Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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Official Oculus Rift Second Life Viewer Officially Here -- Apparently Addresses Several Problems from Beta Version

Second Life Oculus Rift

The official version of Oculus Rift for Second Life is finally here -- if you own a Rift, download the viewer here.

The features include several which seem to address some of the problems I had with the Beta version, which I tried a few weeks ago, as indicated [in brackets]:

  • Full Oculus Rift Hardware Support - includes automatic hardware detection and display calibration for quick and easy setup. 

  • Full UI Support - users can access the entire Second Life UI and HUDs while in Oculus Rift mode, so there are no limitations on what a user can do inworld while using the headset. [I had extreme difficulty doing anything in Second Life which makes Second Life unique -- i.e. content creation or even chatting.]

  • Customizable UI - users can tailor the settings for Oculus Rift mode that work best for their needs. [Ditto above, this should be very useful for most users]

  • Avatar Head Motion - Oculus Rift head-tracking data is mapped to the avatar, so users’ avatars look where they do.

  • New First-Person View - allows users to enjoy the immersion previously available with mouselook mode, but thanks to the Oculus Rift, the mouse is free again to control the cursor, allowing for interaction with the UI and objects inworld.

  • “Align to Look” -  allows users to quickly start moving the direction they are looking. [In the Beta version, movement in SL was very cumbersome, so this could be a big plus]

  • “Action Key” - interact with objects by pressing a key, works great in mouselook mode. [As noted, the Beta made interacting in Second Life utterly aggravating, so again, this could be a big plus.]

Anyway, watch the demo video below. And if you're a Rift user, please share you experiences in Comments.

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Looking Forward to this whenever firestorm is able to release its own version.

Eddi Haskell

When is the consumer version available for sale? Can I purchase a developer version for $350 right now even though I am not really a developer?

Eddi Haskell

The Oculus listing says that a developer is someone that "wants to create virtual reality content for the upcoming consumer version of the Oculus Rift", which is a broad enough category to include those of us who create machinima, photography, and products for Second Life. I am assuming most resident creators qualify for this.

Adeon Writer

Palmer Luckey (paraphrased): "The only thing that that can kill VR is bad VR"

I really think Linden should be extra careful when advertising this very unfinished viewer. In fact, I don't think they should be advertising it at all. Devs don't need a YouTube video.

Also I'd LL wants to be a front runner with Oculus they should rely be echoing Oculus's own best Practices guide where they explain how very important real-world scaled content is in VR. Keeping in mind everything in SL is often build with more than twice the size (8x the volume) than real things should be.

And VR will suffer for it for anyone who has SL be their first experience with VR.

Adeon Writer

In fact all of Luckey's most important points seem to be ignored here:

1.) Real world scale is very important
2.) 60 FPS is most important (take a look at that 10 FPS in the video)
3.) Don't retrofit existing games - make new ones.

2014

I'll wait until Apple develops something similar that will actually work and not look like a box on my head

Account Deleted

@ 2014

Was thinking same thing too.

Eddi Haskell

My comments to points raised-
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And VR will suffer for it for anyone who has SL be their first experience with VR.--

Okay, but lets be realistic here. Some gamers will be Oculus Centric, and will not be interested at first in the current computer centric rendition of Second Life. What is lost by having them download the Second Life viewer to try? Look, Second Life usership has not grown at all in the past several years. Why will Second Life suffer if new VR users experiment with the headset version? They might even convert over to standard viewers to use on their desktops or laptops. The download will be free after all.
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In fact all of Luckey's most important points seem to be ignored here:

1.) Real world scale is very important

Why would this matter in gaming applications? Second Life is not in real world scale, but is in Second Life scale -- which we as users have grown used to.

2.) 60 FPS is most important (take a look at that 10 FPS in the video)

True, this is ideal. And some of us may be able to achieve this if we have enough bandwidth. However, I do not think this is crucial for enjoying Second Life in VR surround right now.

3.) Don't retrofit existing games - make new ones.

So what you are saying here is that Second Life should never be experienced in Oculus, but a new VR World designed for it like High Fidelity should be. I am not sure about this. I want to see how Second Life looks in Oculus, and read the reports of others, before I write off this technology for Second Life users.

4. I'll wait until Apple develops something similar that will actually work and not look like a box on my head.

Google Glass has experimented with VR --- applications, but you need an wrap-around headset with 360 vision to take full advantage of VR. I do not think Apple would add anything to this.

I view Second Life and Oculus this way. It is similar to initial televsion broadcasts. When televsion first came out in the late 1940's it was a huge hit, even though shows at first were broadcast in low end Black and White and were merely "talking head" versions of radio shows. It took 10 years for true televsion-centric production standards to take off (Desilu Studios pioneered much of modern tv), and 20 years for color tv to take off. Still, it was a success at first.

Jo Yardley

Yes, you can buy the Oculus even if you're not a developer.
And now the DK2 is out and the commercial version not long away, they are getting cheaper.
I got mine from ebay.

Scale does matter, a lot.
You just feel it when something is a bit off.
And that is why scale matters in SL.
Either you use a scale you want and do lots of mathematics and calculations to make sure everything is in right proportions, or you use prim scale ( a prim is 50cm).

I've build 1920s Berlin to prim scale, and there is a Oculus and prim scale test area near the teleport place of my sim that you can explore without having to follow the sims dress code, etc.

I have experienced SL with the Oculus and it is awesome, no matter how flawed the Rift and SL both still are, it is a unique experience to actually walk trough something you spend years building.

Catten

I agree with Jo, it's a very unique expereince despite what ever flaws there is, be it scale or lag etc. In my oppinion, SL is by far the most impressive VR exprience there is right now. I haven't tried the new viewer because work stole my headset (will get the DK2 in a month or two hopefully), but even back when the experience was just a hacked viewer with no interface at all, it was still amazing, even more so in the latest LL version I tried.

Aiming for perfection before releasing something is just as dangerous as giving all a go, Oculus saw this and thats why we can all try VR now and not until someone actually finishes a release headset.

Account Deleted


@ Eddi Haskell

It will not be long before someone makes a set of contacts for the eyes.


Ciaran Laval

Scale is important, very important. I'm not sure the retro-fitting hurdle is so important to a platform as dynamic as Second Life as it would be to an MMO. Second Life has plenty of wiggle room there, which others simply don't have.

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