Omni Connect - Support Vive & Oculus Touch Emulation

VeraxusVeraxus Posts: 38
edited February 18 in Omni Suggestions
Right now the Omni Connect software only supports keyboard and gamepad emulation. It turns out this is a problem since games have started explicitly disallowing simultaneous input from multiple controllers, allowing input only from the primary controller... which in most cases, as you know, are either the Vive wands or Oculus Touch. Ergo, there is no way to send the Omni's input to most games that otherwise support full locomotion and should be tailor-made for Omni.

For instance, Arizona Sunshine now supports full locomotion... but the movement input must be made on the VR controllers. Neither keyboard nor gamepad emulation work through Omni Connect. Ideally, the Connect software should have options to emulate Vive and Touch inputs as well, which would solve the vast majority of (avoidable) compatibility problems I'm facing right now. Given the low number of units in the wild, and even lower number of home users, native integration is too much to ask. The Connect software really does need some fundamental enhancements.

Comments

  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,059
    Hi @Veraxus, you are right that Vive & Touch emulation through Omni Connect would be great. Unfortunately I don't know if that feature will be added. Hopefully a solution will come along. In the meantime, I hope some developers will support the Omni's SDK despite the low volume out there.
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • VeraxusVeraxus Posts: 38
    edited February 18
    I gotta tell you, I'm starting to regret backing this thing. It should be capable of doing some amazing things, but the complete lack of customization/controller mapping and emulation options in the Connect software is proving to be a major liability. In theory, the Omni should be able to work with anything that supports full locomotion, but I'm hitting roadblock after roadblock, and it's all because of the software.
  • VeraxusVeraxus Posts: 38
    edited February 18
    Is there any chance you can share the Connect source with me? If you guys aren't actively working on it, I'd like to take a crack at it myself - and I'm happy to share any enhancements I make back with Virtuix. I don't have the wherewithal to write a controller emulation suite from scratch, but I don't expect that some of the enhancements I've been harping about are a huge effort.* Still, the utility and excitement are dropping fast if left as-is.

    * Yes, I am aware those are famous last words.
  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,059
    The problem is not so much with Omni Connect, as with the state of VR today. You will find that there are very few games that support full locomotion. Many of those that do, only have that feature because they were originally (or optionally) designed to be played without VR, and so they also support keyboard input; those should work with the Omni.

    There is a huge preponderance of wave shooter/cockpit/teleportation games, because of concerns over sim-sickness. Vive/Touch emulation would not actually open up much more content for you to play. Full locomotion is really only beneficial to people with Omnis, which may be partly why there are so few of them. I think our community can reach out to those developers and encourage them to adopt the SDK (or at least add WASD back in). I'm sure as more developers get hold of Omnis, we'll see more games have support added (if you were making a game that full locomotion, wouldn't you want to be able to play it with the Omni?). I also hope that they may adopt it for arcade ports of their content, which would help them financially. Such patches might then make it into the retail versions of their games.
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • VeraxusVeraxus Posts: 38
    edited February 18
    The problem is not so much with Omni Connect, as with the state of VR today. You will find that there are very few games that support full locomotion.


    That's not really true at this point, and it's becoming more untrue by the day. Games like Onward, Ripcoil, Robinson, and Resident Evil 7 demonstrated conclusively that real locomotion works provided you can get your body involved enough to trick your vestibular system, and generally keep the movement nice and slow. I've personally been working on a stance-based locomotion technique I've dubbed "Hoverboard-style locomotion" that is proving very, very promising. But moreso, the first generation of VR gamers are maturing and have developed their VR legs, and they growing tired and intolerant of teleport-based movement. Only recently, full locomotion was added to Obduction, Arizona Sunshine, Syren, and Serious Sam... and Solus Project has always had it, while Talos VR has been announced to support it when that launches. Developers are now announcing full locomotion as features to avoid the inevitable backlash of developing exclusively for the weakest VR stomachs.

    So no, "very few games" is simply incorrect, and the list is now growing rapidly, and predominantly among the hot new games (which should be your primary concern).

    Vive/Touch emulation would not actually open up much more content for you to play.

    I'm getting worried here because this is sounding defeatest. The Omni is one hell of an amazing input device - I've invested well over $1,000 in the thing. On the flip side, I've invested a smaller amount in my Elite Dangerous kit and my Thrustmaster T.16000M kit includes configuration software that allows me to tweak, map, and configure every conceivable button and input outside of the game. If I felt so inclined, I could configure my throttle to activate forward movement in just about any game that isn't locked to Touch controllers (which don't show up as controllers in Windows)... but I can't do anything similar with Omni, a much more awesome, and expensive, input device. I can't even change which gamepad stick the Omni targets, which is crazy... and since Touch doesn't show up in Windows Game Controllers, they need an extra layer of abstraction to be mappable. Has anyone at Omni reached out to Oculus for advice, because Oculus is VERY good about providing solutioning resources absolutely free. For Vive, you just need to integrate the Omni SDK into OpenVR and submit a pull request. If it's from an official Virtuix account, it's a shoo-in.

