denny_headshot-200x200What is happening with the VR industry? Is adoption and growth still on target to support a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of independent VR developers? Leading headset manufacturers have not been transparent in sharing any specific information, and analyst datum that’s been released hasn’t been a reliable or comprehensive source of information. So it’s been difficult to get an honest and candid assessment about the overall health and vibrancy of the virtual reality ecosystem. But there are a few companies who have some deeper insights into the VR ecosystem, and these are the independent VR development companies who have released best-selling VR titles.

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Denny Unger of Cloudhead Games has the unique perspective of having a VR launch title, The Gallery: Call of the Starseed (2016), bundled with the HTC Vive, and then a year and a half later, the sequel, The Gallery: Heart of the Emberstone (2017).

There was a significant dropoff of sales of their second title from the first title, and so Unger has the experience of going from the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ on the Gartner Hype Cycle down into the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’. He expects that VR will turn the corner within the next couple of years, and that focusing on producing smaller experiences aimed at the VR Arcade market is a going to be one way for indies to survive this temporary winter in the VR market.

Image courtesy Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Unger says that headset sales are being used as the primary metric for success, however, as an independent VR studio they are more interested in looking at the active attachment rates when doing their own internal planning for the next couple of years. That is: how many VR consumers are using their VR headsets either every day or at least once a month, versus how many have bought a VR headset, but aren’t using it because the content hasn’t been compelling enough to keep them coming back?

Unger suggests that the active attachment rates are the more important metric, but none of the major platform players in the VR industry want to have a transparent and honest conversation as to how this ecosystem is growing, how to best track and promote growth, and reflecting on whether or not their strategies are working. Unger suggests that there’s a middle-tier of independent VR developers who have not received a lot of support from the major headset manufacturers, and even the mainstream press hasn’t been investing the time or interest in covering some of these non-AAA tier VR game experiences.

SEE ALSO
'Heart of the Emberstone: Coliseum' Demo Offers a Free Taste of the Game's Telekinetic Powers

So I had a chance to catch up with Unger at GDC where we had a candid conversation about the state of the VR industry, why he thinks VR games may be in the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ (it could be in the slope of enlightenment for other VR industry verticals), and some of the things that major headset manufacturers and content funders can do to support this middle tier of VR development in order to have a more robust, healthy, and vibrant VR developer ecosystem.


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  • Shem

    Consoles, Theme Parks & Commercial Applications will keep VR alive. The signs are already there.

    • nipple_pinchy

      lol

    • Lucio Lima

      Theme parks with the option to simply explore, without having to play
      “Ark Park” is such a disappointment!

      • kool

        We need something like ps home for vr. Somewhere headsets can pary up and launch games. Rec room is close but it needs a game launching feature, larger lobbies, flying and racing games. I think a virtual world game is coming soon, i think next gen consoles are what they’re waiting for tho.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Yeah, because that’s not exactly what already happen in the 90s (yes, console, theme parks and showcase/event).

  • “That is: how many VR consumers are using their VR headsets either every day or at least once a month, versus how many have bought a VR headset, but aren’t using it because the content hasn’t been compelling enough to keep them coming back?”
    Exactly, it doesent matter if people buy it and forget about it.

    • Lucio Lima

      I’m developing a kind of aversion to my Rift
      But I love vr!

    • Lucidfeuer

      Yup, that should be fucking evident and yet he says for a good reason…

  • Darren Hill

    I’d just be happy to have ports of decent length games, even from the PS3-PS2 era, really tired of finishing a game in 1-2 sittings.

  • Ted Joseph

    I am having a blast in VR. I spent 3 hours in Skyrim last night, and worked up a sweat with all that running around on the spot checking out places on my journey. Only going to get better from here on! Love it!

    • nipple_pinchy

      How is it? How is the locomotion. Is it just teleport and trackpad? I don’t imagine they put armswinger in there(that’d be too good to be true for me).

