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Game developers - Make Stereographic 3D an OPTION

Level 2
Hi guys,

If there's anything we've learned from the Dirt RALLY thread (viewtopic.php?f=42&t=22689), it's that people have a hard time telling if things are really 3D.

Carmak has gone on record stating that 3D isn't completely necessary, and has even shown monoscopic demos to colleagues that comment on the quality of the 3D.

We've even had quotes from the Dirt RALLY thread like:
When I was watching a replay, a tree branch got in between the camera view and the car and I jumped back because it felt like it was going to jab me in the eye. I also can see depth in the cockpit and can lean into the steering wheel and see it as a real object. I have played enough games and demos to know if I am seeing depth or not.

It's a pretty compelling argument, but when the game isn't actually rendering in stereo how can this happen? Well it happens in real life. Close one eye and get someone to jab a branch at you. You'll know when it's getting close, you'll still want to jump back. Just because you're not seeing things in stereo doesn't mean you brain is completely unable to determine depth from all the other minor cues it gets from the subtle movement of your head.

The same thing appears to be happening with the rift.

I'll happily admit that when I first tried Dirt Rally I actually thought it was 3D. Only when I went on the forums did I go back and have another look and realise that it wasn't 3D.

This is a deal breaker for some, people are putting off buying it until it's "fixed". But having played it myself, going in "blind" to the fact there was no 3D, I can say for certain that unless you're "looking for it", it's hard to notice.

What does this mean? Well, why not make 3D a option? Games like Project cars would benefit from this. There's problems with shadows in 3D that mean you have to disable them (obviously we hope this will get fixed) but at the same time being able to disable stereo 3D would likely mean a 2x increase in performance!

I'd happily use those extra processors ticks to add the shadows back in and turn up the texture quality.

So, why not make 3D an option in your game? Test it with users that aren't used to the game and without mentioning it ask them what their thoughts are. I'm willing to be only a select few would notice the lack of true stereo vision.

It will open up your game to more users by being more scalable and, in turn, hopefully better received.

Level 2
Never mind, I misunderstood you, see below.

Level 2
"MrsVR" wrote:
Uhm... no. Too much work.

Well, like with the case with the Unity integration it's possibly something that the engine could provide support on - just like providing the ability to change the resolution.

In theory it could be made possible so it's something a developer doesn't even need to consider "adding" support for other than making sure their game works as expected when run without stereoscopic 3D.

Level 2
Never mind, I misunderstood you, see below.

Level 2
"MrsVR" wrote:
Yeah, no. The point of using pseudo-3d is to save resources, you have to adapt your models and level design to match any changes. A cube in 2D is a square with 4 vertices, a cube in 3d is a cube with 8 vertices (in unity it's 16 vertices because of the normals), so you can't use your regular cube model, you'd save nothing.

In regular 2d you'd use orthographic projection along with 2d assets like sprites (everything looks flat, no depth), but in pseudo-3d you use perspective projection, which gives depth (a z-axis). This is basically 3d. The only things that makes it 2d (pseudo 3d) are the assets and level design. If you don't change those things then you still have regular 3d.

It's basically like making a whole other game. There's no "activate 2d/pseudo 3d" button and everything works perfectly.

Sorry, either I'm totally misunderstanding or you're misinterpreting what I'm saying.

I'm not saying "render your game in 2D". I'm saying have the option to enable stereographic rendering - i.e. using two cameras, one to render each eye - an option.

E.g. in BF4 I have the option to play it on my monitor in regular 3D, or I can enable "3D vision" and have it render in stereographic 3D. The disadvantage of runing it in "3D vision" is it almost halves the framerate because the scene is being rendered twice, using perspective projection, once for each eye, in 3D.

So sorry, to clarify, I'm not saying "create 2D assets for your game instead of 3D models which people can choose to improve frame rate". I'm saying "rendering your game using monoscopic or stereoscopic perspective projection an option".

