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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.3
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.4
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.1
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.2
Seriously!? You have built-in support for Vive controllers but not Touch controllers?1