      • Morfium

        You can choose between teleport (didn’t test that) and trackpad locomotion.
        You control how fast you walk with your finger distance to the center (for vive, I don’t have an oculus).
        You have several settings for vignette on turning and walking.
        You can disable them seperately and are able to use a slider for the effects strength.

        There are settings for realistic sneak (duck for real), realistic bow (put the arrow in and pull back) and realistic swimming (make swim motions under water).

        Turning can be done smooth or in steps. I’m pretty sure the step angle is adjustable, but I used the default.

        All in all I am pleasently surprised. Especially the bow is very nice to use. Swimming is fun too. Definately better than in pancake Skyrim.

        • Gato Satanista

          How is the sword combat?

          • david vincent

            as clunky and boring as in flat Skyrim

    • Lucio Lima

      Be careful not to destroy your face!

  • Keith.

    Never heard of this company’s games, then again I’ve got a PSVR and not a Vive.

    I’ve purchased close to 60 games for PSVR, and I’ve read a lot of posts from others who have bought about as many or more games than me. Got to believe there’s developers making money there.

    • deadkat37

      I’m also a PSVR owner since launch day and have bought an average of 1 game per week.

      I am well past the usual ‘new tech’ honeymoon period and have never before purchased so many titles for a platform.

      Although some of the games have been a disappointment, there are only a couple I really regret.

      I would be very sorry to see VR going down as another failed fad…

  • Anthony Hunt

    Too many titles locked to one headset. Many others at higher than AAA prices for what amount to tech demos.
    I play Elite: Dangerous in VR and the only other games I’ve bought that felt like value for money were Robo-Recall and Gorn.

    • Jaap Olsthoorn

      Did you try Lone Echo? Still my favourite…

  • Lucidfeuer

    Yeah, I’m sorry but everything that references the Gartner Cycle has no credibility. This isn’t remotely how it works…VR as a hobbist and event device will die way before the so-called magical “4 to 5 years…because”, and that’s what happened in the 90s on a shorter period but for the same reasons.

    The market hasn’t even “started” yet, because there’s not even one real pratical product. We’re not that far, but stalling that far for too long means unavoidable death of the “market” for this cycle…we’ll see.

    • Raphael

      What happened in the 90’s isn’t applicable to today. The market hasn’t even started yet because the technology is only just beginning. The growth since Octopus DK1 has been collosal. Since DK1 we’ve gone from NO VR games to a fast growing industry where major players are turning out VR content.

      All of the scare-mongering amongst a percentage of “journalists” (CNN for example) is idiotic and false.

      VR is an inevitable technology. It began long before the 90’s and the price has only ever decreased as the technology improved.

      Home VR isn’t going to die because it actually can’t. It’s INEVITABLE technology. There isn’t any better way of getting us into the computer world.

      The mistake most people make when debating VR is only looking at NOW or post-Oculus ERA. Even looking back only as far as the 90’s gives an inaccurate picture.

      The development curve has been constantly rising since the early 70’s while the cost curve has steadily fallen.

      Billions are being poured into perfecting the hardware. Life consists of repetition rituals and the more a ritual is performed the more efficient we get at performing a particular ritual. VR doesn’t have a time-limit where it will die out if a development target isn’t met. Development continues regardless of the narrow attention spans of shallow minds.

      Consumer VR at this stage is a niche peripheral. I have a HOTAS Warthog…What percentage of gamers have a HOTAS costing 500 (rudder pedals also)? So only a tiny percentage of gamers yes? So by the poor reasoning of scare mongers that means HOTAS products are in danger of dying out. Niche peripheral products continue to sell. VR at this stage is a niche peripheral and an unstoppable force. The market will continue to grow at its own pace. That pace isn’t dictated by the rage of angry consumer muppets screaming DOOM because they don’t have retina foveated VR yet… the pace is dictated entirely by science.

