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I've tried SL in virtual reality and it is not bad at all


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I finally decided to discover Virtual Reality and purchased an Oculus Quest 2 Headset last week. And of course, after setting it up, i jumped into SL with the headset.

I've used the Firestorm VR mod, i will give a few links at the end of this message for those who don't know it yet and are interested.

I got a bit of hard time to have everything running. But once the configuration and settings were done, i jumped into SL with VR. I thought it would be a bad experience, because many people had told me that SL could not work well with SL. But it's wrong: it does work, and i got a very nice time!

Moving around made me sick a bit, for sure. I would not try to drive a car or ride a horse. But for the scenes where you don't have to move your avatar too fast/ too much,  it is very cool. The only big problems so far are the keyboard, because typing is a big problem in VR, and the user interface. About the keyboard, it will probably be fixed soon, since they are now making some keyboards that can be tracked by the VR headset and shown to the user with their "virtual" hands. So it looks to me like the last problem to solve for a nice VR experience in SL is the user interface, and this doesn't look like a big deal.

My big hope now is that a VR viewer will be made for SL. Either by Linden Lab or by the community. The world is there, the technos are there, all it needs is a user interface made for VR, with menus shown on a desk in front of the user.

About FPS, i've heared it's a problem because most sims run with a too low FPS. But it is a wrong problem, isn't it? FPS depend on many factors like what objects are in the sims, how complex avatars are, etc. It is the same for any VR game. If VR gets popular, for sure we will see some sim builders creating sims with VR in mind, using lower poly objects, etc, and people will also learn that for a good VR experience, they will have to be careful about their avatar complexity, what scripts they are running, etc. This effort will be naturally done by everybody (sim owners, builders, end users, etc) It is already the case right now, actually. VR just moves the limits more down than where they are right now.

Last thing: i have tried Sansar and VR Chat as well. In Sansar, i got sick very fast, and the world i was in looked buggy, i was not able to choose some destination, so i abandonned after a few minutes. VR Chat was fine, i had some good time, i played a chess game and visited several pretty places. But the graphics are very far from what is SL. I enjoyed much more my time in SL, even if i had to struggle with the keyboard and interface and even if i could not really move fast around, than in VR Chat.

Do you have any experience in VR? What do you think about all that?

For those who are interested, these are a few links to help running SL in VR:

https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2021/03/second-life-social-vr-oculus-quest-2-firestorm-instructions.html

https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2020/12/11/firestorm-vr-mod-6-4-12/

https://gsgrid.de/firestorm-vr-mod/

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I've played around with VR in SL.  It has been a little while now though, I had to go through a lot of hoops to make it work right.  If I recall correctly, I had to go through window's mixed reality software, then connect to steamVR, and then use another piece of software that would allow me to run most games on my computer in VR with head tracking so I could look around.  I enjoyed it, but because of the way I had everything setup it was a bit wonky at times.  I had to use my keyboard to move around, so I stayed seated most of the time - at least I could move my head around to maneuver my view in mouselook.  I was just using the normal firestorm client, so it was not designed for it, and my video card is a bit low end so the FPS was not great, plus I only have a cheap set of WMR goggles.

With that said, it really was a fun to explore.  I think my favorite spot was London City, I enjoyed feeling like I was in the middle of a city, and looking around.  I even had a chance to play around in Sansar with my headset, which was pretty neat.  Unfortunately, my VR headset doesn't work anymore. 

Edited by Istelathis
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15 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Oh look, this again.

Point blank: Second Life is not set up nor regulated enough to allow for a smooth VR experience. Full Stop.

Abandon the pipe dream.

Why so negative? All the OP was doing was describing their VR experience on Second Life. Nowhere did I see in the post that they expected it to work well. I think it's great that people try things like this even if it's not set up that way or works well. 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about the OP's experience even if it wasn't quite successful.    

Edited by Sam1 Bellisserian
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4 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

Why so negative? All the OP was doing was describing their VR experience on Second Life. Nowhere did I see in the post that they expected it to work well. I think it's great that people try things like this even if it's not set up that way or works well. 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about the OP's experience even if it wasn't quite successful.    

The topic has come up before - more than once. The limitations have been explained - more than once.

