PC Gaming Brainstorm (Oculus, biofeedback, kinect 2 etc.)

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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I was just thinking about what the next revolution in PC Gaming will be and I thought it would be fun to have a discussion of what you all wish to be coming in the near future.

Personally, what I really want is Oculus mixed with Kinect 2 and biofeedback. Just think about it. You move your arm in real life, it shows up on Oculus right there. Fighting games would be nuts. You'd actually be able to duck in real life and duck in the game. The game could track your heartrate, skin conductance and see if it's actually scaring you. I mean, these are all technologies in the near term pipeline and, personally, I'd find them far more compelling than just better graphics (though that doesn't hurt!)

What do you all think? What sorts of things are you really looking forward to. What do you wish game developers and game engine designers would incorporate into the next 3-4 years?
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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I'm not sure. Honestly I'm pretty boring and would be fine with the usual increases in graphics and physics. Motion controls don't really jive with me as I usually want to play games to wind down, but I can see the appeal every once a while.

Despite being kind of buggy and not a great port overall, I think Rocksmith has been the biggest advancement in gaming in a while for me. People complained that Rock Band was just a game with nothing in common with a real guitar, but Rocksmith enables you to play real songs with a real guitar and learn real skills. If you already have a guitar the only special peripheral is a cable. No fancy guitar like Rock Bands "pro" mode.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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It doesn't have to just be motion control. It seems Valve has an initiative that would let things "port" over from one game to another. Items, maps, etc. Heck, just the introduction of steamworks mods onto Steam is pretty exciting. How much further can they go with it?

I actually quite enjoyed Rocksmith and need to pick it back up again.

What about integrating games into some sort of Augmented Reality? A simple idea would be to have something like Google Glass, mobile phones, tablets, all used to find something, say at a big gaming convention like PAX. That, along with clues to be looked over via social media (even Steam).

Or, I was thinking, maybe introducing a "gun" along with the Oculus Rift so shooting from the hip would be literalm but you could bring up the gun to your face and it would act just like a scope or iron sights in game.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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Hmmm... maybe utilize google goggles or something similar to remove the HUD from the display and put it on the googles.
 

zebrax2

Senior member
Nov 18, 2007
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Oculus + Kinect(for interacting with things) + something similar to OCZ mind controlled mouse for movement (up, down, left, right, forward, back) would probably work really well
 

Sleepingforest

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Nov 18, 2012
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I think we need better screens and sensors before this kind of thing can be convincingly good (and not cause headaches). Otherwise, the pixelation and delay between "looking" with your head and "seeing" with your eyes is overwhelming. Plus, people look around with just their eyes and not their head, which could be tough for the Oculus.

On the Kinect side, I'd need more accuracy before really being satisfied. I've tried playing a bunch of the basic Kinect-only games, and they feel pretty much the same as Wii Sports games: how I move beyond huge sweeps doesn't really matter. I just don't have a controller.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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I think we need better screens and sensors before this kind of thing can be convincingly good (and not cause headaches). Otherwise, the pixelation and delay between "looking" with your head and "seeing" with your eyes is overwhelming. Plus, people look around with just their eyes and not their head, which could be tough for the Oculus.

On the Kinect side, I'd need more accuracy before really being satisfied. I've tried playing a bunch of the basic Kinect-only games, and they feel pretty much the same as Wii Sports games: how I move beyond huge sweeps doesn't really matter. I just don't have a controller.
I suggest you look at the latest Oculus Rift videos and news stories (there are a lot!) It does 110 degree field of view so you can look all you want with your eyes, not just your head. The resolution is somewhat limited at the moment, but I don't think it'll be hard to fix given the explosion of resolutions in phones/tablets. (The Oculus Rift uses the same panels.)

You're absolutely right about Kinect-only games, but Kinect 2 should solve most of those issues. Kinect was notably limited because of the bandwidth of USB 2.0. Kinect 2 will be on USB 3.0 speeds and should have far less lag due to increases in CPU power. (The Xbox360 will be 8 years old by the time the new console is released this fall.) According to all sources the new Kinect will be accurate enough to allow finger input.
 