      The ritual of VR engineering can’t be bullied or threatened or hurried-along by rage muppets. The VR development clock is governed by science. It is unstoppable and inevitable. Anything else is just pishy-nonsense.

      • Lucio Lima

        fanboy

        • Raphael

          Still triggered because I called your dumbness out?

      • Lucidfeuer

        You didn’t get my point: I’m saying this might and will absolutely fail for THIS cycle if it continues to stall.

        Yes VR is unavoidable, but there is no, and NEVER was in any market a magic infinite amount of time for a stalling market and unpractical product to develop. What I mean is there won’t be another 4/5 years of development for it to get anywhere if it hasn’t before, it’ll eventually fail which yes, is exactly what happened in the 90s for the same reason while enthusiast were having the same kool-aid opinion as yours.

        But this only means it might come back in the late 2020s or 2030s as a real product and market, or if it fails again which would be very unlikely, even later, what is certain is that the current VR iteration doesn’t magically have an infinite amount of time to turn into real practical devices and market.

        • Raphael

          I know what you meant and you’re absolutely wrong. There is no time limit before death for “this cycle”. The technology is under development. Oculus R&D is significant along with other companies like Nvidia. All that’s happening is that we have an increasingly entitled generation who scream and shout if they don’t get what they want in a certain time.

          It’s the reason Star Citizen is under constant attack with lies like “scam” and “it will never be finished”.

          VR is a NICHE PERIPHERAL at this stage and it will continue as niche peripheral for some years. The games will continue to flow and be refined. Sure there are childish hate mongers who declare VR a failure if they don’t get instant upgrades. It’s the phone generation and VR isn’t something that can be iterated like a phone.

          VR is under absolutely zero threat. There is nothing better to replace it and certainly many VR users will not return to tiny 2d rectangle gaming.

          You keep crapping on about VR’s “failure” in the 90’s. This is also at best wildly inaccurate and more of a lie. VR didn’t fail in the 90’s…it was never feasible for mass consumption back then. It was merely a teaser for what was to come.

          Now the situation is ENTIRELY different. The tech is more practical even though it has a long way to go.

          In the 90’s there were no 3d GPU’s and HMD’s were too bulky and expensive. Computers too slow. Wireless tech was in its infancy. Solid state lasers weren’t a thing nor surface mount components.

          So no… the “fail like the 90’s” cliche rhetoric is wildly inaccurate and rather silly.

          • Lucidfeuer

            “it was never feasible for mass consumption back then. It was merely a teaser for what was to come.

            Now the situation is ENTIRELY different. The tech is more practical even though it has a long way to go.”

            Well we diverge in opinion here, I actually believe that the situation today is NO different because how much more practical is it so that it has even a chance of become a practical device?

            The truth is, I believe we’re really not far, and it’s still possible today when it wasn’t in the 90s…but this is not a given that it will happen or that we’re even close to such a practical device.

          • Raphael

            In the 90’s: CRT displays. No compact wireless devices. No surface mount. No solid state lasers. No HD screens. No high contrast displays. No 3d graphics processors. The list goes on. The low res tech that was available in the 90’s was also far more costly to produce and the failure rate was higher.

            “I actually believe that the situation today is NO different because how
            much more practical is it so that it has even a chance of become a
            practical device?” << This is absolute gibberish. I've been using Vive for a year. It's a practical device with support from game developers. You make some really bizarre statements.

            "The truth is, I believe we're really not far, and it's still possible today when it wasn't in the 90s." << Then you contradict your own paragraph immediately above.

            So firstly you say the situation is NO different to the 90's and then you say it's "not far".

            As someone who was designing circuits in the 80's and 90's the technology is massively different now. VR didn't even die in the 90's. It didn't fail. It continued to develop. All that happened was that development became very public for a while and people were intriqued by the possibility of Lawn-Mower man type worlds.