You see a "negative" response. It is noting more than stating reality: Second Life is not set up for nor conducive to a proper VR experience nor will it ever be so without seriously hindering creativity in one way or another.

Everything does not have to have/use/offer VR. At all.

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1 hour ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

to keep the average user from getting sick, which is needed for SL.   90fps minimum.   with how SL is,  it's not exactly possible.

Average users do not own VR headsets. So you are totally right that SL isn't setup for a smooth experience for the masses. And it is not something to advertise aggressively as "working".

However, this does not prevent VR to work good enough for a minority. Even with the broken SL rendering engine, content, etc. The OPs message is evidence to that effect. So why inflict the wrath of the majority onto the happy few that are okay with the current state of things?

SL has some significantly different usage profile to an AAA game, so glitches in framerate might be totally not a problem, when you just sit in a club and do not move around all that much. And with just 1-2 avatars around, a framerate of mostly 100 fps might be doable with moderate settings and in some places.

 

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6 minutes ago, Kathrine Jansma said:

Average users do not own VR headsets. So you are totally right that SL isn't setup for a smooth experience for the masses. And it is not something to advertise aggressively as "working".

However, this does not prevent VR to work good enough for a minority. Even with the broken SL rendering engine, content, etc. The OPs message is evidence to that effect. So why inflict the wrath of the majority onto the happy few that are okay with the current state of things?

SL has some significantly different usage profile to an AAA game, so glitches in framerate might be totally not a problem, when you just sit in a club and do not move around all that much. And with just 1-2 avatars around, a framerate of mostly 100 fps might be doable with moderate settings and in some places.

 

I own a rift, I used SL when VR was built into the test viewer,  it's the only 3d space that was making me sick because of the low frame rates.  so not ruining anything.

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@Solar LegionI bet the subject came up before, and you should get ready to see it come up again more and more in the future, regarding the current events.

As i said, for me, it was an amazing experience. I felt like i was in the scene, with my avatar right in front of me (i kept the third person view, that i prefer over the mouselook), just here, and having the feeling that i could really touch my avi was an incredible feeling. I really had the feeling that i was in the middle of a piece of theatre with the avatars around me.

I'm an average user, so if it worked for me, it should work for some other users as well. By the way, there is a discord group for the Firestorm VR mod, and it looks like i'm far to be the only one having good time with it.

1 hour ago, Solar Legion said:

Everything does not have to have/use/offer VR. At all.

Instead i would say: Not everything in SL has to be VR. Some situations are good for VR, some are not. As i said, i would not try to drive a plane or a car in VR in SL.

Edited by Aglaia
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This is encouraging. It's not impossible to make VR work for SL, just hard. And expensive. If you could get a viewer running at a solid 60 FPS, and then use a headset's GPU hardware to shift, rotate, and interpolate to 120 FPS, it could work out.

Edited by animats
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1 hour ago, Persephone Emerald said:

have you tried riding a roller coaster or going on a theme-park style ride in SL?  I'd be curious how that experience would feel to someone using a VR headset.

Good point. SL motion needs a lot of cleanup for VR to be tolerable.

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14 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

Second Life is not set up for nor conducive to a proper VR experience nor will it ever be so without seriously hindering creativity in one way or another.

Disclaimer: I have zero interest in VR myself, no desire to limit my perceptions so exclusively to the virtual world, especially when my SL cam is almost never anywhere near my avatar and I can't bear more than a few seconds of in-world sound distracting from RL. Really not into sensory immersion.

That said, I'm not convinced that SL could never support a VR experience in some possible future, despite what content creators and residents may devise to make it difficult. I wouldn't want to spec the entire set of technological revolutions needed to make it possible, but it seems to me that with enough processing power and enough network bandwidth, SL VR could keep pace with even the most "creative" content.

One caveat comes to mind: speed of light. This is not about moving around a static virtual world in a rollercoaster; that's just a whole lot of data and a whole lot of viewer manipulation of that data, so throw enough future magic technology at it and problem solved, right? The speed of light problem is about actual dynamics, where change in the virtual world must be represented in the viewer in real time. It's not about how much data is needed for that representation, but rather hard limits on the delay of that data. In practice, those hard limits are the relatively long intervals acceptable for interactivity (round-trip delay), but in theory there could be in-world content that needs updates at inter-frame rates. I'm not thinking of an example where this happens in the real world, but I can't prove it doesn't and never could.