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BrightCandle

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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An Occulus rift combined with another 9D sensor on a gun looks to be a pretty mean combination that gives independent head, body and gun movement. That will really change the immersion of the typical FPS. Guns could gain recoil physically and we could start to see games like Arma 2 really feel very real in their input. The problem still remains that movement is on a joystick attached to the gun as are some of the other inputs but your left hand is just there on the gun so can access a wide variety of buttons for the extra functions needed.

I think this is a setup we'll see more people using by Q3 this year when the Rift releases, although before that we have the dev kits imminently arriving and more and more games will gain support. The ideal gun hasn't yet been demoed that I have seen, but it can't be that difficult to make one so I am hoping that one of the peripheral companies has spotted the opportunity.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
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I think the Oculus Rift has some potential, but I think that for the most part motion control is a short lived gimmick. What I think we are going to find is that voice control is generally useful but motion control is limited to a few niche uses. The fact is games that require you to move around while effectively blind to the real world is dangerous.

What I would really like to see is more work on physics in games. Right now even games that touts their physics engines are pretty pathetic. Things simply do not act like you would expect them to if you were not already versed in how 'game physics' works. Way too many games still have things that bounce around like a pinball machine at the slightest touch.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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What I would really like to see is more work on physics in games. Right now even games that touts their physics engines are pretty pathetic. Things simply do not act like you would expect them to if you were not already versed in how 'game physics' works. Way too many games still have things that bounce around like a pinball machine at the slightest touch.
I still remember when HL:2 came out and I was amazed by its use of physics. I mean, putting a box on a teeter totter to make a ramp to a higher level, GENIUS! Ever since then, though, I find that physics has been a pretty big bust. Sure, it was cute to see bridges explode in HL or to watch debris swirl in Borderlands 2 (phaselock ftw!) but it just hasn't really done as much for me as I'd hoped.

So what do you actually want to see out of new physics other than the removal of excess bounciness? (But I still love bouncy vehicles like the Warthog!) Better smoke physics? Better lighting physics? A lot of 2d games have been playing around with physics, but the last 3d game that I saw use physics at its core was Portal 2.
 

JamesV

Platinum Member
Jul 9, 2011
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Anything that makes you move your body, or arms, has already been done, and is not really all that great. The Kinect is pretty cool, but only for casual gaming; never will we see a top FPS making you jump or raise your arms to fire - after an hour or two you'd be exhausted.

Being able to freelook with your eyes and have the screen move with them... now that would be a great thing. I cant count the games where I'll be driving, and it is so hard to look around while you are driving, because of 'snap back to front' mechanics and the lack of being able to 'snap back to front'. Far Cry 3 is an example of this.

However, this could be considered an aim hack could it not? If you moved the screen with your eyes, it might be easy to aim via sight instead of by mouse.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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Anything that makes you move your body, or arms, has already been done, and is not really all that great. The Kinect is pretty cool, but only for casual gaming; never will we see a top FPS making you jump or raise your arms to fire - after an hour or two you'd be exhausted.

Being able to freelook with your eyes and have the screen move with them... now that would be a great thing. I cant count the games where I'll be driving, and it is so hard to look around while you are driving, because of 'snap back to front' mechanics and the lack of being able to 'snap back to front'. Far Cry 3 is an example of this.

However, this could be considered an aim hack could it not? If you moved the screen with your eyes, it might be easy to aim via sight instead of by mouse.
I think using your whole body for games has only just begun. Have you ever seen the Engadget video where they did a 360 degree Battlefield 3 simulator? I can't imagine how any hardcore FPS gamer wouldn't want to play something like that. Minus the dozen or so paintball guns shooting you, an Oculus with a couple of Kinects could do a reasonable facsimile of that experience.

