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What a couple of weeks it has been since the last update. We have created a full VR Demo using skyline and exported for you all to try and we have also just released a new version of skyline tagged with V0.9.7.2 that has many fixes over the last release and we have many new features as well :)
So what have we fixed then; well, we encountered many of the bugs you users have encountered over the past weeks when developing this game and really gone to town fixing them. This means the Duplicate bug is now fixed as well as the move bug which acted similar and we also fixed many others which you can find the changelog here: V0.9.7 Full Changelog
When the auto update was released, we did have a few problems getting it upgrade and there is a forum post dedicated to this: V0.9.7.2 Forum Release
We have improved many features but on top of this, we have the major news of announcing:
OSVR is now integrated into the Skyline Game Engine!
You can make beautiful immersive games for anyone who owns an OSVR HDK which are available now: http://www.osvr.org/hardware/buy/
Whether you are on the free version or on the commercial indie version you can play with this technology now as we have released both versions of skyline with OSVR Support since it is an open source solution. Make the game of your dreams, but this time make it immersive at the same time.
To run the new VR Camera system, simply place a camera entity into the scene and enable the "Camera VR" Property to setup a dual screen that takes input from the Hacker Dev Kit directly into the Skyline Editor, Player and End Game, so you can see what it looks like at all times.
Here are our thoughts and a bit of a review on the HDK after developing with it and we will be as realistic as possible:
This headset device is a lot cheaper than the others and offers a great visual experience with a low latency screen that really makes you feel apart of the world.
When developing, i had the headset on the table next to me at all times and had to simply activate the OSVR server and the HDK was instantly working. One of the things i liked about it was that the Headset could kick in even after the game is running or playing the editor saving a full restart of levels or games.
The Images look good with very little distortion thanks to the special optics and having adjustable optics makes it easy to line up with your vision. When i was researching and vieving Oculus Rift videos, all of them applied a viewport skewing to warp the image around the lens, whereas with OSVR, this is not required and it looks good at the same time.
Using OSVR as a VR base means we will be able to support many different headsets right out of the box with no extra SDK setups which means we have the most options as well as being able to plug in other hardware such as hand controllers positional tracking which we have yet to play with ;). It's something we need to work with though to see how well it can be pulled off.
Finally the Hacker Dev Kit is also comfortable to wear and has nice foam when placed on the face with no itching or scraping happengin. Oh and the Device looks really good too!
There are a few downsides to the headset though, these being the amount of wires which i am sure all Headsets have a problem with. Another problem i had was not so much the Headset but the computer i was using the develop with; my graphics card can only handle 2 outputs at once. This means when developing i had to keep switching display adapters to get it displaying on the Headset and sometimes after switching the display, the headset refused to send the orientation through to the server which meant i had to disconnect all the wires on the HMD to reengage.
The other problem which a lot of games will have a problem with is performance when running in any HMD as it requires the scene to be rendered twice. This is rather to do with engine though an not the HMD but it is necessary for a good visual.
We found when using the headset for long periods that the headset steamed up on the optics which blurs the image and breaks immersion and with the foam creating a decent blacked out seal on the face meant that you can sweat if you are in a warm room lol :P
So Apart from that, i would give the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit a 9.0/10.0 rating for being a great and usable device with a few issues most HMD's would struggle with. Well this is my 2cents. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the matter. For working in a VR world though, i really enjoyed using the setup and will use it again on many games.
Enough on that then and lets talk about other features we have improved! Simply check out the new spline path editor improvements which now has a more visible line using the same technique we used with the navmesh. The old line was almost invisible on certain scenes and really held us back when developing larger levels. There are a few tweaks we are still going to make though such as making the line and nodes scalable through the editor properties for those large scenes where a 10cm line is being looked at from a mile away lol :P
In order to pull the recent demo off, we also added a new action which allows any entity to follow a path smoothly in all 3 directions. With the new spline path, you can apply a roll at a specific point on the path which the action picks up and rolls the entity smoothly to that orientation, this is great for flying creatures.
Here, check out this video to see what i mean:
It shows the action being used in conjunction with the path to create a fly through in the scene, there is no scripting at all.
I am sure i could go on, but this blog seems to be getting quite long and half of you probably are not even reading this section, so why am i writing it ..... hmmmm ..... lmao :P
So enjoy all your development and if you have anything to report good or bad, then please go to the forum and we will respond to you there and fix any issues you may have for the next release. Thanks for reading :D