3D, Virtual Reality, And Immersive Technology At The U Of OIT

Game Demonstrations Using Immersive Technologies

In addition to standard mouse/keyboard/gamepad-driven projects, the university encourages research into alternative input devices and game mechanics. You can see the influence of immersive technologies in the following demos:

Block Head is the result of a project showcasing how games might work with different input devices, and it uses an EEG monitor to report the player's mental state. In this side-scrolling platformer, the player controls a ninja directly, but the player's EEG result also changes the game world based on whether or not they are relaxed. The player needs to manage their brain state in order to make it through the levels: being calm can turn water into ice, while being agitated can turn some blocks into fire. The students created over 90 levels for this game.

This project explores a way to incorporate physical fitness into video game play. The player controls a first-person shooter while pedaling a stationary bike. The game reads pedaling speed and direction: pedaling forward assists offensive power, pedaling backwards improves defensive power, and higher pedaling speed earns better in-game abilities and rewards. Students built the original demo in a single day using a Half-Life 2 mod.

Magicduel is a two-player duelling game that employs Kinect sensors. Players use gestures to shoot balls of magic at one another, and they can move and jump to dodge their opponents' projectiles. This prototype game got some interest and was demoed on the Space Channel.

Keith Sigvaldason shows us how the birds do itKeith Sigvaldason shows us how the birds do it

Students Tassos Stamadianos, Rohit Moni, and Brandon Drenikow were recruited to get a VR demo together for a tour.  It took them just 24 hours to take Unity engine assets and create a first-person driving game that works on the Oculus Rift, complete with Razer Hydra hand controllers for steering. They later created another demo where the player controls a flying bird, also while wearing the Rift. You have to flap your arms (using Razer Hydra controllers) to move the bird's wings in VR, and fly through hoops.

This is a student's study project, designed to investigate whether or not apparent stereoscopic depth can be used as an action mechanic for gaming. The game is a top-down scroller where the player maneuvers a craft around hazards in 3D space, with the depth also marked by colors for 2D play. Despite the color indicators, players of the 2D version tended to give up, while players of the 3D version did quite well. For the next stage of the study, more indicators will be added so that 2D players have a better chance of successfully navigating the course.

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18 comments
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  • xkm1948
    Hopefully the development of neuroscience will help sending signals directly to one's cortex without being processed by vision system. It is already doable in auditory system, although it is still indirectly stimulus of cortex. With a better understanding of cortex mapping, we may finally be able to get signals directly into brain without all the sensory organs!
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  • clonazepam
    baby steps... baby steps. I dont see how that's possible without destroying healthy brain tissue during the learning process, so it'll never happen. Maybe some lab rats might get to enjoy some corridor run-throughs from the latest ID software, Quake 37 or something, but that's about it.

    I like the idea of several companies coming together to build a market to share with each other. That'd be nice. I've got a 3D Vision ready monitor and glasses. I messed around with it some when I first got it, but the quality of the experience from one game to the next was anything but consistent. Longer play sessions were interrupted by having to recharge the glasses too.

    I'm still hopeful that we get there someday. It's nice to know there's a group of people out there to decide where "there" is, and help define it as we move toward it.
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  • etaxdoa
    what do I do with my vuzix 1200 wrap once Rift hits retail?
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  • piklar
    Bunch o Chickmagnets.... things will get interesting when Occy R goes retail , cant help but think they will be hard pressed to keep up with demand "how could you NOT want one?" exciting times ahead..
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  • bystander
    Quote:
    Hopefully the development of neuroscience will help sending signals directly to one's cortex without being processed by vision system. It is already doable in auditory system, although it is still indirectly stimulus of cortex. With a better understanding of cortex mapping, we may finally be able to get signals directly into brain without all the sensory organs!

    While that may be interesting, and very useful for the blind, part of the experience we have with 3D is processing it in the same manner we do in real life. Through our eyes.