    I'm sure as more developers get hold of Omnis, we'll see more games have support added (if you were making a game that full locomotion, wouldn't you want to be able to play it with the Omni?)


    To your two points (respectively) (1) maybe and (2) I am! Thing is, Omni isn't the kind of peripheral that technically NEEDS an SDK. The vast majority of games have historically had full locomotion and, as I stated, people are getting figuratively sick of teleport because they are getting literally less sick of full locomotion. Plus, solely trying to cram an SDK down developers throats is a mathematically unsound business strategy. How many developers actually ordered an Omni? I'm guessing a fraction of all your orders? And how many of those are exclusively in the US? See, we're whittling down percentages pretty quickly here. And then you are also putting the onus of support on developers, who can (and will) simply pass on that... who wants to do more work for a peripheral they don't own and which has such a small user base? Except to gratify myself, I wouldn't. That's a recipe for product stagnation.

    Instead, if you give customers the tools to configure things themselves, they will take it. Right now I'm hitting roadblocks left and right and because these games aren't my projects, I can't just fix them. Instead I have to go plumbing the depths of the internet for various input emulation tools. And the frustrating thing is that Connect, with rudimentary Keyboard and Gamepad support, is already more than half way to where it needs to be. We just need some additional configuration options and native Vive/Touch integrations to get over those hurdles.

    TL;DR; In the words of the inimitably adorable taco shell girl... Por que no las dos? You really do have to do both, a two-pronged approach... (1) provide tools for developers and (2) your regular Omni users. Your users are less interested in non-VR legacy games than modern natively VR ones, which are supporting locomotion with rapidly increasing frequency. You can't insist that they all just use your SDK... but I do hope you are directly reaching out to them to kindly ask for it. In the mean time, you have to come at the problem from the other side. You made an amazing gaming controller, but it lacks the basic features of other gaming controllers in it's class. As I said before, if your team isn't interested in enhancing it, I'd be happy to take that on myself if you are willing to share the source. PM me on the side if you are interested in my credentials, I'd be happy to provide them.
  • travis1409travis1409 Posts: 130
    @Veraxus You're my hero! I have been waiting for someone who knows the programmers side of things to take a look at the Omni as basically a giant touch pad and help solve some of the issues I have heard about with the current system.
  • @Veraxus I totally agree! There are a lot of Vive games now supporting free movement but which the Omni cannot play. It is annoying since as SutekiB says it is not too difficult for them to allow WASD as well.

    It IS possible to emulate a Vive controller, so getting the Omni to show up as a Vive controller and press the touchpad is not *too* hard.

    The problem is that SteamVR will pick it up as the THIRD controller. Therefore, either we could play these games using only one hand and Omni or two hands and no Omni.

    What we really need is a way to AUGMENT the inputs from a Vive controller before they are read in game. I cannot yet think of a way to do that.If you can then let me know! I really want to hear it.

    There is more hope however for something like the Sixense STEM (if it ever comes...). It will presumably already have a buffer software between the STEM hardware and SteamVR (the Sixense Motion Creator) allowing for easier augmentation by us.

    The most likely solution I think however is the Vive tracker. By letting us build our own tracked controllers we could build a custom one with the Omni in mind. As soon as I can get my hands on such a tracker I will attempt this myself though I will accept help! Even more ideally, Virtuix would do this themselves! (@sutekiB ?)
  • DanteMDanteM Posts: 212
    edited March 13
    Binding the controls shouldn't be that hard, just have a setting in the Omni Connect software that works similar to how the Thrustmaster TARGET software works. It binds all the controls as a virtual controller so steam views it as 1 controller even it is it separate devices. I've heard of a few people getting the Omni to show up in the TARGET software and just using that to make it all work as well. I plan on diving into it all deeper once I actually unbox and set mine up this weekend. I've had it since March 3rd and haven't even been able to open the thing yet due to moving haha!
    Veraxus said:

    For Vive, you just need to integrate the Omni SDK into OpenVR and submit a pull request. If it's from an official Virtuix account, it's a shoo-in.

    @admin has this been done yet? Could you find out and let us know :D that would be awesome!
    sutekiB said:

    The problem is not so much with Omni Connect, as with the state of VR today. You will find that there are very few games that support full locomotion.