            So I suggest you stop with the "VR failed in the 90's" because that's completely false and something only an anti-vr numpty would say (and I don't think you're an anti-vr numpty but you've picked-up a few of their misconceptions).

            Consumer VR can't be anything but a thing from this point on. The surge in development since Palmer Luckey emerged with his cardboard and duct tape prototype has been collosal. The idea that VR isn't being developed fast enough is insane and quite sad actually.

            Consumer VR is under no threat. AR and VR will continue to see massive development. This so-called "risk of failure if you don't give me 200 degree FOV and 8k by next week" mentality is just a pile of shit. Any journalist who writes along those lines is an idiot.

          • Lucidfeuer

            “VR failed in the 90’s” because that’s completely false” okay, I’ll let you enjoy kool-aid fantasy land.

        • Raphael

          Also the way you’re talking its like you think the tech is being “held back” and denied you for no good reason or that the hardware devs are somehow being lazy. I know that mentality exists because some others have actually stated they believe that. Again that comes down to lack of insight and entitled attitude. VR is developing at its own natural pace and is driven by the developmen of the technology. There is no panic rush by engineers to get hardware out the door in order to placate rage muppets.

          It was only last year Vive and CV1 were launched. As I said… this is not some mobile phone that is gonna be updated every 6 to 12 months.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Well that’s the core part I disagree with: I believe that because of a lack of vision, rationality and drive those products can’t and won’t succeed. There is no magic to that, if these are not good products, no amount of time, press or investment in itself will indefinitely sustain this iteration, so it might be another 10-15 years, and I’m talking about completely different brands and approachs in a totally different context, and not the continuation of the Vive, Oculus or WMR that might eventually fail and become a thing of the past like the 90s headsets.

    • Gato Satanista

      No will not. Today VR is in a solid niche. Not mainstream, but already has faithful early adopters to sustain the ecosystem, even if in limited ways. The enthusiasm can go down for now, but eventually the companies will solve the actual hurdles in today headsets and a new boom will happen. The reason? People want, really want to escape to another reality. There is a lot of money in that. These companies will not just trow the towel and let that money escape.

      • Lucidfeuer

        “The reason? People want, really want to escape to another reality” bullshit mambo jambo. No, sorry, but you don’t get to hope for things that never existed and worked this way. VR will disappear for this cycle if it does not go anywhere in terms of real practical product and market, you don’t get to have an infinitely sustained “early adopter ecosystem” and say that you just have to now wait for some random magic, this never happened in ANY markets.

        Now, VR will be a reality in the 21th that’s unavoidable. But it’s not said it will happen now or in 4/5 years which will be too late for this iteration. We might have to wait for another cycle in 10-15 years if this does fail (which is not certain, but still set on that end as of now).

        • Gato Satanista

          What I really want to say with the “bullshit mambo jambo” is: The actual concept of VR works. You put the glasses and the stereoscope and motion sensors gives you (in limited ways, of course) an alternate reality. And people really want this.
          “VR will disappear for this cycle if it does not go anywhere in terms of real practical product” What you talking about?? I got a real practical product right here. The Oculus Rift CV1 works perfectly fine for me and for a large bunch of people (not for you of course) I played 40 minutes of games this morning and used the device to work, doing some concepts in Medium (VR) and taking to Zbrush (not VR). I use for games and in my workflow. This is what I say with a limited ecosystem, theres a bunch of people, me included, that really love VR in the ACTUAL STATE of hardware. Not enough to make VR mainstream in a short time. .. But enough to prevent some huge collapse in the market. I am buying VR games every month, and there is a lot of people doing the same thing. Sure, it’s not the huge sales and instantaneous hit that some people expected… but is far from total disaster. Maybe some companies will fall and abandon the market in the next two years because lack of profit… But there is money being made for sure. “and say that you just have to now wait for some random magic” More nonsense. Improving resolution of the actual devices is not random magic. Nor either getting wifi connections, a better FOV and lower prices. Nothing magical or random here. Just the ways that the tech is expected to evolve in the next years.