Eye tracking has been around for a long time. Most often I've seen it used for quadriplegics so they could type, though now I think voice recognition software has probably taken that over. Sure you could aimhack with it (though I think it's still very expensive. The easiest aimhack is actually a touchscreen, though. Simply put finger over enemy face and they die. On the freelook front I think Oculus has that solved even without eyetracking. 110 degree field of view + head tracking = you can see whatever you want all the time using your eyes or your head. I imagine this would make racing sims ridiculously fun. Though I'd worry about getting motion sick.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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Anything that makes you move your body, or arms, has already been done, and is not really all that great. The Kinect is pretty cool, but only for casual gaming; never will we see a top FPS making you jump or raise your arms to fire - after an hour or two you'd be exhausted.

Being able to freelook with your eyes and have the screen move with them... now that would be a great thing. I cant count the games where I'll be driving, and it is so hard to look around while you are driving, because of 'snap back to front' mechanics and the lack of being able to 'snap back to front'. Far Cry 3 is an example of this.

However, this could be considered an aim hack could it not? If you moved the screen with your eyes, it might be easy to aim via sight instead of by mouse.
The fact that the motion controls to date have been "not that great" should give you a clue that everything possible has NOT been done. I don't agree with motion controls as a main device for all games, but I think the right games could be made for motion controls IF we can get the accuracy down. It's still not right.

And I still don't understand how a freelook with your eyes would work, even though it's something I've heard many people mention before. I'm either missing something or you guys aren't thinking this through. Lets take your example of driving in a game. Now, an object on the left side of the screen catches your eye and you look directly at it... now what happens on the screen? Does the camera view on the screen move to focus on what you were looking at? If so then you'd no longer be looking at the object because it's now at the center of the screen. Now you're looking at the side of the screen where the object started but something else is there, so now what happens?
 
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BrightCandle

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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I think using your whole body for games has only just begun. Have you ever seen the Engadget video where they did a 360 degree Battlefield 3 simulator? I can't imagine how any hardcore FPS gamer wouldn't want to play something like that. Minus the dozen or so paintball guns shooting you, an Oculus with a couple of Kinects could do a reasonable facsimile of that experience.

Eye tracking has been around for a long time. Most often I've seen it used for quadriplegics so they could type, though now I think voice recognition software has probably taken that over. Sure you could aimhack with it (though I think it's still very expensive. The easiest aimhack is actually a touchscreen, though. Simply put finger over enemy face and they die. On the freelook front I think Oculus has that solved even without eyetracking. 110 degree field of view + head tracking = you can see whatever you want all the time using your eyes or your head. I imagine this would make racing sims ridiculously fun. Though I'd worry about getting motion sick.
It was the gadget show that did the BF3 simulator. I want one, the physical action might initially be tiring but I would be getting a good workout while I played. Holding your arms out in front of you doesn't work but holding a gun and walking are not a problem for the grand majority of players.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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It was the gadget show that did the BF3 simulator. I want one, the physical action might initially be tiring but I would be getting a good workout while I played. Holding your arms out in front of you doesn't work but holding a gun and walking are not a problem for the grand majority of players.
OMG, I always thought the Gadget show was part of Engadget because they both have gadget in them. Ignorant American I am.

Was I the only one who found the male commentator annoying? He has that "DUDE, EVERYTHING IS SO AWESOME" syndrome.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
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I want to get to the point of true emersion or virtual worlds. Something as simple as goggles you wear that track your head movement (and obviously they have screens in them). There are a few older products that sort of did this, but they weren't great, but you would think today there'd be much more you could do with them now.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
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SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
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So what do you actually want to see out of new physics other than the removal of excess bounciness? (But I still love bouncy vehicles like the Warthog!) Better smoke physics? Better lighting physics? A lot of 2d games have been playing around with physics, but the last 3d game that I saw use physics at its core was Portal 2.
I would like to be able to realistically predict what is going to happen if I do something like fire a rocket at a tree, and not have it act exactly the same no matter where I hit it or what other things are effecting it. I would like to be able to be able to knock a barrel over and roll it down a hill at enemies with out it being either completely ignored or crush them like a steamroller. I want crates that don't explode into 3000 pieces if a single bullet hits it.

I know some of this is simply having the processing power to have all those assets on screen, and some of it is lazy gaming tropes (the exploding boxes and barrels).
 

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