HALFLIFE2

Post Reply
maddabbo
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 5:00 am
Location: California

HALFLIFE2

Post by maddabbo » Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:28 am

It would be great to see support for first person shooters where the body movement is seperated from the head movement in an optional off motion axis look around. TrackIR could be used in enhanced mode here to really effectively emulate your head being able to look around as you move in differant directions.

I'd love to see built in support for halflife2. It's the most amazing first person shooter I've EVER seen.

-mikey

Jim
NaturalPoint Employee
NaturalPoint Employee
Posts: 1395
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 5:00 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Contact:

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Jim » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:58 pm

We would like to see this too! We are working on FPS now.

warrenEBB
Posts: 542
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Corvallis, OR

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by warrenEBB » Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:44 pm

You know WW II online supports TrackIR usage in their FPS mode, yes?
It has shown us many interesting examples of usage and possibilities. But the game is more geared towards simming than the latest FPS graphics candy.

We are actively persuing pure FPS games right now. Hopefully have some separate-view-from-aim mods available for hot games like HL2 early in the new year.

-part of the problem with FPS is that everyone seems to have a different opinion of the best way to implement it. argh.

-the other part of the problem is that for the really cool/revolutionary possibilities to function properly, you'd probably have to start an engine from scratch with TrackIR in mind. (like better hit boxes/detection, the amount/type of character data passed for multiplayer gaming, separate reticles for view and gun, fully modeled single player bodies - instead of just guns and hands, etc.)

anywho. despite these hurdles it really looks like 2005 will be the year where the FPS genre finally heats up for TrackIR.

[ December 23, 2004, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: Warren Blyth -webdev- ]

Charvel
Posts: 521
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Charvel » Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:44 pm

The problem with that is despite the greatly improved accuracy of TIR3+vector, it is still too awkward to aim with your head.

An FPS using vector opens up a ton of possibilities like hiding behind a crate and peeking your head out or looking around corners. Imagine the head and torso moving in concert with your head movements or stretching your neck up to look over a wall! Or leaning over to read a note on a desk?

We're still dealing with a chicken & egg type of problem with developers not wanting to build FPS games around vector without FPS gamers having one and gamers not getting one because FPS games don't support it.

However, like Jim says I'm sure we'll start seeing seeing it catch on over the coming year. There is an evolutionary change in FPS games coming and I can hardly wait.

Fish44
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:00 am
Location: Ireland

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Fish44 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:31 pm

quote:Originally posted by Charvel:
There is an evolutionary change in FPS games coming and I can hardly wait.What change it that. ? Please expand

Barred
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Scotland

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Barred » Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:24 pm

As Charvel has already said about looking around a crate or scanning where you are going with your head not the mouse, this is more natural than with a mouse.

Let's expand that a bit shall we. Imagine you are in a corridoor with a lot of shadows and hidey holes. You know that there is a foe in there some where biding their time. You start scanning with your head mounted light source (with TIR) trying to get some light into those shadows. Your firearm is scanning with it's mounted motion detector connected (controled by the mouse).

Out of the corner of your vision you think you see something hiding in the shadows, you snap your weapon around and put a small burst of fire into the target area. You are just jumping at shadows and as you get further along the tention is mounting along with your nerves.

Then all of a sudden your quarry breaks from cover, do you put a burst of fire from or dwindling ammo reserves (still on mouse and TIR controls for weapon and head)?
Or do you bring your weapon up to your eye for an aimed shot (both head and weapon contrled by the mouse) to conserve your dwindling ammo?

If TIR is used in the above scenario just think how much more the experience would be because you are then using your perifery vision as you really would. The level of immersion in say Doom3 with it's dark brooding levels with TIR used as above would really ramp up the tension and the levels of fear. With a game like HL2 peeking around corners and boxes would really add to the game as well.

The thing is a good proportion of FPS games have a lean function built into the keyboard controls. Think of how natural it would be with those views removed from the keyboard and allocated to TIR. This would not only add to immersion, but would also free keys for other more important options.

This is the revolotion that is out there with full 6DOF built into the view of FPS shooters.

This is not impossible but it does not just sit on the sholders of NP to get the word out. We the users that have succumbed to the whiles that is TIR in flight and driving sims should ask the companies if TIR is implemented and if not why not?
This will do more to get developers and publishers into TIR than (no disrespect at all here to NP's marketing arm) than having NP trying to sell TIR to them. if we the users ask again and again for impementation then they (the Devs and Publisher) will see that there is a target audience waiting to make use of the extra time needed for inclusion in other genres that TIR could be used in.