          • Lucidfeuer

            “you mean that VR will go mainstream in the 21th and everybody will use for work and entertainment … well, that’s another thing.” Yes I meant that, I’m only arguing about that and when it’ll come.

            There’s a reason why the “huge building PCs” are a thing of labs nobody touch or remember, and we specifically differentiate it with Personal Computers which emerged in the late 70s. Or the difference between Palms which completely failed, and what we now call “smartphone’. There was no magical sudden instand and a continuous infinite amount of time for these early product to develop until it grew, it only did when actual practical product were created. The Vive, Oculus and WMR are not, and they could fail and be a thing of the past with nobody to have enough budget or VC trust to launch anything else based on that iteration in the next 4/5 years.

            This is solely what I mean, theses today’s product might have the same fate as the 90s headset, even though VR devices are unavoidable.

  • Paul Schuyler

    Just speaking for myself. The software is coming along fine. But without retina displays or some other fundamental visual technological change, it’s limited. The headset is comfortable for 30 minutes at a time, no problem. After that, its isolating and ‘visually’ uncomfortable for me. That’s why my Vive (and DK2 before) only gets limited use. The software alone cannot solve this, its stereoscopy itself that’s not good enough.

    • Robert Smith

      The “vergence accomodation conflict” is probably what limits your comfort more than the resolution. Until it’s fixed there will always be headaches and visual discomfort, but a true fix for that is further out than foveated rendering or even super high res displays. It’s a very difficult problem. I’d say a minumum five years before we see consumer level headsets that solve this well. Maybe ten.

      • Guest

        Problem was solved in the 90’s. Brought back 5 years ago…

        • Robert Smith

          That easy huh.

    • Raphael

      WTF? 30 mins at a time? You have underlying health/eye issues. I can spend hours in VR and yes I had DK2 and now Vive. Elite Dangerous isn’t a quick play game. I have an IPD measure instrument but really it’s not necessary.

      • Paul Schuyler

        i could spend as much time in VR as I want. It’s just that well, it’s not comfortable (i.e. desirable). Good for you that you enjoy spending hours in there. But I reckon most people don’t. My wife for example barely shows interest. Same with my brother and his kids, etc. And I’ve got a Vive with lots of space, the best titles, and a 1080ti. My point is, that this is VR’s problem, not strictly content or price. 50-70% of our brains are dedicated to visual processing. When that part gets stunning, even with real world footage..iIt’ll be an easy sell. Until then it’s a visual downgrade from the real world. It’s a high bar that no previous technology has had to overcome.

        • sfmike

          Totally agree Paul. Like I’ve said before, we live in a world of HD images and 4K TV but when you put on a HMD you are back to viewing VHS quality videos and that isn’t compelling even in 3D and 360.

          • nipple_pinchy

            lol no

  • nipple_pinchy

    I use my Odyssey daily and haven’t booted up a pancake game in six months. I play Thrill of the Fight for 45-60 minutes a day alone for one game.

    VR hardware has to get cheaper, improve on current inside-out tracking, become wireless, standalone products not tethered to external hardware, utilize foveated rendering to wring every last drop of performance out of mobile CPU/GPU power and then you’ll see mass adoption.

    Over and over I hear people say how badly they want VR but can’t afford the PC to run it or they want it to be wireless or they want better software. It’s getting there but it’s going to be enthusiasts propping up the industry.

    • Raphael

      Yup, I can spend hours in VR with no issue. Key point is not to over-tighten headstrap. I also added a fan to my Vive and replaced the awful neoprene face cushion with shiny faux leather.

      VR will continue on its path of falling cost and rising spec (as it has since the late 60’s/early 70’s.

      Nvidia and Intel do little to make VR hardware affordable. Hope lies in AMD (after decades of building only Intel systems I am now running my first AMD Piezen).

