It's a neat idea but I've got a weird problem. The menu doesn't work. I can't click on any of the options. Oh and also, the climbing is very frustrating. Tried climbing the robot but could never make it more than a few bars up on the ladder. There's basically zero margin of error. I'm really good at Climbey but trying to climb in here is just frustrating. In Climbey, you don't have to be perfectly spot on with your grabs because your hands have a bit of magnetism (I guess) and so, as long as you're close, you'll grab it. Here, my hand was visibly grabbing the bar (felt the vibration and everything) and I still fell as soon as I let go of my other hand. The climbing mechanics is this, feel far inferior to the climbing in Climbey. Overall, I do like it but between the climbing issue and the menu issue, I probably wont be revisiting it.
Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like you've been affected by some of the bugs that I've been having difficulty tracking down.
Also are you using an Oculus Rift or a Vive? The Rift is currently not compatible (although I haven't specifically turned it off), but I've been getting reports of a couple users with hard to hit buttons using the Vive too.
That said, I've made a number of improvements to the climbing system based off feedback from others; hopefully once I rerelease/update, people like yourself will find it much more intuitive!
Hey HugeRobot! I just finished going through the demo and I have a few comments on it. I'm using a Vive and am running a gtx 1080 and i6700. As far as climbing goes, I had the same problems as Balian. I could never make it past more than a few rungs and the collision on the blocks seems to be very strange. It feels like you may only be able to grab edges of objects or something, I can't quite tell. The physics seem to be a little wonky as well. Sometimes when I let go, I seem to start falling immediately at super fast speeds. As Balian said, Climbey feels great to play so I'd suggest spending some time with it and trying to capture the same feel. Climbing stuff may need a little more tweaking, but the main reason I checked this demo out was for the movement system.
First off, I'd like to say that running felt great. However, it was a little annoying having to hold the trackpad the whole time. I'd suggest changing the double click feature from a tap to activate into a straight up toggle. Basically, double tapping the pad will engage movement without the pad needing to be held. If that were the case, I feel like jogging around would have been a real treat. Otherwise, running felt natural and I picked it up extremely fast. Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about slow movement.
It might need more time with it, but trying to walk slowly with precision was pretty much impossible. I found myself trying to take small steps and observed when doing that, my head made very little vertical movement. I tried bobbing my head, which worked, but felt extremely unnatural. One thing I was surprised by was that the hand movement only activated while the head was also moving. I was constantly trying to walk by slowly swaying my hands, but of course nothing happened as my head wasn't moving. I'd suggest making the hands cause movement by themselves to see how that feels. Climbey uses a hand sway system to walk around and it feels pretty darn good.
As an extra to the slow movement problems, I also had huge difficulties in the confined space of the maze. The slow movement difficulty was a big part, but the main problem was the system for dealing with walls. Whenever I touched a wall (which was all the time due to the movement) the screen when black and teleported me a couple steps away from it. This was insanely disorienting and made navigating the maze by far the most frustrating part of the demo. I did very much enjoy how when inside a wall, the boundaries appeared and showed where the playable space was, I think all games should implement that feature. However, I could only see it for moments at a time because I was teleported away, I'd suggest tweaking the system so that running into a wall makes you stop movement, but teleportation is saved for only extreme cases when the person has used room scale to try and walk through the wall completely. Wall clipping and teleportation should never be activated by the movement system alone.
Taking everything in, I'm very happy I gave this a shot. The system shows a ton of promise, especially for open areas. In the mountain level, I actually took the time to run to the highest point I could get to, and worked up a sweat in the process. It felt great! With some tweaking, I think this could be quite an elegant solution to the VR locomotion problem. One strange thing I ran into was a somewhat terrible framerate. Even with my 1080, I had to keep SS to 1.0 and even then I experienced quite a bit of stutter. This has nothing to do with the locomotion system though so it didn't really impact my thoughts on that, but some optimization is definitely necessary for the eventual Steam release. I'll be keeping my eye out for updates and thanks again for such an interesting experience!
Thanks for the reply. Excellent comments.
I've been working on remedying a lot of the issues you've described (as they've also been experienced by other users). The comment about the boundary walls is quite useful, and I'll have to have a play around with it.
I actually had the double click to toggle movement on implemented before, but changed it under advice from another tester. Having tried both methods, I think I prefer the touch to move option more; allows flexibility without adding additional stress to having to push down. I might actually merge the options into one unified - click to start movement, but lift off finger completely to stop as the default. That way you don't accidentally trigger movement, but you don't have to grind your thumb into the touchpad. I'll see how user feedback goes.
The climbing is something I've been working hard on - both in conveying when you can climb and in communicating to users how to climb. The long and short of it is essentially that you can grab corners to pull yourself around. You can also grab shallow inclines (like the top of a table, or the top of the Huge Robot foot). Hopefully those changes will help improve how the climbing is perceived.
The slow walking locomotion is another issue I've been working hard on. The real challenge is that there are a variety of styles of walking in place, that a single default setting can't readily capture. So working on a detailed calibration system that will allow users to set it closer to their personal preference/style of moving right off the bat. For the people that it works for (currently), I've been told it's fantastic for all movement speeds though.
Hope to get an update in shortly.
Thanks for the quick reply! For the movement toggle, I like the idea you have about the press to activate, but stay tapping to move. Even so, I'd love to try a toggle approach. Maybe just keep it as an option and see what people are into? As for climbing, knowing that it applies to edges is a useful tip. I'll have to go in with that knowledge and see if I can't get it down and maybe offer some better feedback. I actually have been talking to friends and they have liked the slow movement, I might just need more time with it. I'm still pretty set on using your arms to move though... I'd need to try to be sure. Anyways good luck and thanks for the demo!
> I actually have been talking to friends and they have liked the slow movement, I might just need more time with it.
There are a fair number of options in the menu to tweak to your hearts content. 'Realistic' has been calibrated against my own movements - I measured the number and distance of steps it'd take me to cross my room and tweaked it to match the same with walking in place.
Having said that, I think the issue that many are finding with 'slow' movement (and probably effecting yourself) is that the system currently prefers exaggerated head motion when walking. The best way to achieve this is by essentially pushing off and landing on the tippy toes before allowing the heel to land on the ground. This produces a pronounced head motion which works well with the system.
The other method of walking that I've observed and tested myself is definetly much slower than intended (about 1/4 to 1/3rd of intended pace) - so hopefully the calibration changes will allow both users to enjoy the system at all motion ranges. Luckily, jogging and running speeds consistently produce sufficient head motion for all users.
Hi Steve, just to let you know, the demo has been updated with a lot of the fixes. You should find the experience to be substantially improved if you'd like to give it another shot! Cheers.