I've updated the thread title to clarify 🙂

Level 2
Oooooooooooooooooh, that makes so much more sense 😄 I got confused by you saying just "3d".

Making monoscoping rendering an option is very easy to do, and afaik oculus does recommend allowing people that option, so yes we should definitely do that.

Level 5
Carmack only said its unnecessary for some scenes, where there is nothing close to the viewer, because there is very little parallax for distant objects. Not having stereoscopy for close objects can cause really severe eyestrain as you move your head.

Its an option for games on a monitor because there 3D is just an effect, with or without 3D you are just looking at a picture on a screen that is an abstract representation of a 3D environment. VR relies on having accurate perspective because it occupies your entire vision, and any discrepancy from how your real vision works causes sickness.

Level 2
I don't know. I'd tend to disagree.

It's clear that regardless of stereoscopic 3D being used or not, people can have a hard time telling - when combined with positional tracking.

I for one am completely capable of playing Dirt Rally without 3D as it stands. Nothing gets "jabbed in my eye" close but the cockpit of the car is obviously in close proximity and causes me (and others) no problems.

Additionally I find I get LESS eye strain when leaning in close to the steering wheel, compared to stereoscopic 3D games (like Live For Speed) because being close to an object doesn't result in it becoming more separated as it does when it's rendered in stereo.

Have you actually tried a non stereoscopic 3D game WITH positional tracking in the rift? Parallax is still very much present and is what is tricking others so well. While I appreciate all sorts of things can cause people to feel sick in VR lack of 3D doesn't appear to be a major factor and, if it was, GearVR would have about half as many available apps...

Again, it's about finding that balance to me.

You're saying "Don't give them the option to play it without stereoscopic 3D because it MIGHT make them feel sick".

I'm saying "If you don't give them the option to play without stereoscopic 3D they might not be able to play it at 75FPS, which will DEFINITELY make them feel sick".

Level 7
I can see this idea as dangerous.

Imagine 5 years from now, people got used to the switch for turning stereo ON and OFF.
What if some dev gets the idea of either disabling stereo altogether or ignore it in the way of optimizations or getting rid of all the bugs in stereo?
I certainly wouldn't want that to happen.

And about that branch - it's low persistence, I know what I'm saying. People got used to blurry full-persistence gaming and that's what causes their mistakes. I always say LP helps with speed impression AND with depth perception. Just play Pure (2008 game published by Disney Interactive) with LP and without it. You'll see those branches and there's absolutely no "it will hit me!" when playing with full persistence.
But that's not an argument for saying stereo is not important. I think it is very important and after watching how stereoscopic gaming is beaten and crippled since almost 15 years, I feel really worried seeing threads like this.

My suggestion to Oculus: block every app/game that doesn't work in perfect 3D in full and optimal framerate while using high-endish PC but built on normal componens (so no "-E" processors, no dual-GPU PCs for 1500$).
This requirement met? - Allow devs to include the switch then. Everybody happy. 🙂

a little off-topic:
I'd rather see Oculus coming up with some test-app and VR-environment standards along all major game-engines.
You start your game as a computer layman, you click on "test and optimize for this PC", you wait while the app tests the framerates and then the game lowers the amount of details, polygons, textures and so on, to the point where the PC can handle it. It exceeded acceptable levels? Pop-up in 2m from the camera? Textures and geometry like in VooDoo 1 games? "Well. Though luck, brother, but we won't let you play VR at 30fps."
This way it holds 90fps. This way the owner of PC gets the clear message "you really need to upgrade" while having the option to play the game anyway.
Stereo disable switch wouldn't be needed in such case.
It would require a lot of effort from Oculus and talks with guys behind UE, Unity, CryEngine etc. Smaller engine devs would follow if they're forced (wrong word - Oculus could help and SDK documentation could explain it and show the way)

PC-laymans could use VR without hurting either themselves or VR's good name.

Level 2
I have also seen some demos which allow disabling Stereo and the image quality was much clearer with stereo disabled.
Scene looked abit weird though.