      I remember when 300 bought you a high end gaming GPU and the average spend was 100 to 150. Now people mock if you don’t have a 1080ti. We are paying more money than we need due to ancient API and obsolete single/dual-threaded game code in many cases. 90% of games don’t make full use of a 1000 series GPU. 95 percent of games run on ancient bottleneck API (DX11 or below).

    • Lucidfeuer

      So how is the inside-out tracking people criticise so much? How would you compare it to say Oculus, PSVR or Vive (if you have one)?

      • nipple_pinchy

        I only had a Vive for a month but the dang thing wouldn’t work. The base stations were so finicky that I’d only have tracking for 15-20min max before the cut out completely.

        The Odyssey tracking isn’t bad at all. If you have even half-way decent light you’re good. I barely notice skips. Usually it’s when I’m looking at menus and my hands are down for awhile and I’ll see the controllers sometimes drift away but the second I bring them up they snap back into place. I play games like Thrill of the Fight, BoxVR, Bullet Sorrow and Gunheart and almost never have drift of any kind, especially in the heat of gameplay.

        I can never go back to external tracking. Odyssey is plug and play and it’s super convenient. Inside-out tracking is definitely something consumer VR will have to embrace further and iterate on if it’s going to spread to a mainstream market.

        • Lucidfeuer

          Well, I ordered a few days before. I suspected the inside-out tracking of WMR wasn’t as problematic and just barely a bit off compared to outside-in tracking, which too tend to be finicky and also have the controllers drift.

          Clearly there’s no reason not to have inside-out tracking at least for a tethered and plugged headset.

          • nipple_pinchy

            Yeah, when I had a Vive, the tracking was insanely bad. My hands would drift and even fly off into the distance and I couldn’t get them back.

            Probably with external trackers is that they hate any kind of reflective surfaces and it drives them nuts. Inside-out is definitely the future.

  • Lucio Lima

    We urgently need an “oasis”, as in Ready Player One…

    • PSVR is all about comfort.. helps that sony has had HMD tech since the early 90s and working on it since then. sure, graphics aren’t as high as VIVE or Oculous but do either of them have a game quite like Wipeout Omega VR? that game is still the best VR game i’ve played yet on the PSVR. ;)

      • xamaryllix

        Love my PSVR. Played GT Sport on it recently, and though the graphics are just meh compared to what my PC can do with the Rift, I much prefer the easy setup/teardown and comfort factor.

  • Lucio Lima

    The games are mediocre and the headset too uncomfortable!

    • Raphael

      Yeah.. stay away from VR fool. I have never had any headset discomfort even after 3 hours use. Problem with VR becoming more accessible is that it gets into the WRONG HANDS!!

      If you exist on a diet of amateur kiddy games you will be bored and whiney-assed.

      • Lucio Lima

        Your comment is very stupid!
        Are you trying to fool who?

        • Raphael

          Let’s break it down flappy:

          “The games are mediocre” – So every VR game is mediocre.
          “and the headsets too uncomfortable!” – So every VR headset is too uncomfortable.

          I suspect you have a medical condition… perhaps very soft bones that deform easily. Papier mache head. I have owned a DK2 and now Vive and neither are uncomfortable.

          Someone who makes sweeping generalisations is clearly too dumb to debate anything.

    • Gato Satanista

      Not true on mediocre part. There is a lot of good games in VR. Not blockbuster games, it’s true. But we have some games like: From Other Suns, Brass Tactics, Killing Floor, Arizona Sunshine and now Skyrim. But yes, the headsets can be more confortable.

  • Gonzalo Novoa

    I play for 5-6 hours a day without any problems (Rift) and I am more hooked on VR than ever. I haven’t touched a ‘flat’ game for months. The current catalogue of titles is great in my opinion and the prices much chepaer than normal games. It’s true you need a powerful pc but unless you only use it for playing it is not a bad investment, you can do many things on a pc, I, at least, use it all the time for many different tasks.