Maybe there's some other theoretical limit I'm overlooking, but it seems to me SL VR is impossible only in the way streaming HD video was impossible over a 9600 baud modem and an EGA graphics card.

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  • 3 months later...
Posted (edited)

I've patiently waited years for the VR experience of SL, it would be the closest thing to an actual "metaverse".  I understand that it's currently not possible because of SL/VR limitations to make it work properly or a good experience.  But does that mean that it cannot eventually be made to work?  With improvements in SL and VR tech, why wouldn't it be possible a couple of years from now?  I don't see why not, or is SL boxed into a framework where it just won't be possible and something different is needed?   This is not for those who don't care for it, that's fine, but a lot of us do, and personally my use of Second Life has always been with the dream to eventually experience it immersively.  To me that's always been the holy grail and eventual evolution of SL.  I'm hoping it's not just a pipe dream.  I have VR headsets and I'd rather spend hours exploring and experiencing a creative world like SL in VR than all the VR games that I've played so far, really don't care for them. 

Edited by Dorian Felix
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Posted (edited)

Imagine if SL users could be satisfied with the state of the art in 3D realism from back when I started using it, sixteen years ago. I don't see any reason that level of content couldn't be delivered with acceptable framerates on a next-gen VR headset over a modern fiber-to-the-premises network. Yeah, some smart frame interpolation, etc., still might be needed, but it would be possible. Of those able to pay for that level of technology, most* could enjoy a VR experience without getting nauseous for an hour or more.

We would not be satisfied with that, however. People would never give up current levels of realism to get a seriously degraded visual experience, even if it "immerses" us in stereoscopic 3D. So, fine, one might say, just give it time—but during that time our expectations will again increase (next stop: mirrors, PBR, and all that jazz), and the chase is on again. 

Would it be a viable business model for SL going forward? Could the market support both high quality content for some customers and degraded content in VR for others? Is there a market for such service at any profitable price point? Personally, I have no idea.

___________________
*Even at extreme framerates and resolutions, a certain segment of the population still can't tolerate VR and probably never will. No amount of tech magic can perfectly replicate all 3D cues, and different people rely on those various cues to differing extents. Hence, the whole metaverse project will always have "sheep" and "goats" and the longer they're expected to stay in VR, the more goats will emerge.

Edited by Qie Niangao
cues not queues
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I think back to the scenario set out in Tad Williams' "Otherland" stories, over 20 years ago.  That implied lightning fast broadband, haptic feedback on a level unknown to mankind (or should that be personkind?) and high power computing freely available to all...a Nirvana that we can never realistically acheive.  Even then the plot revealed that the degree of computing needed was quite literally superhuman.

It's nothing more than a pipedream, and I want some of what he was smoking!

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Posted (edited)
On 2/14/2022 at 9:52 AM, Aglaia said:

Last thing: i have tried Sansar and VR Chat as well. In Sansar, i got sick very fast, and the world i was in looked buggy, i was not able to choose some destination, so i abandonned after a few minutes. VR Chat was fine, i had some good time, i played a chess game and visited several pretty places. But the graphics are very far from what is SL. I enjoyed much more my time in SL, even if i had to struggle with the keyboard and interface and even if i could not really move fast around, than in VR Chat.

That was what Sansar was for. A sort of SL2 with VR. I'm surprised you could run SL better than Sansar, for me I can run Sansar better (using Desktop) than SL - but am limited during streaming events (probably need a dedicated sound card cuz multiple streams, voices, etc lag me out - CPU usage)

On 2/14/2022 at 9:52 AM, Aglaia said:

About FPS, i've heared it's a problem because most sims run with a too low FPS. But it is a wrong problem, isn't it? FPS depend on many factors like what objects are in the sims, how complex avatars are, etc. It is the same for any VR game. If VR gets popular, for sure we will see some sim builders creating sims with VR in mind, using lower poly objects, etc, and people will also learn that for a good VR experience, they will have to be careful about their avatar complexity, what scripts they are running, etc. This effort will be naturally done by everybody (sim owners, builders, end users, etc) It is already the case right now, actually. VR just moves the limits more down than where they are right now.

