. Long anecdotes aside, for at least the dogfighting video game genre, anyone without VR trying to compete with someone who has VR is going to be at a major disadvantage. I don't know which VR headset will be the best from a technical / software support standpoint, but if the competition for Oculus is anywhere near as good as what I experienced with the devKits above - we're ALL going to benefit greatly in the next few years. Now they just need to translate big budget films to these things!
  3. smilr

    Quick May Update

    I've never actually USED dosbox personally so I don't know the answer, but does it provide 'save states' for the entire emulation engine? My thinking goes like this -> both Ross and the other person set up the same version of the emulator and each have a copy of the same game / rom file. When it's time to hand the control over to the other player, the current player snapshots the emulation state - sends it to the other player and that person load it into their emulator to pick it up at the same spot. This way the person actually playing the game has zero lag whatsoever because the game is running locally. Both Ross and the other player could then stream video of whats currently happening back to the opposite person during their turns so the guy not playing can follow along in (almost) real time. Big downside with this is that the game has to be playable in an emulator of some sort with save states (which means dealing with emulation quirks and inaccuracies), and it would take a little time to snapshot a savestate -> send the file to other player -> place the file where emulator expects it -> load the savestate. Not exactly as easy or fast as pressing pause and handing the controller to your buddy
  4. smilr

    FREEMAN'S MIND: EPISODE 57

    BUTTONS!!
  5. smilr

    FREEMAN'S MIND: EPISODE 52

    I registered just to say: the audio additions in this episode really clicked with me. I actually had a big grin on my face when Freeman slipped on the railing over the water. The water dripping effect, ears ringing, and of course the elevator music also sounded good. Kudos.
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