Sorry for the length guys and gals I went off on one

[ January 29, 2005, 04:29 AM: Message edited by: Barred ]

Charvel
Posts: 521
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Charvel » Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:44 pm

Not at all, Barred you illustrate the point quite nicely.

The "revolution" is dependant on having one good game being developed, like all revolutionary games, with the vision necessary to add another layer of immersion much as the mouse did for FPS in doom.

It is a problem of breaking into a market that doesn't want to spend $139 for a piece of hardware for one game unless said game is both elegant in it's implementation and fun, of course. Soon, other developers pick up on it and before you know it, vector is the only way (or at least the l337 way) to game an FPS, not to mention the prices come down due to volume and such market forces.

It's not hard to consider a lean function that's actually linearly responsive to the gamer's head movement. One of the gripes I have with this in games now is that with an on/off keypress there is not subtle control for stealthy movement. You're either behind the crate or not, which leads to silly and unnatural movements to try and get a peek at the bad guy while exposing yourself.

This is only one of the more obvious uses! Others could be like you say , controlling a headmounted flashlight or say, used as a godlike view-flying system in a game like Black and White or TigerWoods golfing.

Best thing to do in the meantime is tell your friends how immersive it is already, especially if they like racing sims. Takes time to start a forest fire.

warrenEBB
Posts: 542
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Corvallis, OR

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by warrenEBB » Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:44 pm

ah ha! excellent!
i am excited about this discussion.

I strongly believe there is going to be a big shift in the video game industry. The shock of fully 3-D environments is no longer a selling point. While I do think people will ALWAYS want better graphics and sound, i think it's becoming a tiresome marketing tactic. Astonishingly natural and easy ways to play - like you've never played before - will be the next big thing. Probably the big story of 2005. And "new ways to play" will be best exemplified by new peripheral devices and input devices.

Anyway.
I've been thinking A LOT about 6DOF in FPS, because I'm prepping a demo video for a few interested FPS developers. Here's a quick list of good/bad, which i'd love feedback on:

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE - (Cool things already shown off in WWIIonline's FPS mode)
-you run faster across open areas, because you are pointed in a straight line. You don't have to deviate AT ALL to look around for snipers and such. (some people argue that they can turn and strafe fast enough, but they aren't realizing that this is a complicated maneuver that you NO LONGER HAVE TO DO).
-You can fire in one direction, while looking in another.
-You can hold a position (like guarding an alley way) without losing your aim (at the exact head level of anyone who'd walk in), and still look around for enemies in other locations. (This will be interesting in the future, because people will be able to move the gun a specific amount and fire - without ever looking where their gun is aimed!)

FUTURE - (some cool 6dof ideas we've tossed around)
-In Multiplayer games, you'll communicate silently with teammates on the battlefield, by nodding, shaking, and tilting your head. (maybe even by bending at the waist...) (imagine someone looking back over their shoulder at you and giving you "the nod")
-leaning in 6DOF on your motorcycle actually balances your weight and helps you turn (ditto surfing, snowboarding, football, etc.)
-someone attacks you with a knife and you jerk back in your chair - causing your character to bend back at the waist - so the knife slash actually misses!
-someone shoots at you in your helicopter, and you are able to duck down enough to avoid being killed, while still flying around.

BIGGEST HURDLES - (i'm guessing here)
-Multiplayer 6DOF may require passing a lot more info during multiplayer games. We'll see. hopefully where your head is located/facing will be some sort of minimal modifier to where the body is located/facing. I've really no idea how the current multiplayer "packet passing" is handled, or how big an issue this will be.
-Developers seem to think that players don't want to look 180 degrees behind themselves. or that it wouldn't be realistic. but i can plant my feet and still look behind myself (i just have to bend a bit at the waist). Not to mention that limiting the FOV in any direction is just going to make TrackIR users feel arbitrarily limited. (rage!)
-Developers will not want to depend on the trackir. Big time developers aren't going to make a game that requires a TrackIR for any function (yet), because that'd just be helping us make money. And many customers that don't yet own trackIR will complain to these developers, and ask for a way to ban TrackIR users from their server, and yadda yadda. So I suspect we'll see several FPS implementations that are rather trivial/lightweight (at first). until some of the smaller developers really jump in with both feet, and the whole community starts to embrace it. We'll see.
-Agreeing on the implementation style. Racing and Flight are fairly locked down, because controlling a heavy piece of metal is the first concern. FPS isn't as straight forward (nyuk nyuk). Different developers will have different ideas about how to best use TrackIR's head tracking, and if they come up with an approach that the people don't embrace, they'll feel let down later when the community wants them to reprogram the implementation.