    Yesterday I bought Skyrim, a game I never had any interest in and was immediately hooked. There is such a big difference between seeing a game and being inside it, that I don’t think I’ll ever want to play normal games again. And it only gets better and better, games, techniques, developers learning new things, etc.

    Personally if there was a Rift 2 tomorrow I’d buy it on day one and mine is only 7 months old.

  • Adam Schreck

    Thanks to Kent and Denny for their time and perspective.

    And, forgive me, but I’m new to the space: are there no “quality” sites/media resources dedicated to covering the mid-tier (not AAA) market(s)? That seems like a pretty big opportunity …

  • clutchvr

    Since this interview’s topic was “How to survice as an independent game developer”:

    Those devs who create what Unger calls “Shitty Shovelware” are the future aspirants in the VR devs industry. Besides sounding very arrogant, as a game studio it could be a smart move not to dismiss those devs since they could be the next applicants knocking on your door.
    I don’t like most of the VR games out there either but the industry is young and every effort to contribute to the industry should be acknowledged.

    • JL

      I totally agree, and as one of those “shitty shovelware” devs I take exception to his blanket dismissal of us. What the VR industry needs right now are those small devs because they’re the ones that will fearlessly tackle the big problems, as we did, rather than be driven by making a buck. There are so many unsolved issues in VR, so many ways we need to improve and establish best practices, that even a game that is ostensibly a failure can have value if it tackles something important, and inches the industry closer to a solution. We are a tiny two person team, and rather than try to play it safe and maximize our profit potential we decided to throw our weight into a problem that really matters, locomotion. We made a first person game that has full 6 DOF freedom of movement with smooth transitions between walking and flying. The controls can be difficult to get used to, the experience is simple and repetitive, and we certainly didn’t build a very compelling game around it, but we did more to try and give people what they really want than many so called AAA or mid tier devs have done, at least in my humble opinion ;)

    • Lucidfeuer

      Ouin ouin, someone said something true in a brutal way, it completely dismisses the inherent message…

      No it’s absolutely true that “Shitty Shovelware” is one of the problem hindering VR, but no matter how young or small of a studio you are doesn’t automatically qualify you as such, anybody has the potential to do something acceptable or mediocre, then it just is.

      • clutchvr

        > No it’s absolutely true that “Shitty Shovelware” is one of the problem hindering VR
        Well, if anybody can do VR games as you say, what qualifies you to make such a blunt statement? Would you mind backing it up with some potential evidence?

        Do you think VR is not adopted by mainstream because people refuse to invest in a platform with too much “shovelware”? No, they don’t invest because there’s not enough great apps. Not because there’s too much shitty games. That’s a difference.

        • Lucidfeuer

          I could, I won’t. These are points you agree with or not, but I should precise: I’m not blaming developers, I’m saying it doesn’t matter wether you’re a big studio or small dev, if it’s good it’s good and if it’s crap it’s crap.

          And the problem is that there’s so little curation, but also culture and -concept/design- investment on the VR experience market, that yes of course it will hinder market more than it’ll help.

          Last week after seing Ready Player One we we’re joking about all the people who had just seen the movie and would try a VR headset to realise there’s only 2k, half-of-human FOV, badly designed headsets especially if they stumble on of the many “shitty shovelware” of steam.

  • tony solondo

    Some of you are so funny You think if you talk honestly about the current state of vr that will hurt vr industry as a whole.
    some truths about the state of vr now
    1. 95% unispired dull content
    2. Too expensive for mass adoption
    3. The visuals as of now of vr are not accaptable in our High definition world
    4. Vr was way over hyped to soon
    5. Headsets are uncomfortable

    I personally want vr I dont currently have it. I come to roadtovr once twice a month and read the news. Usually look at the comments section but never post. Until now!

    Its a huge turn off from vr when I see the important discussion below the articles when I see people being Ignorant and flat out ignoring facts and making excuses. As if you being so Ignorant looking like complete morons will save the vr industry. Here is a free hint That actually has the opposite effect!

