VR Systems

Hello guys,

If a developer was looking at making a game for VR at budget cost what would system would we have to look at to buy and how much would it cost?

Confused because I see Oculus Rifts, Steam VR etc.


  • Right now the Oculus Rift is available for around $600. The HTC Vive (Steam VR) is $800 on pre order.

    Steam has adopted the Vive as its official VR headset. But you'll also be able to use the Rift with steam games.
    The Vive and Rift both have its own controllers.

    There is also plenty of headsets available which encases a smartphone as the display, similar to the google cardboard. These are the cheapest option, but the experience can be very limited. However it is a good starting point to experiment with VR.
    Thanked by 2Zaphire mattbenic
  • Thanks for the info.

    Regarding the google cardboard what are the limitations as I assume that it would have to be mobile games or does the phone only act as a screen + head controller?
  • Yes with GC the phone acts as the screen and processor. The headset only encases the phone behind two lenses. The app renders onto a split screen with each lens focusing onto its corresponding screen space. Have a look here to get a better understanding.

    The limitation is the phone's processing power and display resolution. Also you are limited to only 1 input button. Development for mobile specific controllers is still in progress.

    Google also recently announced its daydream which will be their standard mobile headset and controller, and I'm sure 3rd party manufactures will follow this standard.
  • How would we even get a Rift or a VIVE in South Africa ? I know Free Lives has VIVEs as well as @Squidcor I think ? But how would someone without any sort of previous VR experience or any connections with VALVE, get a VIVE ? Assuming they have the money.
  • Is there not a way where I can use GC and have my phone over wifi connect to the pc and then I use the phone as the screen and head input and then my keyboard and mouse as normal on the pc. The PC will then act as the processor and handle the input received from the phone?
  • @Zaphire: I'm pretty sure that lag would induce nauseousness.

    I'm not sure how to get a Rift or Vive, but note that only the Vive currently has move controllers and the Rift has a big backlog of pre-orders they still need to fulfil.
    Thanked by 1mattbenic
  • Unity Remote kind of does that, but it runs at like 10fps, which, if you got it working in vr, would make you want to puke. :(

    We got our first Vives because our publisher organised them for us. We recently got the newer Vive after @raithza went to GDC and jammed some VR games at the Unity offices or something (I'm not sure).

    @Squidcor sent a game through to Valve asking for a Vive and got one. (The game already worked in VR though; he spent a few weekends visiting us to develop on our old one.) I think if you prototype a game that looks like it'll be fun in VR and send it to Valve, they might do it again, but I imagine there's some time pressure on that. (I imagine they're trying to get more developers and more games on board, which would sell the hardware, but I think there's a point at which they aren't making returns. This might already not be possible.)

    I believe people who preordered their Vives are already receiving them. The first consumer batch was apparently sent out last month. So you should be able to buy it straight (though you'll get pretty screwed by the exchange rate).
  • edited
    @Zaphire, you could probably stream the screen output from PC to phone. You would also have to send the phone's accelerometer values to the PC to control the camera orientation.

    Or you could let the phone control the processing and display and the send the mouse/keyboard input from the PC to the phone.

    Here is some apps which attempts to connect a mobile device with PC, for VR streaming


    Thanked by 1Zaphire
  • Thanks a lot guys! @petrc that was almost exactly what I was looking for thanks!
  • Who has a Vive in Joburg? I wanna play around with one XD Or maybe I'll have to go camp out at Free Lives...... if they'll have me, of course XD
  • Awesome, have everything setup with that trinusvr and a sample unity project. Ordered a google cardboard which should arrive tomorrow then I will let you guys know how good the experience was.
  • As far as I know the VIVE and Rift isn't shipping to Africa at the moment. Am I right ? The regions you can select does not include South Africa.
  • We have an Occulus (older model) and as far as I'm aware we didn't have to do anything special to have it delivered here. This was over a year ago though.
  • edited
    So I tested the google cardboard with android apps and it was definitely worth it!

    I also tried out Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead on the PC using the google cardboard as an input device for the head movement as well as the screen with the application called trinusvr.

