Highfidelity could also be a video game plateforme


#1

(Can also be moved to the “Suggestions and Requests” Forum)

Hi everyone !
I’m a science-fiction author and Blender user, and I’ve been working for a few years on an open-source project called “Game Master dit GM” https://game-master-dit-gm.deviantart.com (which I’m still translating). I really started getting interested in Highfidelity when I saw that independent developers can create new features via Worklist (and get paid for it). In my project, the idea is quite similar : Because artists who want to contribute can be sponsored… Until the project can generate enough revenue.

Since my project is open-source, I’ve already started thinking about its video game version. That’s when I started wondering how it would be possible to create the ultimate experience, by integrating some new features into Highfidelity : The “Ignore Me” zones and “Do Not Disturb” zones (that I’ll talk about in detail later).

However, I must point out that I WILL USE Highfidelity in the near future … When I’ll have enough money to invest in all those expensive VR equipment (and here I’m not even talking about the current cost to setup a server for intensive use).

Could we be able to create video games in Highfidelity ?

That’s actually the big question, because HiFi already allows you to do lots of interesting things (if you have decent VR equipment). But it’s not a video game platform, right now it’s a “SOCIAL virtual reality platform”, so it is difficult to know how far it will be possible to go. However, certain features allow us to be optimistic : Like it’s already the case with the integration of the Limitless speech recognition tool, which by its simplicity of use, will surely make the developers want to creat things that look a lot like what we can see in some video games.

Here is a concrete example of what Highfidelity could do :

It is already possible to create virtual coaches such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3hEKbDF3E in HiFi. However, it’s still impossible to create a serious game that will take full advantage of all its the features.
Nowadays, the virtual coaches in serious games can ask players to collaborate, so that each player can do some part of the work. Collaboration between users is a key feature of HiFi, but creating complex experiences with NPC remains out of reach (for reasons I will mention later).

For example, it is currently very difficult to design an experience where the user can talk to a NPC alone (without anyone being able to listen to that conversation). It would be an important feature, as some studies show that it is easier to talk about sensitive topics with a virtual avatar that won’t judge you (at least, if its creator didn’t install any backdoor :face_with_raised_eyebrow: ).

In other cases where chatbots are simply unsuitable, two users could meet in a place where they would not be disturbed. Speaking of which, HiFi should really include a feature to support P2P communication between a few users : In order to guarantee greater confidentiality, but especially because in this case it would require less work on the server side. Another good point: There wouldn’t be any “uncanny valley” problem, since the user would know that there is a real human behind the avatar.

How to do it ?

HiFi servers not only relay the gestures and voice of users, they also control lots of things, for security and privacy reasons. And it’s thanks to this control that users can, if they wants to, avoid being overwhelmed by all kinds of notifications.
The control of the server may in some cases make it possible to stream different content for certain user groups… And for talented developers, this could lead to some very interesting things.

In the the blog post “Taking Preventative Action on Nearby Users”, we can see how easily users can create an “alternative reality” (or rather some kind of “parallel reality”), free of certain behaviors that may not be very appropriate. In that “parallel reality”, the user can for example decide to not receive certain information such as the voice of anonymous users, or not to see objects that may be counterfeit (soon possible thanks to the digital certificate).

Such feature could be used to create “Ignore Me” zones or “Do Not Disturb” zones, where some users wouldn’t see exactly the same version of the virtual world than everyone else (in fact, only administrators could see it as a whole).

And at the end, Highfidelity could really become some kind of “Nested Simulation” (A Dream Within A Dream :)… Where it would be much easier to create real video games.

The concept of "Ignore Me" zone :

(a very clear term which doesn't allow any ambiguity, but in reality things could be a little more blurred)

When one or more users enter that type of zone, they cross the border of a parallel world. By entering the zone, the user automatically triggers a script that will close it after a few seconds : So he will become invisible from the outside.
Looking at the way HiFi is currently working, we could say that at this very moment a server script starts some kind of instance … But an instance that isn’t necessarily totally isolated from the rest of the domain : Because depending on the design of the place, the user in the “Ignore Me” zone could continue to see and hear what is happening outside of it.

Such feature could allow users to purchase an apartment in a potentially infinite building (it will soon be possible thanks to the new “Highfidelity Currency”). The user would be able to invite some friends, once the apartment is customized : Either by allowing all people of the friends list (or a group) to join the instance, or by creating a permanent URL to the instance (but this method could cause some problems).

Since it’s always possible to know your own location in the virtual world, teleporting via URL may not be the best option… Unless such a teleportation automatically brings the users into an entrance hall (or any type of waiting room), which will allow them to select the instance they wants to join.

Here, it would be interesting to have an instance that wouldn’t be totally disconnected from the rest of the domain, so that users could see what’s happening outdoors just by looking out the windows.