    Um... no. A large amount of games already have, are adding, and will add full locomotion support.. it's been PROVEN to have a lower chance of motion sickness and more enjoyable experience than teleporting and such. There has been several articles and even some in medical journals about motion sickness in VR and the fact that locomotion is easier on the brain than the old functions. Just look at ONWARD which was one of the first to do it right and everyone has been stealing that amazing function and slapping it into their games so you can run around with your touchpad and it works brilliantly.
    sutekiB said:

    Many of those that do, only have that feature because they were originally (or optionally) designed to be played without VR, and so they also support keyboard input; those should work with the Omni.

    because the Omni Connect software doesn't bind the controls and omni into one virtual controller (like TARGET software does for fight sticks, throttles, pedals and keyboards) it doesn't work with triple input on quite a few games actually...
    sutekiB said:

    Vive/Touch emulation would not actually open up much more content for you to play. Full locomotion is really only beneficial to people with Omnis

    I feel like this is the perfect time for that Trump "wrong" meme. . . are you serious right now? there are a lot of games that use it and are incredibly popular top sellers... Arizona Sunshine, ONWARD, Pavlov, Dreadhalls, just to name a few all games that the Omni currently doesn't work on and would if it had emulation.
    sutekiB said:

    I'm sure as more developers get hold of Omnis, we'll see more games have support added (if you were making a game that full locomotion, wouldn't you want to be able to play it with the Omni?).

    what makes you so sure that they will adopt the SDK? That is more work for them, for a very small user base and even smaller profit margin. They have a special peripheral they have to keep support working for, and it's not for a the majority, which as we all know, Developers like to target the majority as that is how they make their money. Most successful game studios target the masses not the small enthusiast and hardcore gamer groups. Just look at FFXIV, WoW, and CoD devs. They make bank because they don't waste time with the smaller groups they cater to the masses. These big studios are the ones making the AAA games like Resident Evil 7 VR late 2017, DOOM VR, and Fallout 4 VR. Currently NONE of these plan to implement Omni SDK, I've asked all three of the dev's and they all stated that they don't intend to support it at this moment. :(
    sutekiB said:

    I also hope that they may adopt it for arcade ports of their content, which would help them financially. Such patches might then make it into the retail versions of their games.

    I'm curious where Virtuix thinks all these arcades are located. Just looked it up and there doesn't appear to be a large market for them at all in the US so it much be a big thing in China or something?

    For the record I'm not trying to be difficult I just wanted to address all the major points being made with counter points ^.^ and genuinely curious about some of them too.



  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,059
    @DanteM
    DanteM said:

    are you serious right now?

    I'm afraid so. The numbers tell the story. In the survey I made, only about 5% of VR games supported artificially induced full locomotion via the touchpad. In a brief study of non-VR FPS games, 100% supported full locomotion (and some of these were indie games). 5% versus 100%... the reason for this disparity is that the majority of VR developers do not want to implement artificial full locomotion due to sim-sickness. They've been advised not to do it by industry leaders for years.

    Here's an extract from a New York Times article:

    Mr. Carmack described what he called a “nightmare scenario” that has worried him and other Oculus executives. “People like the demo, they take it home, and they start throwing up,” he said.

    “The fear is if a really bad V.R. product comes out, it could send the industry back to the ’90s,”


    Here is what one developer said about this:

    "Basically, as of now, creating a VR FPS is pretty much considered heresy"


    And here's an extract from an article Forbes published a couple of weeks ago, titled 'The Hype Around Virtual Reality Is Fading':

    The number of virtual reality units on the stands has “fallen substantially” compared to last year, according to Richard Windsor, a technology analyst and founder of Radio Free Mobile who was at the show. “Last year, virtual reality was a novelty that everyone wanted to try, but interest has now waned as very little has changed in 12 months.”
    The days of consumer tech giants like Samsung bundling virtual reality units as add-ons to phone purchases may also be slowly fading, according to a roundup of MWC’s biggest themes in the Irish Independent. “VR is being talked about more in niche terms than ubiquitous, mass-market parlance.”

    This isn’t to say that virtual reality doesn’t have a future; only that it’s far from ready for mainstream adoption.

    For now virtual and augmented reality gadgets seem best place for use in enterprise settings, where issues like price and discomfort can be forgiven so long as the technology makes itself useful in a work setting.


    The whole point of roomscale is so that you avoid artificial locomotion - also from the NYT article:


    At least one company, Valve, believes it has solved the discomfort problem with headsets. In an interview at the developer conference, Gabe Newell, the president and co-founder of Valve, said he, too, had reacted badly to most headset demonstrations, describing them as the “world’s best motion sickness inducers.”