But again, the idea of my demo video is present a clear path to an FPS implementation that yall will embrace!
So if i'm overlooking something here, please let me know!

Charvel
Posts: 521
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Charvel » Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:52 am

First off there will be a major change in the game industry, there needs to be and it is inevitable imho, although I doubt it will necessarily be 2005. There needs to be a gaming revolution simply because, as Warren states, the only innovation going on now is in graphics while gaming dynamics have hit a brick wall.

Until now. The problem is creating a clear vision of how to get the kindling arranged to start a forest fire (please don't try this at home ). Developers are feeling the pinch too as competitive as the FPS market is I'm sure some would like to find new areas to innovate and build a buzz around their product but they are nervous to invest the time on something that (in their minds) could be another clunky, expensive and ultimately impractical input device. Everyone thought VR goggles would be ubiquitous back around '99 and still in '05 there isn't any practical stereo-vision device (sorry, those e-dimensional LCD glasses aren't gonna cut it).

And here we are with TIR and 6DOF. Now, for all intents and purposes, the computer can recognize where you're head is in 3D space and the software can easily exaggerate those movements to waist-up in-game movements which is where I see things going, at least in FPS games. Anyway all of this has been said and Warren needs specific comments so here's mine:

1) First off, fine-tuning movement limitations are essential I think to the game and maybe having different limitation rules based on the particular weapon the player is holding. i.e. player looking through scope of sniper rifle has big deadzone but can peek around it if he wants to take a look around, or holding weapon at ready while running narrows the view limitations to mostly front view.

In-game adjustable sensitivities and deadzone sliders will be essential, prefereably with a visual aid to see and test the results without having to rely on the TIR driver.

2) There is going to be a nasty period of integration between the haves and have-nots and like Warren says it's likely online games will be separated for the most part but this will only make the have-nots more curious. Don't think you can fret too much about this and it shouldn't be a game killer. The only thing is it makes things more difficult for the developer to design levels and puzzles keeping things challenging for both have and have-nots.

3) This is how I'd like to see movement translation based on view limitation modes and how they are triggered:
- normal head translation within comfortable zone.

- extreme 'down' puts you in crouch.

- extreme 'down' and 'forward puts you in prone. Note: when in prone you can still look around but limited to about 270 deg. yaw, and about 90 deg. pitch. Roll could make things interesting and challenging too as the scene would rotate 90 deg just as you get to the edges of view. Try it! Looking behind you while on your stomach.

- up obviously stands you back up again or if already standing lets you crane your neck.

-X translation is pretty straightforward. Peek around corners. The problem that currently comes into play is that X should reverse itself as you start to look behind you so that you move your head intuitively. A bit of an algorithmic hurdle but one which would come in handy for flight sims too, hint hint.

- When leaning the waist moves too but it should be kept reasonable because for one it can be disconcerting but mostly because if you have to great a range of movement here you lose fidelity and finesse which is what a new TIR user is going to want at first. TIR takes a bit of time to get used to and many people get frustrated too soon and write it off because they can't be bothered to figure out some of the finer points. Those finer points should be available but defaults shoult be modest.

Again, the trickiest part I'd imagine is switching sensitivity profiles in-game based on players state (ie looking down the sniper rifle, prone, etc...) and requires direct developer implementation and fine-tuning but is essential for really showing the worth of it.

As for player state information over networks, I'm hardly an expert but I do have a bit of a grasp on what's happening. Currently only a small amount of info (coordinates, crouch/prone/standing, weapon, etc.) needs be updated to peers and having the additional stuff is definitely going to add to the traffic. However I wonder if only a few points of movement position between standing straight and full lean need be sent over the network while the client machine fills in the movement in between. This still adds quite a few more states to send on top of everything else even considering only 45 degree intervals when you're talking about the range of movement with 6DOF. I'll leave this one to the netcode guys to do the math but the more points the more fidelity and potentially the less players you can practically have in the game.

Well, I'm just rambling off here, sorry if I couldn't type it all a bit more cohesively.

Best of luck with the demo, Warren. You've got me curious now.

Barred
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Scotland

Re: HALFLIFE2

Post by Barred » Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:41 am

Charval, I like the idea of up and down uesd in the manner that you say, for two main reasons.
1) there would be no penalty for those who are not using TIR as those usages are available now via the keyboard. So that would knock the "you are using a TIR that is cheating" on the head (it happened in IL2 when TIR started there was a massive (60+ page thread).