    The problems I found with google cardboard and how it compared to Oculus Rift
    * My phone battery dies after 1-2 hours of playtime and charging it would limit my movement
    * The lenses are small so it wasn't as great. Apparently google cardboard v2.2 has better lenses
    * There is a slight delay via wifi but wasn't something that you would notice too much. Maybe 50ms delay or so.
    * I used the headstrap and sometimes the cardboard would pull upwards slightly and also not very comfortable on your nose because it has no cussion.

    I think that it offers 70% what the Oculus Rift offers to be honest. I was really surprised at how close the google cardboard experience was compared to Oculus. The movement of the google cardboard was very accurate altho it didn't offer position tracking like the Oculus (up and down for instance). I think the biggest thing that google cardboard needs fixed is just better lenses and it would be worth it.

    Does anyone have a google cardboard v2.2 lying around that they aren't using anymore? (JHB East Rand) I want to test it to see if the experience is much better with the bigger lenses.
  • @Zaphire, thanks for the awesome feedback.

    You can find on takealot there's a couple of headsets similar to the cardboard but better quality and with a more comfortable fit.

    There's also a unity plugin for Trinusvr
    Thanked by 1Zaphire
  • Ye I already tested the unity plugin with their sample project but it wasn't very good because you couldn't kill the enemies. I will definitely be playing around with that plugin to see what I can achieve. The downside is that not a lot of people would play games with Trinusvr in my opinion so it would be better just to create a game for android that supports VR.
  • Interesting. I was under the impression that 50ms would be nauseating for the average person.
  • Interesting. I was under the impression that 50ms would be nauseating for the average person.
    Actually now that I think of it the camera movement felt instant where moving the mouse would be 50ms. Not sure how it worked but I mostly noticed it when I could see the mouse pointer on the screen. When im ingame with no mouse pointer the delay wasn't so obvious

  • I got quite queezy even using the oculus, so I get cold sweats just thinking about a WiFi based solution with the cardboard :)

    This isn't quite VR hardware related, but POG did an interesting episode on VR recently: http://www.psychologyofgames.com/tag/virtual-reality/
  • Here's an interesting approach to VR systems as a more theme-park styled experience, where you build an entire set so that people will be able to feel their way around the virtual world (including fragrances, water sprays, wind, 'cobwebs', tactile feedback with roughly carved walls etc.)

    The Void.com
  • Looks cool and stuff, but i would still prefer a home experience with my games. Because i would be to lazy to go to the place to play a game and then pay every single time when i go there.
  • @Gibbo I think the term for those is "caves". There was a lot of academic research happening into them even when I was in varsity (which is around the same time dinosaurs were sprouting feathers :)

    Thanked by 1Kobusvdwalt9
  • @mattbenic I don't believe (from what I've seen I. The video) that what is being shown could be considered a CAVE system.

    It seems to be more what would happen if you added HMDs to laser tag and then let a designer play around with things. AFAIK the current industry term for this kind of system is warehouse scale VR.

    And just for the general completion in case anyone is curious: CAVE systems is, generally, a multiple wall system where each wall has a projection of an image allowing the user in a virtual environment. The key difference is that it doesn't use head mounted displays.
  • Interesting research @mattbenic - wasn't aware of the CAVE approach, but as @Karuji indicates the VOID setup is more like Laserquest but with a VR headset and input devices where you're walking around a fully built environment, so could it be its own sub-genre?
  • @karuji whoops, that's what you get fro making assumptions without actually watching the video ;) You're absolutely right, and this could possibly make for the most awesome laser tag ever. This combined with the Alien War concept would probably be the game I've been waiting for all my life :)
  • Valve has just released the unity project for its VR games "The Lab" which is available on steam

    For those fortunate enough to have acces to a vive
  • Gibbo said:
    so could it be its own sub-genre?
    Looking at the current terms that are in use: I think the experience would best be described as Warehouse Scale Mixed Reality but as with any system of formal codification it lags behind the actual development of what it aims to describe ;)
    Thanked by 1Gibbo
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