    Mr. Newell said the company had worked hard on its virtual reality technology to eliminate the discomfort, saying that “zero percent of people get motion sick” when they try its system. Part of its solution is a motion tracking system that uses lasers to accurately reproduce a person’s real-world movements in the virtual world.


    Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising the efforts these last few years to discourage artificial full locomotion. I'm on the fence, as I see the pros and cons. I'm just pointing out that adding Vive touchpad emulation is not going to solve the serious problem VR is facing. If consumer VR is slowly dying, this won't save it.
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • DanteMDanteM Posts: 212
    Consumer VR has been getting stronger over the last several months more so than ever before in fact. More games have been adopting the Full Locomotion as it gives less Sim-Sickness than teleporting by roughly 70%. Games like Arizona Sunshine, Onward, Pavlov, etc have proven this in fact. The numbers for non locomotion vs full locomotion might be a bit skewed due to the insane amount of user made tiny startup VR games being made by joe blow out of the basement. Steam is filled with them and they just pad that numbers against locomotion sadly (they aren't the kind of games you want to play to begin with haha). Out of the 14 Top Sellers on steam currently (this exact moment) 6 of them support full locomotion and sadly none of those support the Omni yet. Arizona Sunshine, Onward, Dreadhalls, Serious Sam First Encounter being the one's which I've personally talked to the dev's and they all don't seem super keen on supporting the SDK from what they have said so far. Which brings us back to the major point of Virtuix needs to take it upon themselves to make the software compatible to emulate for cases when the dev's refuse to add in the SDK.

    As you said earlier:
    sutekiB said:

    I'm sure as more developers get hold of Omnis, we'll see more games have support added (if you were making a game that full locomotion, wouldn't you want to be able to play it with the Omni?)

    Shouldn't this same logic apply towards your own software and hardware? Shouldn't you want it to be as user friendly and inviting as possibly making it compatible for emulation of keyboard, trackpad, and touchpad? Why go half way with it when you could easily take it all the way and help it and it's users reach it's maximum potential?

    Virtuix asked the pathfinders for opinions to better the system all around. Y'all were able to make tweaks and get it to an amazing state, now that the masses have access and have given opinions we have been seeing a lot of pushback from virtuix not wanting to support both virtual binding (like Thurstmasters TARGET software which fixes the issue of steam viewing the omni as a 3rd controller) and touchpad emulation (which virtual binding can also fix) it seems. We are all here for the same purpose, to see the Omni reach its maximum potential and hopefully Virtuix
    sutekiB said:

    I'm just pointing out that adding Vive touchpad emulation is not going to solve the serious problem VR is facing. If consumer VR is slowly dying, this won't save it.

    I don't think we are on the same page, there is a difference with being worried about VR as a whole and being worried about the Omni not reaching full user potential. It is true that MOST games doesn't support it but as stated earlier there are a lot of the better games that do, and 6 of the 14 top sellers on steam happen to support it which is a good indication that it is a feature people are enjoying. More and more games are supporting it because it works and people want it.

    One a different note, why do you think VR is in a death spiral currently? It's literally at a peak that it has never reached before and climbing with Vive2 and Oculuc2 in the works it's a whole new console war basically.

    due to the forum always assuming I'm being serious JOKING -> I mean sure it's in a spiral in the fact that if it keeps progressing at this rate, then in like 50years we will be jacking directly in as in some full dive SAO style stuff haha and thus all this tech will be obsolete.. but that's a positive not a negative. "50year upward death spiral" :P lol
  • JoeJoe Posts: 172
    Guys...whats the transport for the commands from the omni? Is it bluetooth or is there a usb cable that plugs in? Either way, when I get my hands on one Ill sniff the traffic (I imagine its HID) and reverse engineer it so we can have an open standard and do what we want. The occulus remotes are trickier, but theres easy ways to capture that as well. Vives already opened up enough. Thing is Im a preorder so wont be able to help till next year, but I see a great addon project here in the making. Theres no use arguing about what you want if its not what the company wants, theyre not going to do the dev work.
  • MAYAmanMAYAman Posts: 56
    How can both hardware devs like Omni and Katwalk, AND software devs keep mucking this up? How? I've been waiting 25 years and still the same old $hit from back then is still here now. To developers, just put in every control scheme there is, there isn't a downside to this, give your users options, that is what PC gaming is about. To hardware manufacturers, you had to see this a mile away before you even developed the Omni, so you got the backing from gullible consumers, and now the answer we get is "Oh well, its developers fault". How about working with developers as you developed the product, or even making sure they have one for free or a nominal fee? You'd sell so many Omnis if more games were naively supported than you are going to sell otherwise. Sorry for being so harsh but I've been watching this dog and pony show for almost 30 damn years. Get your $hit together please, PLEASE!
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