Early Impressions of Lumberyard's New Support for OpenVR

I am currently developing with the HTC Vive as a proxy for next year’s VR headsets, controllers, and tracking. After some teething pains, I have successfully configured and compiled the OpenVR Gem for SamplesProject in the v1.3 beta release. I am a newbie to Lumberyard, but my initial experience with OpenVR-Vive has not been especially positive. As hopefully constructive feedback, here are some early issues I’ve encountered - in order from less important to more important:

  • Installing Gems can be a bit frustrating for those new to Lumberyard and WAF, partly due to lack of “getting started” documentation for a critical command line compile step needed after changes in Project Configurator and partly due to uncertainty about the significance of unexpected warnings. I was mildly surprised to find that enabling the OpenVR Gem for SamplesProject requires half an hour of compile and link.

  • When the OpenVR Gem is enabled for a project, the displays in the Vive headset light up as soon as the Lumberyard editor is started and they remain lighted during the Lumberyard session regardless of whether any content is viewed in VR mode. This behavior could be somewhat problematic for headset lifetime and fixed pattern burn-in.

  • The OpenVR Gem has apparently initially been delivered without a VR-optimized sample project. The included samples exhibit aliasing that results in unstable and distracting non-eye-matched object edges at range, and include “background” star fields that stereo fuse at an apparent surface distance from the eyes of about 30 inches.

-The key current issue, though, is what appears to be substantial head-to-photon latency for even the simplest scenes. Lumberyard’s VR projections adapt and render as expected for very slow head movement, but the geometry swims with rapid head movement. Such latency would not be competitive with other game engines for typical applications in gaming or walk-around VR.

Perhaps the Lumberyard team could document settings, patches, or at least plans for the Lumberyard VR pipeline to reduce latency?

I have just found the new Virtual Reality section in the Lumberyard User Guide for v1.3:

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/latest/userguide/virtual-reality.html

Thanks.

fyngraf, I can’t thank you enough for taking your time accessing our new feature and giving us a well constructed feedback. We will take each of your points seriously and look into it. Meanwhile, here is some information that would help you along the project.

I see you’ve found related documentation. Information on this specific page can help you to reduce the latency issue.http://docs.aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/latest/userguide/virtual-reality-cvars.html

Additionally, SamplesProject includes a test asset called ‘VR_Sphere_Controller’. You can find it in Database View>Prefab Library>(Open)Character_Controller. Drag and drop the prefab in a level and use VR preview mode to drive around in game with a game controller.

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/latest/userguide/virtual-reality-preview.html

Please look forward to our future releases. If you are starting a VR project, I would love to connect to you for further feedback and offer any support. Thank you again!

In response to the Vive’s screen always being on in LY, the latest version of SteamVR has added a sleep mode that actually puts the display to sleep if it’s not being used. To avoid any screen burn in, you should make sure that your SteamVR drivers are fully up to date. Thank you.