Does the virtuix omni feel realistic?

I'm thinking about getting one when it comes out along with the oculus rift. I've been looking for reviews about it on google and youtube but i've surprisingly found none. So i've got some questions:

- Does it feel realistic? Does it feel like you are actually inside the game walking?
- Do the steps you take in real life and in the game seem equal? Like they are the same lenght? If not then does that feel weird and unrealistic?
- I've seen some youtube videos of gameplay with the virtuix omni, and it always seems like that when the user stops walking the character in the game continues to walk for like a half second before stopping. Is that annoying?
- In the minecraft game of thrones video that virtuix omni just released on youtube where he's going up the stairs, it always seems like after he has gotten to the top of one stair, he has to stop for a second to turn around to the next stair. He doesn't just run up them like in real life, he has to stop to turn. Is this annoying and does it feel weird and unrealistic?

Thank you for answering and please be honest :)

Comments

  • NobleBrutusNobleBrutus Posts: 143
    edited June 2014
    Hi Fazez12, I can't answer all your questions since I've not had a chance to try it yet myself, @sutekiB‌ should be able to vouch first hand how realistic it feels.

    Do the steps you take in real life and in the game seem equal? Like they are the same length?
    In games with full Omni integration (like TraVR and Loading Human) your steps will exactly equal real life. In legacy games I'm pretty sure a sensitivity adjustment feature will be available so you can effectively calibrate it yourself if you are unhappy with the default. Can @Dev_Guy_Robert‌ confirm this? Obviously this is only available where joystick emulation is used for analogue speed, not WASD.

    I've seen some youtube videos of gameplay with the virtuix omni, and it always seems like that when the user stops walking the character in the game continues to walk for like a half second before stopping. Is that annoying?
    I have experimented with using a kinect like in the old videos but walking on the spot, I can confirm that the latency I was getting (about 1 second) was very nausea inducing. However if you watch the latest Minecraft Game of Thrones video and watch carefully the latency from when his feet stop moving to when the in-game character stops is pretty much indistinguishable. The time from when he leans back and begins to stop is greater but you don't stop in real life until your feet stop anyway.

    In the minecraft game of thrones video that virtuix omni just released on youtube where he's going up the stairs, it always seems like after he has gotten to the top of one stair, he has to stop for a second to turn around to the next stair. He doesn't just run up them like in real life, he has to stop to turn. Is this annoying and does it feel weird and unrealistic?
    I advise you re-watch from 1:45 to 1:55 again, he climbs the stairs identically to real life without stopping.

    Hope this helps.
  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,069
    Hi @Fazez12, there are no reviews at the moment because it's still a prototype. For that reason I can't offer a review either, but I can give you my impressions so far, which I'm sure will be exceeded by the final version. I've had a lot of experience helping to demo it at exhibitions so I think I have a pretty good understanding of how it compares to real life.

    Firstly, yes it is incredibly realistic. I'm totally convinced that I'm walking in the game - honestly! You might not feel like that the first time you try it (although you might still be blown away, as I was), since it takes a bit of getting used to. You need to learn to walk before you can run, but when you do you won't want to stop! If it feels different in any way, it's in how comfortable the walking action is. Yes - better than moving in real life. I'm serious. I've had all sorts of injuries, aches and pains from sport and road running, but the Omni not only feels natural, it's also smoother and kinder on my joints, ligaments and muscles. More on that in a bit.

    How well your steps match up to your avatar's may vary if it's a legacy game, as @NobleBrutus said, unless there's some way to adjust it with the software (yes, @DevGuyRobert's the person to ask about that). My feeling is that if your character is much slower than you are, your brain seems to rationalise the disparity. So in that case it seems like you're running through sand, or a muddy field (this will likely be a commonly used method by developers wanting to simulate these conditions IMO). So no it doesn't feel unnatural, especially when the setting is outdoors - your brain just compensates. If it's a quick character, or a game that tracks your actual speed, that's ideal. Your mind will be tricked completely. When I played Team Fortress 2 as the Heavy, I preferred to walk so our speeds matched, but I'd run whenever I used the scout, as that was pretty close to my actual speed. The Heavy didn't feel too strange because if you were really carrying a Gatling gun, I don't think you'd be able to run very fast either! So although the foot speed might not have matched in that case, it did feel kind of right that I was having to put more effort in for less back, if that makes sense. I feel 'encumberment' as in Fallout/Elder Scrolls may still be a viable mechanic even on the Omni, but I'm interested to hear what other people think once they've tried it. I expect the sense of realism to increase even further when I can see my feet moving in real time, which is a feature near the top of my wish list.

    Yes, some of the older videos used Kinect, so the tracking was a bit laggy - but it's improved since then so that I hardly notice it, and I'm told it will be even better in the consumer version.

    You can definitely walk and turn (or even jog and turn) simultaneously. I've done it many times. You do also stop and then turn however, as in real life. It just depends on the situation, so no I have never found it to be unrealistic.

    I would also add that walking seems to use more muscles, maybe in your core (to help your balance and posture) which is a good thing. Kinda subjective, plus I am carrying a rifle and wearing an HMD on my head for hours, which might account for it! Would need to compare both using a heart rate monitor for a more accurate analysis. Running actually feels easier on it than in real life. I'm pretty sure about this. I think it's because normally we 'hop' as we run, which causes us to accelerate away from and back to the floor. This, and the impact when we land with each step causes muscle contractions which tire us out over time and can lead to injuries such as tendonitis and shin splints. I'm not an expert, but I think this extract regarding running in real life sort of explains what I mean:

    "When running downhill, the quadriceps will contract eccentrically as your knee begins to bend after contacting the ground in an effort to prevent your knee from bending too far and too fast. In addition, the tibialis anterior muscle on the front of your shin also contracts eccentrically to control the downward motion of your foot after your heel strikes the running surface."

    I actually injured my foot playing squash three weeks before I went out to L.A to demo for E3. Even though I rested up as much as I could, I was still in just as much pain the day before the show. Fortunately the Omni is very low impact. The shape means that it cushions your feet on contact, spreading the force over a wider area, so I was fine. The material also flexes slightly, which you can see if you look very closely - preferable to running on a hard surface. To my surprise, the day after the show I found that my foot was about 90% better and I could walk on it without any pain. This could have just been a coincidence, or it may be an added benefit that hasn't been studied yet. I told Virtuix about it so I hope they'll look into any possible therapeutic applications when they have time. That's just my personal experience, I'm not recommending people with an injury use it - clearly you should consult a doctor if you have leg or ankle problems.

    So I hope you found that helpful! I highly recommend you pre-order it so you don't have to wait too long. The experiences I've had on the Omni have been absolutely amazing. I would not have travelled half way across the world twice (at my own expense) if it had failed to live up to my expectations. In my opinion, the Omni will help ensure the success of VR (perhaps the last and greatest medium mankind ever invents) by magnifying the level of immersion we experience. It will also improve our fitness and lengthen our lives. For these reasons I believe it will be recognised as one of the greatest innovations of our time.

    Hope you're looking forward to it, and I'll see you in the Omniverse!

    All the best,

    Ben.

    image
    Community Manager at Virtuix
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