For some reason, HiFi has terrible Rift implementation.
One of the more annoying glitches frequently occurs on starting Interface: the Rift’s sensor will disconnect itself from the PC, a small help balloon saying that a ‘USB device’ is not recognised. I then have to unplug the Rift’s USB cable, and then plug it into the control box again. This doesn’t happen with any other Rift apps, and I’m not a developer so I’m unsure as to why it happens. Regardless, it is annoying, because I then have to restart Interface to get head tracking. This typically happens after starting Interface for the first time since booting, or after a while.
Head turning causes odd distortion, and I’m not really sure how to describe it or why it happens. It seems almost as if the far edges of your vision compress. It’s hard to describe, a subtle effect.
Much more notable, however, is what happens when looking down, then turning your head. When in other Rift demos (or in Reality), this simply works as expected: you look at that side, from a low angle. In HiFi however, the view ‘tilts’ upwards.
I am guessing this is caused by your viewpoint in the Rift being connected to your avatar’s head. This is an imperfect system. I might be wrong though. It may be that the method used by HiFi to avoid the head clipping the body is causing this. I think it’s to do with the shoulders or something. Vision behaves kinda strange when looking up or down. Distortion also seems off.
I’m suspicious that HiFi doesn’t read from your Oculus SDK profile, that stores values such as player height, IPD and lens type. The distortion seeming slightly off could be caused by not using the correct shader for the lenses. I use C lenses. Does HiFi distort the image for C lenses, or for A lenses? Does it use your IPD, or just a general setting? Apparently, (I’ve already asked about this) it does read the SDK profile, but something just feels ‘off’. Again this may be caused by odd head-tracking. Depth and scale doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as in other Rift apps.
It might be a better idea to make the head ‘invisible’ to the user when goggled in. Then, you could make the camera for the Rift independent of the head, but still also sync the head to the Rift’s orientation. That way, other users see the head movements, but your head moves in a more typical manner. Mainly, fixing the weird head shift thing when turning your head sideways while looking down is pretty important.
The HUD is too small. It is somewhat similar to Minecraft. In Minecrift (Minecraft VR mod) the HUD is larger, it also can be configured to be attached to the head orientation, and occlude with the world. Minecrift’s HUD is not curved.
Okay… now onto the questions:
• What are the stars? Will they be real stars with websites around them at some point? Are they a representation of the data within the Internet?
• Why are we building in space?
• Will planets have fixed sizes? Can they be ‘infinite’ but appear small from orbit? Is that how it already works with the atmosphere bubble thing?
• Why are voxels the primary construction method currently? Some interviews suggest that voxels will simply be used to provide LOD and infinite draw distance things later down the line, and that the world will be made of meshes.
• Will text chat be removed?
• Websites will be linked by doors, like in JanusVR. However, they will also exist as planets? How will sites be ‘placed’ around stars or turned into planets. If I build a museum website, how does that become a planet? Is it just an atmospheric bubble/portal which leads into that site? Is the planet simply a ‘representation’? Or will it be like in Ready Player One, where planets are covered in thousands of instances of a single ‘thing’ (the Zork planet).
• Will there be a day-night cycle?
• Will non-Euclidian geometries be possible?
• Is the eventual vision of HiFi something like the OASIS, the Matrix/Future Internet from Neuromancer/Johnny Mnemonic or a mixture of the two?
• I’m guessing a lot of things are gonna be removed/turned off the further HiFi goes into development, like the always-on flight. However, the always on flight, with steadily increasing speed, brings to mind the ‘Future Internet’ mentioned above.
Sorry for being so critical towards what is effectively a pre/early-alpha thing! However, I find some part of the overall vision matching my own ideas of a Metaverse, and isn’t this what testers are supposed to do?
If you fix the Rift camera, I’ll probably find it more enjoyable using HiFi!