Legacy games with the Omni, STEM and PrioVR

@Artephax‌ is considering the purchase of either the STEM or PriorVR system, in order to track the body. Both are excellent systems, but have different means by which they are tracking orientation and positioning. If you have experience with either of these systems, it would be great if you open another topic in this category and let everyone know your impressions and how you are using them.

The question came up about how these will integrate with the Omni for legacy games (existing games, built for traditional game controllers or keyboard). The direct answer is, they won't integrate for legacy games. Each peripheral will have it's own driver, which captures the information coming off the peripheral. This information is then mapped to existing controller schemas, such as common game controllers. For each peripheral, you will most likely have and API to help configure how this output is mapped. This will be the case for the Omni.

The player will then need to choose which features from each peripheral are used. It is difficult to say what the player's preference will be for his or her personal setup.

There will also be a need for coordination of these various input information streams to be coordinated within a game engine. For this, the various SDKs will need to coexist and the developer will then define which information flows are mapped inside the engine.


  • ArtephaxArtephax Posts: 12
    For those that are interested, I was talking to @Dev_Guy_Robert‌ about whether decoupled walking/looking directions would have to be supported by a game or whether it could be emulated. My interest is in coming up with a way to have decoupled walking/looking in legacy games that don't have direct support for VR hardware. I was told that it would have to be supported by the game or some sort of emulation software would need to be used between the devices. As @Dev_Guy_Robert‌ said, I am looking at getting the PrioVR sensor suit, so I asked the guys at the PrioVR forums if this is possible with their hardware.

    I have been talking to them previously about what they call an "emulation layer", which can take things like orientation and gesture data and simulate button presses for legacy games, which is what I'm looking for. They have just informed me that the emulation layer is also capable of taking the orientation of the body and using that data to push the player in that direction whenever the "walk forward" action occurs. This means, for example, that the Omni can focus on simulating the push of the analog stick in the up direction when walking in any direction, while the PrioVR can emulate the same analog stick being pushed in whichever direction the body is facing, allowing the Rift to focus on the look direction.

    I hope that makes sense, and for my personal setup it makes things very exciting. It can basically simulate a decoupled walking/looking for any game, regardless of support. The PrioVR guys have also told me that latency should not be an issue, as the check for body position on the suit is quite simple. If anyone is interested in this sort of setup and have any questions or concerns about how it would work, let me know and I'll be happy to discuss it. I have big plans in my head, so it helps if someone mentions some issue with the setup that I haven't thought of :smile:
  • Hey @Artephax‌ - great info. It sounds as though YEI is thinking along the same lines. The "emualtion" mode you mention will still need to sample the output from both the PrioVR system and the RIft in order to translate the movement into either joystick values or keystrokes that are relative to the direction the RIft is facing. This is due to the nature of forward always facing in the same direction as the camera for almost all legacy games. While this may not induce much in the way of a delay, it will create additional latency. Will that latency be disturbing for the player? That's yet to be seen. But the dependency on two valid values that both inherently have potential for delay may cause issues players may not be willing to tolerate.
  • ArtephaxArtephax Posts: 12
    Sorry, I should have also mentioned that the PrioVR has its own head sensor, so it will only need to sample the output from within its own system and not rely on data from the Rift at all. But still, it's something to keep in mind and it will be interesting to see the results. I can't wait to try these devices together :smiley:
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