The concept of "Do Not Disturb" zone :

If we want to simplify things, we can say that whoever enters a SIMPLE “Do Not Disturb” zone can be seen by any users, but is behind a totally hermetic transparent wall (which can deactivated at any time).
That type of zone could also be configured as a “privacy bubble”, where users inside it could hide their names from those of the outside, and use P2P communications (if they are not too many).

Conclusion

I sincerely believe that if Highfidelity decides to integrate this kind of features, content creators will be able to create very sophisticated experiences… Without the need to invest outstanding amounts of money.
We all hope that VR will reach new heights in the next few years, yet the number of VR users is growing very slowly. Users don’t want to invest in expensive devices that they will rarely use, and small video game and entertainment companies still fear to invest in projects that could attract only a short audience… I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m pretty sure this vicious circle will continue until someone proves that it’s possible to do great things in VR even with little money.

The ideas of “Ignore Me” zone and “Do Not Disturb” zone could go in this direction (like the integration of the Limitless speech recognition tool or the Highfidelity Currency) : Convince people that Highfidelity will become (as soon as possible) a really a great environment for all kind of VR experiences.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas :slight_smile:


Occlusion Zone Wishlist
#2

Hey, a while ago @thoys and I tried to do somthing along these lines as an educational game. We for a while had it working pretty well. Thoys has vowed to repair it and make it work again, and says for each day that goes by without this happening that both the developers and users may punch him on the arm and ask " is it finished yet"
heres what we had


#3

Nice, Nice, Nice :slight_smile:

Teaching code in VR would be awesome (at least for me), because I always thought that some coding tutorials are really boring. And because coding rules are strict, NPC would be more easy to program.


#4

The Ignore Me zones and Do Not Disturb zones are features that people have been asking for years, since the alpha days. Requests that have been ignored.

As it stands right now, High Fidelity is completely unsuitable for complex game development, because even the most basic of optimization tools used heavily by game developers are absent. Without the ability to control LODs or draw distance settings per mesh, you are instantly limited in the level of complexity or size of your worlds. You can create simple stuff like Tetris, I’m sure, but nothing like the AAA games you see on consoles today.

If you wanted to recreate, say, a videogame like Zelda in High Fidelity, with its large open landscapes, you’re going to run into performance issues at some point unless you keep everything incredibly low poly. Because you can’t make all those trees or props in the distance render at a lower LOD. High Fidelity just makes it disappear instead, and you have no control over what distance that occurs at. And you can’t stop things indoors from rendering while outside, or vise versa, meaning you can’t have detailed interiors either - not if you plan to have many of them in the same world.

It’s frustrating that we have these MASSIVE spaces in each domain - seriously huge space for building enormous, expansive worlds! And yet we can’t even use them effectively because of this. (Yes, some of us actually care about performance and lag - looking pretty is only half the game, performance is the other.)

I’m in complete agreement with you. These are features that need to be added. But it doesn’t look like they’re even on the roadmap.


#5

Ahh… So it’s a long-time discussed subject, but with no concrete reality…

That’s sad, because it would allow us to display (at least) a credit scene when someone enter a domain for the first time (even if that would require to create a system where the users can authorize or refuse this type of tracking).
Anyway, without the possibility to fully optimize everything, most of my plans are falling apart, since I was thinking of applying the “pay what you use” model to my users… I need to be able to seamlessly unload everything I don’t need anymore, or the server should be able to take care of all the assets and streams without problems.

Let’s hope that this kind of feature will be back to the roadmap (soon ???). Because the more time passes, the more users will pay attention to the details.


#6

If they actually care about frame rate in VR and preventing nausea - and they say they do - these features are NOT optional. They are going to have to add them eventually. Key word: “eventually.” :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

It can also be used for multi-user apps. Music/video/art composing. Look at all the stuff you see on the web. It can all be done in HiFi and in 3D VR.


#8

Yes, some occlusion would be nice.


#9

Does HiFi have occlusion? I would have thought that to be essential.


#10

Just ambient occlusion, there is no occlusion culling that I am aware of. I’d like to see portal rendering too.


#11

WOW ! I didn’t think there was a specific algorithm to optimize this kind of thing !!! :crazy_face:

BTW, talking about LOD : I’ve just seen in this video of the low poly environment of Zelda BOTW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgUeHuTRK6o , that the low poly assets are gradually unloaded when the player gets close to them at about 30 meters (most of these trees seem to be in 2D). In your opinion, would this approach be convenient for HMD users, or could the distance be reduced without any problems (I don’t have an HMD yet to check it out for myself.) ?


#12

Zone occlusion? Being able to create zones within buildings and have an object flag to specify “only render this for people in the same zone”. I believe OpenWonerland did something equivalent with nested objects so unless you had access to the ‘inside’ of a structure the server wouldn’t even send you the data on its child objects.


#13

That could also be used for resident’s privacy controls. Want to be private? Just create a zone occlusion attached to a privacy setting.


#14

I just created an “Occlusion Zone Wishlist” topic in the suggestions forum :sunglasses: