HTC Vive

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HTC Vive

Post by c6burns » Sun May 08, 2016 6:48 am

Just got home from a business trip and it was waiting for me. Unboxed and set everything up. It's pretty terrible. Took 2 hours of rebooting and resetting everything in the hardware chain before it even would recognize the firmware updates. Firmware updates did work fine though eventually. Controllers can't connect at all without popping them onto the micro-usb to PC for a moment (every single time you power up). Headset continuously stops tracking until you reset every device in the hardware chain. None of the software seems to work right. Naively thought I might get see what VR was like on the same day I unboxed my VR system :lol: 3 hours in I am not so sure that is going to happen for me

Seems like Vive is somewhere between barely-tested and un-tested hardware/software rushed out the door to beat Oculus to market. Don't I feel sheepish now :roll:

I distinctly remember this feeling this recently. Oh right it was when I unboxed my steamlink and steam controller :lol: Oh well I'm sure it will work eventually (days, weeks, whatever)

EDIT: OK it's about 5 hours since I started and the basics are working. Sounds is not working and the headset has some jitter which is distracting. This seems like a fine system, it just clearly was a bit rushed to market. I have the impression that eventually the kinks will all be ironed, in much the same way that steamlink and steam controller iterated towards working after release hehe
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by Kojack » Mon May 09, 2016 12:06 pm

Sounds like the fun I had when I first got an Oculus DK2. :)
The software was much worse back then, now it's easy.

I unpacked and set up my college's Vive today (we got it last thursday, but I was busy). Running on my (ass kicking) laptop in a large concrete loading dock. It took an hour to get it running (from opening the box until starting TiltBrush). And this is the 5th model of VR hmd I've set up and my laptop was already configured (by a student) to run his Vive.
SO MANY CABLES!
WHY THE **** ARE THREE OF THE POWER ADAPTERS (lighthouse 1, lighthouse 2 and breakout box) STICKING OUT TO THE RIGHT WIDER THAN TWO POWER SOCKETS! I could only fit two of them on a power board then didn't have enough sockets clear to plug in both wand chargers and my laptop.


I like the box. Massive and annoying to move around, but neat inside. (I just throw my DK2 in my backpack and take it to work, no box).

Connecting the wands to a pc with usb cable should only be once, that's for updating the firmware. Did you do the firmware update option in the SteamVR Status panel?

I couldn't get the two light house units to connect at once for a while, it kept saying they were too far apart, max distance is 5.5m but it said they were 5.9m. Umm, no, I had a laser distance measure (+/-2mm accuracy) and it said I had them closer than 5m.
Then the room training program kept crashing on start.
Finally got it all synced and working. Room scale looks tiny when you're in a far larger space than the Vive can handle.

I went to play The Lab but it decided to do an update and wifi in the loading dock isn't good. So we just played Tilt Brush for 4 hours (a tiny bit of me, then staff and students for 99% of it).
Nobody got sick, everybody found the controls very intuitive and they all loved it (with a couple of "how much is it? I must get one!").

It's getting harder to stand up for my Oculus preference to people who try the Vive, especially when I can't show them the weight and comfort of the Rift because I'm still no where near getting mine (others in australia who ordered after me are getting theirs, mine is still scheduled for maybe next month). At least for personal use the lack of hand controls is ok, since I'm a simulator fan. I'll be rifting mostly with joysticks and steering wheels. Leap Motion will fill in the gaps.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by c6burns » Mon May 09, 2016 5:21 pm

Kojack wrote: Connecting the wands to a pc with usb cable should only be once, that's for updating the firmware. Did you do the firmware update option in the SteamVR Status panel?
Yup I updated. Nope it's not just for firmware, although it obviously should be (and says it is). It absolutely will not recognize the controller until I "tap in" by plugging into the usb momentarily. I've seen other people say the same. I also notice the software is not adept at detecting when firmware updates are available, and it does not make it obvious what firmware version I am on and what version I am upgrading to ... so it's tough to tell if the updates I install are even effective :lol:
Kojack wrote: Then the room training program kept crashing on start.
Yeah, tell me about it! Same here, nothing but rebooting the PC rights this wrong for me once it happens

I did get everything working in the end, including sound. I've never set up or had any experiences with any VR before which admittedly added to the time it took to set up. Yeah those power adapters are beyond ridiculous! That being said, the packaging was extremely well done and the unit is very slick, I just expected the software side to be as polished which is simply naive.

In the final accounting, there are issues with my hmd. My visual experience is very stuttered/wobbly even compared to other people's videos reporting the issue. Everything is wall mounted and solid (which actually changed nothing compared to just dropping the base units on bookshelves) and I have run through setup many times making various adjustments to the base stations. I read from one developer with 3 units that said 1 of their units stuttered like this, so I think I'll just call HTC and initiate an RMA on mine.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Tue May 10, 2016 1:18 am

Oh great, I ordered a Vive last week. Doesn't arrive until some time in July, hopefully they'll have sorted a few bugs by then.

Then again, I don't think I can name a single piece of special hardware ever that I haven't had to spend at least an hour kergiggering before it worked. But if the Vive tracking is glitchy I will not be pleased, the supposed accuracy of those base stations was one of the main reasons I went Vive over Rift.
It's getting harder to stand up for my Oculus preference to people who try the Vive, especially when I can't show them the weight and comfort of the Rift...
I think this is a situation where I'll benefit from simply not knowing. I've heard a few people who have a decent amount of experience with both prefer the comfort of the Rift, but new people find the Vive more exciting, and as long as they can't make the comparison users are happy with the comfort of the Vive. I figure in five years both these units will look as hilariously cumbersome as the first consumer mobile phones look now.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by c6burns » Tue May 10, 2016 3:31 am

All my issues are now confirmed 100% software/firmware. SteamVR beta fixed most of my issues ... the controllers still sometimes need to "tap in" by plugging them into micro-usb to PC ... but not every time anymore. The headset sometimes loses tracking and requires the whole hardware chain be reset, but not while it's in use so I'm fine with that. I was able to view firmware versions in the system report and confirm when updates are effective. So yes mkultra, I am betting by the time yours arrives it will all be slicked out. My advice is don't waste any time on anything until you update to steamvr beta ... that was my fatal mistake haha

I would love to try out Oculus and judge the qualitative differences first hand. Eventually I may have a chance to work on a VR project and I will do that, but that's not in the cards at the moment
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by xrgo » Sun May 22, 2016 5:58 pm

just got our Vive!! no problems here, we got everything working in less than an hour.
the only "issue" is that our office has this pillars that are 7 meters away from each other, and we wanted to place the lighthouses in there, but it suppose to be no more than 5m, but we did it anyways!! and its working 99.9% perfect, only sometimes the controllers flicks a little (loss tracking for a ms), but not the headset...
anyways its too soon to talk about usage experience, we could use it like 30 mins then we had to leave. Tomorrow we will continue playing =)

First impression: OMFG ITS SOFA KING AMAZING, ROOM SCALE ROCKS, I haven't tried the Oculus CV1 to compare though, just dk1/2.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by c6burns » Tue May 24, 2016 4:26 am

Yeah I recently redid the entire setup on a different machine and there were 0 problems. All the problems in my initial post were software and firmware, and it's already all been smoothed over. I was upset with it on the night it arrived, but there has been a flurry of updates since then
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Thu May 26, 2016 5:06 pm

I got mine today, and setup was a nightmare.

Had to go down the hardware shop first to buy a bunch of clamps, since I didn't want to drill the walls without knowing if the base stations would be positioned ok, I've heard people have had problems. Also had to grab a power board and extension cables, since it's three new items that need power and they're all spread out. But that's ok.

Then halfway through setup I discover that my GTX 970 only has a mini-HDMI port, so the Vive cable won't fit. Have to make an early evening dash to the store to get a new cable, could have done this when I was getting the clamps if I'd known. But ok, can't blame HTC for that I guess.

So now finally setup is underway but it turns out my area is just a little too small to do room VR so I setup standing VR, no biggie, I couldn't have done much in my tiny room anyway. But now problems emerge. It all gets a bit confusing from here because I'm trying lots of different things, lots of restarts, so the sometimes I've got the HMD working and sometimes not. One controller works fine, the other refuses to connect. The view has terrible jitter and trying to tweak the base stations does nothing. Often nothing works. When I plug into the USB ports, it says it can't install the driver. Try USB2, USB3, finally get one port that works. Plus my antivirus tries to quarantine one of the files.

SteamVR tells me to do a firmware update, stresses that Very Bad Things(TM) will happen if I interrupt this once it starts, it may turn my Vive into scrap. So sure enough, the firmware update hangs halfway through. Eventually I give up and restart. At this point, I'm hating my Vive.

But then I get some solutions. I disable my antivirus and now it installs properly when plugged into a USB2 port. Also it occurs to me that I have a 3DVision setup, and there's an infra-red transmitter, so I unplug that. And hey presto, everythings working! Jitter has vanished, and both handsets are working.

So between USB3, AVG antivirus and a 3DVision transmitter, some or all of those were seriously messing things up. Probably messing up the firmware update as well. So most of this wasn't HTC's fault, except that they didn't give me proper feedback about the fact that some components weren't installing correctly (I assume) and the firmware update screen gives no feedback as to how much is downloading, if it's stalled, or whatever. I hate that.

Finally I have it working though. Initial impression is that the tracking and Steam integration is excellent, but vision is a little blurry unless you look directly in the centre of the lenses, and the resolution is a bit on the low side. Now I have to find things to do, I'm downloading The Lab, that looks interesting and it's free.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Fri May 27, 2016 5:24 am

New day, definitely having fun now. Showed my parents, they were shocked at VR, it amazed them. Most fun I've had so far is a mini-game called Xortex in Steam's free game "The Lab." It's a simple arcade shooter done really well, and I really hope they expand on it.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by c6burns » Fri May 27, 2016 7:35 am

mkultra333 wrote:New day, definitely having fun now. Showed my parents, they were shocked at VR, it amazed them. Most fun I've had so far is a mini-game called Xortex in Steam's free game "The Lab." It's a simple arcade shooter done really well, and I really hope they expand on it.
So fun right? I love that little shooter. My wife has a video of me cursing a blue streak and dancing around the room as if the lasers are going to hurt my actual person. Grampa to the max, right here 8) I imagine those The Lab games are proof of concepts and won't get expanded, but I would love someone else to pick up the torch and make something like that. I never really thought about how VR is going to be responsible for bringing back a lot of very retro style titles that we experience in a completely new way.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Fri May 27, 2016 8:12 am

I imagine those The Lab games are proof of concepts and won't get expanded, but I would love someone else to pick up the torch and make something like that.
Yeah, I thought to myself, if I wasn't already deep into my current project I'd make a Xortex clone in a second. Only I really want more Xortex, because not only is the game play awesome, but I love the graphic style as well.

The only thing that annoys me is that you only get one life. I really wish you got 3 lives, like an old arcade game, and could get bonus lives for reaching certain scores. I hate having to start back at the beginning again when I die. One life is brutal, even old nintendo pocket games gave you three.

Most of the rest of The Lab is, as you say, proof of concept. Fun to look at for a minute, but then I want to move on and don't really feel the need to go back again. Although some bits are good to demo to people if you want something quick to show them what the VR is like.
I never really thought about how VR is going to be responsible for bringing back a lot of very retro style titles that we experience in a completely new way.
Yeah, definitely. I would never have thought of something like Xortex, doesn't seem like it would be a VR kinda thing, yet it's actually brilliant.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by Kojack » Fri May 27, 2016 1:36 pm

Xortex is great.
I also spent way too long in the The Lab archery game, until my arm was sore.

My Oculus CV1 arrives next week (FedEx already have it, currently in Hong Kong), it will be interesting to see how it compares with the Vive I have access to at work.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Fri May 27, 2016 6:52 pm

I was too bad a shot in the archery game so I gave up straight away. Though it was fun to feel like I'm using a bow and arrow.

R.e Xortex, it has occurred to me that there is something ironic about the most fun game in the cutting edge technology of first gen consumer VR being an 80s arcade space shoot'em up.

I've also got Horde Z, a zombie first person shooter, more or less a shooting gallery on rails. Not quite sure what I think of it yet, it's got a few rough edges and very basic gameplay, the environments so far are pretty lack-lustre. But at its best moments it can be tense and desperate and a bit traumatizing, which is basically what anyone would want from a VR zombie game. It's fun wielding double machine guns and mowing down a small horde, only to turn around and find a gigantic mutant zombie right on top of you.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Sat May 28, 2016 4:21 am

Did some more tests today, my vive does not like the USB3 on my computer. I get the "driver failed to install" message even without the antivirus, and while the headset works there's constant hi-speed jitter in the tracking that makes it unusable. Works fine with USB2 though.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Sun May 29, 2016 4:30 am

Completed Xortex the other night. Dammit, I didn't realise the game was so short. I'm seriously thinking of putting my current project aside for the moment to make an old school shooter.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by Kojack » Sun May 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I always remembered an old tv documentary about VR which showed a glove based system (probably cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars) which had a toy like scene where you could throw toy planes around. As a kid I loved toy ships like from star wars, so the idea of being able to play with them in VR seemed so cool.
Now I can see it really is fun.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Mon May 30, 2016 6:01 pm

A couple more games people might find interesting. Space Pirate Trainer is fun, you have a gun and a shield. The atmosphere is very good, you stand on a spaceship landing pad looking down on a city, occasional giant spaceships fly past, and you shoot at lots of little robots that attack you. Another one, again a space shooter, is A-10 VR. You have to shoot bombs before they hit your little platform, has a retro 50s look. Both games are similar in gameplay, Space Pirate trainer has one gun and a shield, A-10 VR has two guns. Space Pirate has a more impressive environment, A-10 VR has more variety of things to shoot. A-10 VR is particularly cheap.
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Re: HTC Vive

Post by mkultra333 » Tue May 31, 2016 8:48 pm

Hover Junkers is the most fun. Multiplayer, you fly around in various types of junk hovercrafts shooting other players. The deck of the hovercraft corresponds to your room VR. The most expensive VR game I've played, but the most fun by far. The sensation of zipping around in the hovercraft is initially a bit of shock, I felt like I was going to fall over and subconsciously expected a jolt when I rammed into things. You can duck down and hide behind bits of junk on your craft, but then you can also hold your double uzis above your head to hit players hiding in the hovercraft next to you. Great fun.
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