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VRTK End of Life

Discussion in 'AR/VR (XR) Discussion' started by tcmeric, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. tcmeric

    tcmeric

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    There has been big news in the Unity VR community that Stone Fox has decided to stop developing VRTK, due to insufficient funding.

    This open source VR Kit has been the corner stone of the popularity of VR development in Unity. The VRTK slack channel has upwards of 5000 members.

    For the past year, I myself have developed well over 100 playmaker actions (scripts) to integrate playmaker with VRTK (another very popular asset for unity). I have been super happy with the community of playmaker users/developers around it as well.

    It is interesting that unity hasent stepped up to somehow help this project, as once it is gone, many dev's are likely to choose Unreal and the analogs asset they have. (NewtonVR for Unity has also stopped development due to funding).

    Here is the kit being shown at Unite 2017 (travel cost out of the creators own pocket):
     
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  2. linojon_unity

    linojon_unity

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    VRTK is open source so it won't disappear and anyone can step up. That's how oss works. And Unity is said to be working on it's own VR Foundation Toolkit said to debut in 2018
     
  3. tcmeric

    tcmeric

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  4. nazbee

    nazbee

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    It’s really a shame, VRTK has been a core aspect of VR development for a lot of people interested in VR and a big reason to choose Unity over Unreal. The slack community itself has been a great learning tool for gamedev in general.

    I agree, it would be smart for Unity to step in and recognize the usefulness of VRTK before it’s gone. Without any active guidance, who knows what will happen but it’s likely to lose focus and slowly wither away as more and more bugs and issues pile up.

    Hope somebody at Unity could see this as an opportunity and figure out a way to support or incorporate it the way they have for a number of other succesful assets.
     
  5. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I disagree, many open source projects are thriving. This is because the thriving ones are deserving of attention. That they are relevant. If it dies and withers as you put it, then it is because it isn't very likely to be of interest. Therefore you are saying that VRTK is not likely to garner any interest, which is interesting and conflicts with your other comments.
     
  6. Selzier

    Selzier

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    Or is VR itself in the post mortem stage? Unfulfilled consumer adoption, masses of investor dollars raised from 2013-2016 with essentially no return on investment, and now 2018 is here and we're still waiting for some breakthrough hardware like Magic Leap (maybe they need more money too?).

    Are there profitable VR devs who disagree?
     
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  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Its not in its post mortem stage, it's in its cradle stage
     
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  8. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    And it's an expensive cradle stage that currently only benefits facebook and valve / hardware manufacturers.

    It's just selling shovels and maps - even if physically based sometimes.
     
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  9. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    True, only sustainable for small teams sofar. Its going to change trust me. 2D games are for kids once you have tried proper VR :D
     
  10. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Tried it, it's fun but impractical for the majority of game types and I'll probably make a VR title when it's for fun and most people have solved all the issues (as it is for fun).
     
  11. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Solving the issues and setting the standards are the fun part ;)
    edit: Problem is most games are not proper VR, they utilize the tracked controllers too little or in wrong ways.. Some even have reload buttons for the guns. wtf :D
     
  12. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    You're saying WTF as if you've got the right to dictate that the game should be low level enough to have manual reloading, and claim you're part of setting the standards.

    I'm here to remind you that any creative endeavour does not have standards.
     
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  13. RyanMartin

    RyanMartin

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    I tried VRTK but maybe I was using it wrong. I have had a hard time with the asset for sure, it was hard for me to extend. As other people have said, I feel like it's too early in the VR game to start adopting "standard practice" when we still haven't even figured out how locomotion is going to work.
     
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  14. sinzer0

    sinzer0

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    I hate manual reloading in VR. I got zombies after me and I have to touch my chest to reload which somehow equips another weapon because every game is doing this inventory on your body crap :)

    VR libraries will end up like everything else in software dev. There will be multiple takes on it. VRTK is just one attempt that failed to gain enough traction for whatever reason (probably timing). Happens every week in web javascript land :)
     
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  15. greggtwep16

    greggtwep16

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    I highly doubt it's post mortem, it feels like it's going to stick this time around, but certainly will be a slow adoption unlike say smartphones a decade ago. It feels like the slow adoption is because V1 headsets weren't very good for casual people not because people aren't interested. I actually like the iteration the MR headsets took this year compared to the rift and the vive last year. On desktop there seems to a couple of things that aren't ideal but given a few more iterations should get there so maybe a few years.

    1. Wireless, TPcast is a good start but getting this baked into a product will be much better.
    2. Resolution. The MR headsets are much better for anything in the distance than the Vive or Rift. Another jump like what the Pimax is talking about is needed, but the graphics cards to run that resolution also have to come down in price. MR is better but still needs to improve.
    3. Inside out tracking. It's wonderful and makes setup so easy, but they need to add more cameras so that your hands can be tracked below and above you without losing tracking. The current generation already allows for much bigger play spaces
    4. A locomotion scheme without teleporting. This is the death throws to a lot of VR games. Perhaps running in place will be ok, perhaps not, but teleportation has to go. It's fine as a stop gap but it ruins any action game.

    Obviously that's a lot of things, and it won't happen overnight, but nothing seems not achievable given a few years. Whatever system gets there first I think will get a ton of casual fans. Currently only the hardcore crowd has them and while it should keep things afloat it will be niche until the casual fans come. A profitable space for more than a select few will only come when things aren't niche.

    To bring things back to VRTK, it's understandable, a niche market will only generate so much revenue. Especially trying to do that on the donation/patreon side of things versus a more traditional route. In a few years it should be a larger market.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  16. PyroStudios

    PyroStudios

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    I'm REALLY sad to see the head of VRTK stepping down.. I just learned about the project 2 weeks ago and started working on a game with it. I wish I would've known there were funding issues, I would gladly give what I could to help out.

    Oh well, hopefully Unity comes up with something as great as VRTK... otherwise I may need to look into Unreal. (I just love Unity community too much to switch right now)
     
  17. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    In my opinion VR / AR hardware will merge and you as the user will choose the type of experience you want to have at that moment. The hardware will get cheaper and software will get better. AR will drive VR because its actually useful.

    "Total spending on AR/VR products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 113.2% along the way."

    https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42959717



    I have some Epson Moverio AR glasses, and while they are still clunky, they enable me to have both AR and VR experiences.
     
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  18. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Offcourse there are standards set by certain early games. Look at how Wolfenstein and doom set the standards that still in many aspects hold today.
     
  19. AndersMalmgren

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    Thats not manual loading. Manual loading is removoing the old clip, insert a new one, and depending on if you have a bullet in the chamber or not draw the action, or release the bolt if the weapon in question have a bolt catch
     
  20. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    VRTK/newtonvr has alot of drawbacks. We based our game on NewtonVR but in the end we rewrote the entire thing. Our physics are a custom layer ontop of Unity/Physx because physx isnt accurate enough for VR interaction

     
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  21. Ostwind

    Ostwind

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    While AR might be more useful it's still behind VR because all the existing solutions are limited to small projection area compared to the highest displays and FOV VR headsets. I also don't believe AR will ever replace VR due the differences. Only maybe when the solutions can project directly in to the retina so that everything can be drawn over :)
     
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  22. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Why is AR more useful? I would say the other way around. For visualization VR is far more useful for example. For example to visualize a home before its built.
     
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  23. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Why is it one or the other? XR is an umbrella term that does deserve to exist. The technology that drives both has considerable overlap too.

    AR has more uses in the real world, and so I would have to - if pushed - say AR provides more use for more people in every day situations, while VR is selective.

    Or, if only because if you can see out of VR it is AR.
     
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  24. AndersMalmgren

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    Since AR is dependant on the real world and VR is not I see more uses for VR outside gaming. Like I said visualization
     
  25. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    AR has substantially more uses than VR outside gaming in my view. I think you mean't has very specific uses. More would imply that 7 billion people would want to be using it. AR is set to replace phones. Think on that.
     
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  26. AndersMalmgren

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    AR is a gimick, for example no serious engineer would trust the output from a AR measurement tool. The tolerance is just ridiculous

     
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  27. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Understand I am not biased. These are observations.

    You mean like this ridiculous motion sickness and hardware requirement issue plaguing VR? These industries are the first example of them surviving their birth. The reason they've survived is thanks to other tech advances this time round that needed to be in place.

    Historically both AR and VR haven't survived because it's been too expensive and delivered bad results. AR accuracy doesn't need to improve quickly because AR is never going away, because everyone with a phone will have access to it. As phones get smaller, eventually worn or merely seen, you'll understand it matters to most people more that they can see someone's preferences, how they'd like to be addressed "him/her/they/etc" and so on, just looking at them. There are thousands of reasons why AR is good, and you can start with every single reason why you use a mobile phone, then extrapolate that out to having rich data about everything around you.

    For most people this is of substantially more interest and use than the immersion tech of VR. I'm not much of a luddite but VR has different and less frequent, more specific uses mostly because it cannot work with day-to-day challenges while AR really will help in day-to-day challenges.

    Therefore, logically, AR is way more useful.
     
  28. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Availability doesnt automatically make a thing useful or not a gimick. Sure REAL AR like the Holo lens is cool but the price tag isnt worth it. Cellphone AR is just a gimmick regardless of availability.

    Motionsickness is a modern myth, sure most new comers might feel something the first few times but it goes away for 99%. For the minority there are solutions. Like FOV reduction

     
  29. bddckr

    bddckr

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    Long ago that you tried perhaps? These days there's fields to set needed components, tons of classes are made for subclassing and even then everything is protected in the classes to allow easy extension.

    Standards are years off probably, that's why VRTK includes a lot to ease the work needed to try what works for your specific project. In the case of Locomotion we'll probably see no clear winner anyway.
     
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  30. luniac

    luniac

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    wait... newtonVR is not being worked on due to lack of funding?

    SOURCE please.
     
  31. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    You're basically working from the point of view that everything is your game. It's not. Fov reduction cripples the kinds of games you can make, and is a total band aid.

    If everyone uses small Fov, which sure - does prevent distortion and sickness - you will limit to a very small set of experiences.
     
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  32. Ostwind

    Ostwind

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    I don't know if that's fully correct (funding part) but NewtonVR has been a while in a state where only minor additions and fixes are done every now and then but no "active" development has been happening for a long time.
     
  33. AndersMalmgren

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    Well if you are one of those 1 procenters then FOV reduction is better than not play the game at all right?
     
  34. bddckr

    bddckr

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    These forums seem to go off-topic often, so why not join I thought.

    I'm doing work in, for and play VR stuff for more than 18 months now and I still get motion-sick from touchpad-walking, any game that puts me in something moving without offering a lot of stationary stuff in the peripheral vision (even Elite Dangerous doesn't work in most ships). Same for any of my friends, my family and other devs I know.

    Pulling numbers out of thin air: 90% of users are prone to motion-sickness. Put them in a virtual rollercoaster or in Project Cars and you'll see :D
     
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  35. AndersMalmgren

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    90 procent are prone to motionsickness yes, but only a very few of those will never grow out of it. Most people get their so called VR legs.
     
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  36. bddckr

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    Says who? I'm gotta get out of this now. o_O
     
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  37. AndersMalmgren

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    the good people at r/vive and r/oculus :D

    Before we launched our game we got a group of sensitive people to test our game. It was enough with just a few percentage of black border for them not to feel any motionsickness
     
  38. Gruguir

    Gruguir

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    It's funny how that thread goes wild. VR versus AR, again ? My opinion is it won't be a debate forever (unless it become ARVR vs MRAR vs wathever), tech is obviously constantly merging and blurring the lines. For sure it is an interesting topic i could dive more into in another thread. About VRTK, that's a neat tool, but with its drawbacks like any other 3rd Party solution. Try it, AND NewtonVR, and SteamVR Interaction System, at the end you'll have learned a lot and maybe you could start to setup your own system based upon those. We are used to take for granted others hard work but i don't think that it can't be reliable forever.
     
  39. tlskillman

    tlskillman

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    Just heard the VRTK dev is halting. Very sad. I have a nice immersive science application built on VRTK, and I wouldn't have been able to do it with Harvey Ball's (TheStoneFox) code.

    Hey Harvey, if you are listening, check out ConfocalVR(tm) and see the Geekwire article here. All made possible by VRTK. Thanks for building an sharing it.
     
  40. Alverik

    Alverik

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    Well, I've never really been been bothered by touch pad walking just as long as the movement is in a straight line in the z axis (both walking forward or backward). I've only ever felt like I'm loosing my footing a bit when moving sideways fast, like in a curved path. But, I've never really had motion sickness in VR yet so it may just be me (doubt I'll feel great on a VR racing game though). Only times I've felt sick when using the Rift is because the thing is giving me a migraine from the screen brightness. But that happens with my regular screen too, lol...

    Anyway, I hope Unity comes up with it's own core systems. I think I depend on VRTK mostly for the events manager and the player presence... An easy way to access haptic rumble and the compositor to dim or unfocus the screen during scene switching and headset collision fading would be great too (total darkening of the screen is horrible for headset collision fading...). Besides that I have my own hand interactions cause I wanted it to fit with the hand models I use, and Touchpad walking is no different than a character controller's so not a big deal with that, same with teleport. Like it was mentioned before, people are still experimenting a lot with locomotion so it's probably too soon to expect a standard...

    Mind you, due to some custom stuff I've made I'm stuck with an older version of VRTK for now. Still, a native solution for some of these stuff would be awesome...
     
  41. ippdev

    ippdev

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    The first game I made for VR pushed the rollercoaster type ride to the limit. I would get wobbly legged after a few minutes in the tunnel tubes as 'up' was whatever the polygon normal was below my vehicle. After I added a HUD and situated the speed and power graphs at the center top of the UI kind of in line with the eyebrows I could hack 25 minutes without coming out wobbly legged. Heh..Yanking you back into the thread:)
     
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  42. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    A hud in a VR game?
     
  43. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Yeah.. Heads Up Display like a fighter pilot might have to view instrumentation no matter which way his head is looking.. You act like that is a way out yonder concept. Or yer acronym refers to something entirely different to my reference.
     
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  44. Alverik

    Alverik

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    I think in the right situations you can pull anything you want. Some of the current preconceptions about what VR has to be are a little silly. I'm sure there are many scenarios where you can pull off HUDs or text (specially dynamic ones that hide when not needed). I also find third person VR to be excellent, you really feel inside the game. I really doubt all VR games are going to be first person games, just as PC games didn't stick to one type either. Plus, once you start working on more complex mechanics you'll have to simplify or remove unneeded interactions. Things that don't support the core. Right now I feel some people are nearly about to make players go into a bathroom and have them use the paper and everything, like in "reality". Having people do things like in "reality" isn't alone going to last very long as a gameplay mechanic...
     
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  45. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Sure if you do a fighter game a world space HUD is fine I guess, but a roller coaster? Screenshot please
     
  46. ippdev

    ippdev

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    It was roller coaster type ride like in that you had a track..a bunch of spiraling, looping and twisting tubes simulating the tracks an electron takes in a cyclotron. But you drove a vehicle around the track. You hit pickups..neutrons, protons and electrons with the vehicle and got power and created elements. So yeah.. a HUD was just dandy for keeping score and stopping motion sickness. I ain't got time for your silliness. Post a screenshot indeed. Grow up.
     
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  47. Selzier

    Selzier

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    I'm making a non-vr game for PC/Console and I'm using a HUD. Is that ok or will VR users get confused about what it is?
     
  48. Ostwind

    Ostwind

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    Well I would have also been interested seeing it too if it actually reduced motion sickness. It was not clear what the HUD was like as in was it a static one glued to your face or smoothly following following the view.

    Anyways based on your reply on a perfectly valid question I'm not sure who should grow up...
     
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  49. Ostwind

    Ostwind

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    No one said they are confused what a HUD is. Traditional HUDs are very rare in VR games as they break the immersion and can also cause eye strain and nausea due focus issues. Most games use world space displays ie. health is shown on a wrist watch or the score on a display attached to a vehicle or a bill board on the scenery.
     
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  50. Gruguir

    Gruguir

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    a simple vignette mask already does the trick. Local particles, player-locked skyboxes, they are many way of implementing reference frames. That's nothing new. Inconsistant framerate is rarely pointed when talking about motion sickness but its for me the main concern in many apps - and instant immersion break. Also, vection / acceleration issues and other comfort rules are already well documented.
     
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