Open Source VR games and projects?

Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 29 Apr 2016, 15:33

Lots of tinkering around with VR, but it seems open-source games are still not picking it up that much.

I guess the main reason being that none of the mainstream platforms play along well with Linux yet. But at least for the Valve SteamVR stuff it seems to be around the corner, OSVR ( http://www.osvr.org/ ) seems to partially work, but their consumer grade hardware is still a few weeks away, well and there is Google Cardboard, which is shaping up to be a quite capable framework for VR on Android (but of course is a bit limited by the hardware and the lack of standardization in that regard).

After a lot of hype and prototype projects, such as Occulus support in Torque3d, Tesseract (got removed again), the most mature open source support for the main VR platforms seems to be implemented in the jMonkey3D Engine... but it is not yet mainlined and still has ways to go.

Cool is also the Quake engine port (actually Darkplaces, that also runs Xonotic etc.) for Google Cardboard and Gear VR: http://www.quakevr.com (I took the liberty to extract the GPL sourcecode here: https://github.com/poVoq/Quake-1-Cardboard-Port-QVR ). It also runs mods, but most are not working out of the box and Xonotic requires probably a bit too much performance for todays smartphones to run well as VR.

In general this is something that probably holds things back, i.e. not that many people have hardware capable of running VR games well, and dedicated headsets are also still very expensive. Cardboard is the cheapest option, with mobile phones of the current mid-priced (~300$ + >50$ for a good headset) generation running some games quite ok. If you are shopping for one, make sure it has a gyro and a 1080p screen around 5" big. Samsung's GearVR is probably the highest quality cheap option right now, but their system is closed down and Samsung phones are also not very open to custom roms etc. I have a Asus Zenfone2 which works quite well with Cardboard, but the PowerVR GPU and the x86 cpu (not the best Android support) make it somewhat difficult to recommend right now. The Nexus5 is probably a safe bet, and even my old Nexus4 works well, but the resolution (720p) is a bit low (and it also has a lot of overheating problems in general).

For headsets, I would recommend to first get a real Cardboard (i.e. the cheap ones made from cardboard) to try it out. They work surprisingly well and in fact offer a better immersion than many of the cheap plastic headsets currently being flooded on the market. For an upgrade, there are some better ones (I hear BoboVR Z4 is good, but I have not tried) that are a bit more expensive, but offer better Field of View and sharper lenses.
I was a bit stupid and got a cheap one after using the real cardboard one for a few weeks... logic being, if the cardboard one is good, how can a improved one be worse? But evidently Chinese companies never try their own products and managed to make it much worse than something made out of cardboard for 5$ :( But the head straps etc. were ok, so I modded the hell out of it and now it works quite well.

If you can wait, get the second generation that will come with a dedicated gyro like the GearVR though. It is supposed to offer much faster head-tracking and Google is working on supporting that with Android N it seems. So sometimes later this year I guess.

Highly recommended is also to get a good swivel chair and a Bluetooth gamepad to avoid cables getting into the way. Some smartphones also work with a USB OTG adapter and a Xbox360 or similar gamepad, but that is a bit hit and miss and works only on rooted phones in some cases. I also tried with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard (I had those for Ubuntu Touch convergence tests), but you really need 360° movement for many games, so that became a bit inconvenient.

Generally a good resource for CardboardVR related news is the reddit group: https://www.reddit.com/r/GoogleCardboard/
I also follow the OSVR reddit group: https://www.reddit.com/r/OSVR/ as this seems to become the most Linux friendly and hackable option (at a somewhat affordable price) in the near future.

Interesting is also a recent prototype (VRidge) that uses game streaming to emulate a Occulus VR headset with Google Cardboard. Not open-source and currently only works with a WindowsPC to run the software, but it shows lots of promise and the technology is actually quite simple it seems: Stream a stereoscopic 180° video in >1080p to your mobile, and do the head-tracking in the phone on that video directly to avoid latency issues. If you connect the controller to the PC directly and maybe also add a positional head tracking camera, this will likely give you quite high quality VR using cheap equipment and standard software soonish.

Generally though there is still a bit of a lack of real games, most of it is just nice demos and early prototypes. Some show really a lot of promise though and there are also some cool stereoscopic VR videos of various topics available for download / Youtube (big files though, as high quality 4k is best for that).

Anyways... I just wanted to note down some thoughts and what I tried recently. Maybe it motivates someone to also start fiddling with VR. It's still early days, but it is already quite amazing.
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby eugeneloza » 29 Apr 2016, 18:14

oh... VR stands for Virtual Reality?
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 30 Apr 2016, 03:17

Thanks for pointing that out :p
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby leilei » 30 Apr 2016, 12:06

because it requires a game designed for VR; not VR tacked on a game

i'd imagine putting VR in OA3 (with the full body awareness hack) would cause chunks to fly. It's already troubling enough with anaglyph
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 30 Apr 2016, 13:23

True, although Quake1 is surprisingly fun with a swivel chair. But maybe it's just the novelty of it...