In general, people just put what they want in their worlds, and do not consider high poly objects, the size of their textures or anything else, and their sim quickly grows to many GBs in many cases. Most do not understand the concept of low poly and low impact assets, and many creators don't care about it either - as high poly 4k textures get sales - and without any care as to how it will impact their customer.

Those who do the extra work to make such efficient models waste their talent on doing so - as there is no way to show this to a customer - who again may not even understand such concepts or care to. This will always be a problem with virtual worlds with people of different skills and knowledge.

At least in Sansar, as I've said before, a world that is not optimized will eventually be punished as many users will not be able to load their world very quickly, if ever and after a while they will just leave a loading screen that seemingly is taking forever to download. So that's a good thing, and will actually REWARD those who keep their worlds very efficient. A fast loading optimized high FPS world and with something to experience, see and do (and come back to evolving content) will eventually rise to the top.

In SL there is no limiting factor in that matter, and there will always be someone around with a $20,000 workstation computer telling you "Oh I have no problem, why do you" lol :D

That being said, I've tried VR and it was fun as a novelty, but won't be adopting it anytime soon. It isn't worth the investment for me, and actually would become a LIMITING factor for me as to my real life workflow, goals, multitasking, cant be bound with headsets, gloves and other on my body at all.

I would think if VR wanted to be experienced though, that SL is not the place for it, and energy better spent on engines that are newer (eg. Sansar) though I do use Sansar only as a desktopper and would have a mild interest in testing my worlds in VR just to see what they see. If Sansar had taken off (or returns to taking off :/ I dunno....) and before the Covid thing destroyed my livelihood as well - I would have considered purchasing a VR set for testing only - to get  different view for design considerations.

Glad you had a good experience. It is fun, but certainly not anywhere near it should be quite yet for mass adoption (and 99% of gamers are still desktopping it)

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Codex Alpha
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, i hadn't seen the new replies to this topic 🙂

I've kept experiencing VR a lot and love it more and more. I'm convinced it is the future of metaverses, including Second Life.

Now i'm not going to talk again and again because everybody has opinions, and i think we just need facts. What we need first is a SL VR viewer. What i mean by VR viewer is a viewer with a floating user interface that can be used with the VR controllers. It doesn't have to be full of features: an interface for sitting on objects and answering to dialog boxes would be a good start. Not a big deal. Years ago, before Sansar, there was even a VR mode in the SL viewer. This could be brought again in the current viewer. Even if it is super limited, that would be enough to see if people use it and what are their feedbacks. 

If VR becomes popular, some sim owners will start to make content optimized for VR, with lower poly stuff, and rules to respect for visitors (ie: ejecting those with too complex avatars or heavy scripts). That will be done in a natural way. All we need is a minimalistic VR viewer to use SL. The Firstorm VR mod is just good as a curiosity right now: it is hard to setup, and witthout a proper user interface, it is almost unusable. (still happy it exists)

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27 minutes ago, Aglaia said:

Hi, i hadn't seen the new replies to this topic 🙂

I've kept experiencing VR a lot and love it more and more. I'm convinced it is the future of metaverses, including Second Life.

Now i'm not going to talk again and again because everybody has opinions, and i think we just need facts. What we need first is a SL VR viewer. What i mean by VR viewer is a viewer with a floating user interface that can be used with the VR controllers. It doesn't have to be full of features: an interface for sitting on objects and answering to dialog boxes would be a good start. Not a big deal. Years ago, before Sansar, there was even a VR mode in the SL viewer. This could be brought again in the current viewer. Even if it is super limited, that would be enough to see if people use it and what are their feedbacks. 

If VR becomes popular, some sim owners will start to make content optimized for VR, with lower poly stuff, and rules to respect for visitors (ie: ejecting those with too complex avatars or heavy scripts). That will be done in a natural way. All we need is a minimalistic VR viewer to use SL. The Firstorm VR mod is just good as a curiosity right now: it is hard to setup, and witthout a proper user interface, it is almost unusable. (still happy it exists)

You might find this thread interesting...

 

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