2) it is more natural to use those inputs from TIR, so that you would feel as if it is you that is crawling through the grass ect (because you are actually head down and forward) so there is a lot of immersion created because the player is then reacting to their enviroment.

I do not think that the addition of that sort of positioning data would be that much higher than it is. The reason that I say this is because the majority of the data is being sent today, if games have lean available via the keyboard as well as the three attitudes of standing, kneeling and prone.

Warren, I think that was one of your main disadvantages removed

Developers that are making tactical First Person Shooters (FPS) would I think jump at the chance if you throw 'realism' at them enough. The disadvantage of not using TIR for general looking and position (I really like that idea Charvel ) is already covered with the mouse. Some of the tactical FPS's already have a different speed of movement and looking if the weapon is bought in to the Port Sight possition (you are sighting down the barrel). So it is only one step away from keeping the weapon's movement on the mouse and the head on the TIR.

If you pitch the head weapon to say the Unreal Tornement (twitch FPS) then I cannot at this moment see there being so big an interest as say Novalogic (Joint Operations) and UBI (Ghost Recon, Rainbow6, and Splinter Cell).

Can you imagine the immersion of say having you onscreen view tied to your head in say Splinter Cell?
I can.
Do you poke your head around the corner or over that box with the chance of getting shot in real life? Well that is the sort of immersion that it would be possible to put into FPS if the level designer is doing is job, making the player feel as if s/he is really taking that chance.

A few years ago there was a couple of games made on the Alien vs Preditor (AvP) franchise. To this day the first one is still regarded generally as the scariest game ever made especially if you were the Marine.

Picture this scenario with in the realms of AvP:)

You have just managed to find an assault rifle with a motion tracker built on it. You feel relieved because of it' ever watchful scan for movement. Especially as the whole base looks as if a messy up close war has been fought, and you have not seen one body since you got there.
You are jumping at shadows because of the lights that are swinging from their mountings are bringing the shadows to life, or are they?

Yeah that is it. It must be the lights as the scanner is quiet.

BEEP!

BEEP!

You call out and the only responce is..

KLANG!!

Something has fallen over behind you (you are using 5:1 speakers). In fright you turn towards the direction of the sound. It matches the direction of the scanner. You wish that the lighting was working properly and that the light down that corridoor would STOP SWINGING.

BEEP!

You start to quater the corridoor craining your neck to try and see into the shadows, whilst keeping your weapon in a neutral position. JUST IN CASE.

BEEP!

You glance down at the tracker. That is deffinatly comming from down the corridoor and comming closer!

Out of the corner of your eye you see movement!

Do you:-
a) Fire off a burst in the general direction?
b) Bring your weapon up for a accurate round towards the movement?

You bring up your weapon, just to see a cat move out of the shadows.

Relaxing and feeling a fool you lower your weapon, breathing out a sigh of relief.

KLANG!

You look up you just see a fead comming into your vision and it is the last thing you see.

Apart from the cat that could of come straight out of the AvP games. Now imagine if your field of view was locked onto your heads position?

Think of the hightend feeling of being scared of the shadows, more so as you are actually taking part in a more believable game world because you are using more of your real sences in the game.

Yes there are going to be a few hurdles at first (look at the abysmal games made at the dawn of the mouse and onscreen icons), but could really be seen as a selling point for realistic shooters and more people would be incouraged to invest in a $130 worth of extra equipment if they knew there were more games in developement that they could use it in. $130 today is the price of a couple of good mice.

Warren your thought about weight distribution for motorcycle game is great. There have been a few motorcycle games approching sim levels EA's World Super Bike and Climax's MotoGP 1&2. both have used the hat switch for rider weight distribution, but both felt awkward in their implementation, that could so easilly be remedied with TIR's 6DOF (Climax are working on a 3rd according to the UK games press ).

One thing that the publisher and developement teams could do is to put a pole out asking if you (the player) would like the ability to look about as you can in real life. To do that people would need to know about TIR. NP can do so much but if we the buyers do not go on (nicely) about the benefits about the immersion gained by TIR.

Once again I have gone off on one. Sorry but I care about good games and about good ideas turned into good products.

Edit: Applolgies to Climax. I originally stated Creative instead of .

[ February 06, 2005, 08:22 AM: Message edited by: Barred ]

Post Reply