    I am a big fan of 3D Vision myself. I really wish all the poor versions of 3D never existed, so people would stop calling it bad or a gimmick, because in the right games, it is truly awesome. 3D Vision has a great mod community that fixes a lot of games too, using the Helix mod, for those into 3D, it is a must to use their mods.
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  • sebkow
    we had a blast having you at our school
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  • sebkow
    Though it is UOIT and not U of OIT :)
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  • bnot
    "Back in 2007, 3D was in the hands of hardcore fringe enthusiasts, and reliable information was very had to come by." ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuality_(gaming)

    Virtuality is a line of virtual reality gaming machines produced by Virtuality Group, and found in video arcades in the early 1990s.[1] The machines deliver real time (less than 50ms lag) gaming via a stereoscopic visor, joysticks, and networked units for multi-player gaming.
    Initially introduced in 1991, the systems were developed for industry, where the first two networked systems were sold to British Telecom Research Laboratories to experiment with networked telepresence applications. Many other systems were sold to corporations including Ford, IBM, Mitsubishi and Olin. Professional virtual reality systems included the launch of the Ford Galaxy in virtual reality and a virtual trading floor for the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE).[2] However, the users' thrill of talking and mutually interacting with each other as virtual characters refocused the company's direction.....


    http://www.cybermind.nl/Our%20Products/VR%20LBE%20Systems/visette_01.gif
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  • Shankovich
    Wat UOIT is doing this stuff? LOL wow I should go visit. When I was applying to university 4 years ago they were offering insane entering scholarships because they were so new, $8000 a year if you had an average above 90%. Glad to see they're doing so well!
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  • Verrin
    I went to UOIT for nuclear science. It's a neato school, the high costs of tuition is because you're renting a laptop with expensive software suites on it (cost is more for the software than the hardware). I sort of cringed everytime the author said "U of OIT". No one calls it thaaaaaat. It's UOIT.
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  • cleeve
    I know it's UOIT guys, but it's not exactly a common acronym like MIT.

    I added the flourish so that people would infer that it's a university, sorry if it stepped on some sensibilities, not my intention. :)
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  • TeraMedia
    U of OIT helped clarify for me that it was a university, indeed.

    Cool stuff guys. This is the first time I've ever even contemplated going back to school for something.
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  • cleeve
    Anonymous said:
    "Back in 2007, 3D was in the hands of hardcore fringe enthusiasts, and reliable information was very had to come by." ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuality_(gaming)

    Virtuality is a line of virtual reality gaming machines produced by Virtuality Group, ...



    Your response has absolutely nothing to do with my statement. I never said virtual reality never existed before 2007, I said "3D was in the hands of hardcore fringe enthusiasts, and reliable information was very had to come by".

    It was.
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  • wip99gt
    I've found Tridef and Vorpx to be much better drivers for the rift than Vireio. I do like that Vireio is free though and the first time I tried it with Dear Esther was my first holy s**t moment with the rift. Now I just need to wait for an omni.
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  • Enterfrize
    Just a heads-up that Vireio Perception 2.0 is out on November 28th, and it's eons apart from the first release. Also, when this article as published, MTBS has a MAJOR server crash. It's finally up again - sorry for the inconvenience.

    Regards,
    Neil
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  • wip99gt
    That's great. The more support for VR the better.
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  • velocityg4
    I didn't see any 3D equipment in the article. Everything is 2D simulations of 3D that trick your eyes into seeing 3D. It's not true 3D where you can move around and look at something from any angle. That's what I am waiting for.

    Also all the 3D tech I have seen gets choppy and disorienting during any action fast action. I find that when I'm stuck watching something in 3D I just cover one eye to get rid of all the choppy screens and blurriness. Frankly with current tech I get a mild feeling of nausea and vertigo viewing 3D. I absolutely hate that to watch a movie on a large theater screen I'm stuck with 3D if I want 2D I have to view it on a small theater screen.

    Also the 3D never looks quite right. More like 2D objects placed at varying distances.
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  • bystander
    Anonymous said:
    I didn't see any 3D equipment in the article. Everything is 2D simulations of 3D that trick your eyes into seeing 3D. It's not true 3D where you can move around and look at something from any angle. That's what I am waiting for.

    Also all the 3D tech I have seen gets choppy and disorienting during any action fast action. I find that when I'm stuck watching something in 3D I just cover one eye to get rid of all the choppy screens and blurriness. Frankly with current tech I get a mild feeling of nausea and vertigo viewing 3D. I absolutely hate that to watch a movie on a large theater screen I'm stuck with 3D if I want 2D I have to view it on a small theater screen.

    Also the 3D never looks quite right. More like 2D objects placed at varying distances.


    What you want is not practical. To have some form of holographic space you can move in and look at from all angles would take enormous amounts of space. You'd have to dedicate rooms to it.

    However, the Oculus Rift does come close, as it allows you to turn your head to change the view. You get depth from the stereoscopic 3D.

    The "3D" you consider acceptable is not practical due to space requirements.
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