There is by the way a CardboardVR compatible version of OpenArena. I have not tried it, but it seems to be not working so well according to some comments. See here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .sdl&hl=en

@leilei: is that eye-tracking I see on that screenshot? Pretty cool ;)
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby andrewj » 01 May 2016, 03:57

Julius {l Wrote}:@leilei: is that eye-tracking I see on that screenshot? Pretty cool ;)

I can answer that -- indeed it is, and more impressive considering it is done in pure idtech3 (no GLSL shaders here).
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 16 May 2016, 11:15

Lastest on getting the Vive work on linux:
http://www.vronlinux.com/articles/adven ... on-linux.8
(tl;dr: not really working yet)

Also looks like Google is going to announce some interesting VR related news next week (rumors: a special Android version & headset?).
I personally think that Android VR, or lets say low-spec VR is much more interesting for open-source development than the Vive and Occulus (kind of like indie VS. AAA), thus I am right now more interested in the Android side of things. Cableless VR is also a bit more comfortable ;)
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 21 Jun 2016, 16:33

The successor to Cardboard looks interesting:
https://vr.google.com/daydream/
especially because of the mandatory controller.
https://developers.google.com/vr/concep ... r-emulator
and they demos they showcased with it for very cool RTS like game-play.

The new HDK from OSVR has also been announced and will be available soon for a very interesting price point:
http://www.osvr.org/hdk2.html

Still waiting for proper Linux support though :(
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby NathRoberts » 06 Feb 2017, 03:57

Thank you for the post guys.

I just got my new VR Headset. I am currently looking out for a cool game in which I could play for the 1st time using my new VR Headset.
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 24 Nov 2017, 06:53

Just as a small update:

OpenHMD is still being actively developed: http://www.openhmd.net/

And there is a really fully featured VR version of the open source Doom3 available:
https://github.com/ChristophHaag/DOOM-3-BFG-VR
(sample vid: https://youtu.be/OmoDKMl7iRs)

WebVR also seems to get traction, with this nice framework probably a good starting point: https://aframe.io/
See also: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/11/a-sup ... x-quantum/

Oh and the Godot Engine seems to be getting into VR & AR as well:
https://godotengine.org/article/godot-3 ... ar-support
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 24 Apr 2018, 12:43

As a small update: FOSS VR activity is still quite lacking, but I hacked myself together a DaydreamVR compatible headset to test a few things. The input controller really makes things *much* more interesting compared to CardboardVR.

Sadly there isn't really a traditional FOSS game engine that fully supports Daydream yet, but there are some promising signs on the Godot and jMonkey3D side of things. Or did I miss some project in that regard? The developer of the above linked Cardboard Quake engine port QVR mentioned a while ago in Reddit that he is working on a Daydream version as well, but no updates so far (in general an idTech engine port would be great, especially cool would be to get DOOM3 running on DaydreamVR).

The most functional project right now it probably Mozilla's WebVR A-Frame, especially with cool social VR projects like this: https://github.com/networked-aframe/networked-aframe
See also:
https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/03/immer ... -low-poly/
https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/03/immer ... oly-part2/
https://joshondesign.com/2017/07/24/aframe_tips
https://github.com/aframevr/a-blast (doesn't seem to work with Daydream though)
Edit: by the way, with Chrome on Android you still need to enable WebVR: Open Chrome, navigate to chrome://flags and enable the WebVR and Gamepad flags. Firefox on Android works out of the box, but doesn't integrate properly with Daydream controller support yet.

I am also experimenting with this php CMS for easily hosting A-Frame content on the web: https://www.ideaspacevr.org/ (but it is more geared towards 360° photo content right now).
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 03 Sep 2018, 18:07

Argg... this seems like one step forward, two steps back :(

So there is a quite recent GZDoom port onto Daydream ( https://github.com/lvonasek/GZDoom-Android ), but its development was abandoned again 2 months ago. GZDoom3.5+ can look really nice ( https://youtu.be/FFCM1eXoQH0 ), so that would be a pretty cool platform to develop open-source mobile VR games on.

Similarly the Vive/Occulus Doom port ( https://github.com/Fishbiter/gz3doom ) is looking kind of cool and works with voxel models, but apparently if will never be merged upstream ( https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f ... 6&start=30 ) so that seems like a very week base to start a FOSS VR game with :(
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby charlie » 04 Sep 2018, 10:14

Daggerfall Unity has some [prototype VR integration](https://forums.dfworkshop.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1081) but I guess that is because it is on top of Unity.
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 04 Sep 2018, 11:59

Yeah, unity...

On the plus side: the new SteamPlay Proton (a fully open source WINE branch that is integrated into Steam for Linux since a few days), apparently makes it possible to play VR games on a HTC vive quite well on Linux. So maybe the number of developers with a VR headset that are Linux/open source minded will increase now.
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 08 Sep 2018, 20:00

Fairly cool update on the Mozilla Hubs Social VR chat system: https://blog.mozvr.com/new-in-hubs-imag ... 3d-models/
https://hubs.mozilla.com/

Also there is a currently a competition that might result is a few cool demos forWebXR: https://js13kgames.com/webxr

Last but not least, there is another cool open-source WebXR framework I wasn't aware off: https://www.babylonjs.com/
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 21 Sep 2018, 08:46

If you are interesting in porting a WebGL project to WebVR:
https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/09/conve ... -to-webvr/
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 05 Oct 2018, 11:44

Started a new AR/VR related planet for collecting open-source augmented and virtual reality news:
https://social.freegamedev.net/channel/arvrplanet (little content so far :) )

Oh and VLC 4.0 will have VR video playback: https://youtu.be/lGqf0yb-Fs8
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 07 Oct 2018, 15:32

Godot VR video tutorial: https://youtu.be/IijlGjDh8lk
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby cryptogamesnow » 31 Oct 2018, 00:52

i just got a rift. im excited about open source vr projects
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Re: Open Source VR games and projects?

Postby Julius » 30 Nov 2018, 17:59

https://forums.torque3d.org/viewtopic.p ... 300#p10741
(Scroll down a bit for the OpenVR videos)

Looks like Torque3D is making good progress with their HTC Vive and Occulus support.
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