    You know what this tells me as the potential consumer is that the devs, community cant except the facts and that vr will continue to fail because you cant even be honest about its current state and will continue to do the things that are causing it to fail. so keep defending a dead industry Toof and nail for the things its doing wrong but just expect things to not change

    • tony solondo

      In other words
      YOU CANY FIX SOMETHING YOU WONT BE HONEST ABOUT

  • Stain

    it’s been an interesting thread to read. While a agree with Raphael, i think you’ve been a little condescending towards lucidfeuer’s opinion. Even when your opinion is right, you’ll have a hard time getting people to agree with you if it comes across as repulsive.

    but OT: Tech has come a long way and VR is really beginning to settle in the public mind. I dont have a VR headset yet, but i have tried it and absolutely loved it. So so so immersive. The controllers and roomscale VR really make it though.

    With mainstream games beginning to adopt VR and GPU’s increasing in power. I think in the next 5 years VR will be as mainstream as say a PS4 is today.

    we’re not there yet, but between the enthusiasts ,constant stream of new adopters, increasing amount of VR Games and devs. VR will maintain its market and momentum until it hits that tipping point towards mainstream entertainment.

    I may have missed it. but Lucid, do you have a VR headset or have you been able to try one out properly? Like Arizona sunshine or any game longer than a few minutes?
    I know it seems a little gimmicky but when you try it, the Vive really is a finished / well polished product and the experiences to be had are plentiful, it just needs a little more work(wireless, better res etc) and to be more affordable before it will go mainstream

    • Raphael

      Lucyfir has a long history of saying current VR is no better than 90’s VR so I tend to lose patience. He has been saying that stuff a lot less over the past year though and we have had less heated discussions.

      I agree with your range of points.

      “With mainstream games beginning to adopt VR and GPU’s increasing in
      power. I think in the next 5 years VR will be as mainstream as say a PS4
      is today.” << I think the doom and gloom crowd (in general) tend to overlook the expanse of VR developers now. When you look at how the consumer VR market has exploded since Palmer emerged with his cardboard and duct tape. Sony has a mainstream VR product for a mainstream console. Not only that but they actually have games for it! So when people say "If VR development doesn't speed up it will fail" << It has already sped up massively. When Vive launched a year ago it had only a handful of games. A year on there is no shortage of content (excluding the amateur first game attempts flooding steam).

    • Lucidfeuer

      I have 6 Oculus, 2 Vive, a PSVR, OSVR and an old Pimax as well as some custom-made headsets at the office where I work. At home I chose Oculus and Gear VR.

      The topic is not so much as VR which as you said and especially if you just get into that is enjoyable…

  • Lucidfeuer

    You’re entitled to your own vision or opinion, not to your own facts or reality. VR in the 90s was driven by real (and bad) consumer devices from Nintendo or Sony, yet they sold more in their short life-span than Oculus/Vive the first year, and quickly got relegated to conventions, events and fairs, which is exactly what’s happening today to VR (< also that's my part of my job and the disappointing statement that emerged this past year).

    Now, to be more precise, I do not say it's -exactly- like in the 90s, I'm saying this is not so much more advanced as to be an absolute given that it'll become a real thing besides for labs and amateurs for this cycle.

    Finally, you believe in the "fake it until, you make it" mentality which I personnally call the "stooge syndrom", because without having concrete stock-options or incentives into these companies, you think that cheering for their mediocrity will somehow force a false belief that something crappy will convince people. I on the other believe that constructive (and harsh if necessary) criticism is what drives company to do their fucking job especially when, and this is where your or my opinion don't matter, numbers speak…

    • Stain

      i just don’t think the 90s are that comparable to today, markets and economies are way bigger, tech and games alot more mainstream, plus the internet is in almost every hand in the world, not even limited to PC’s so I’d just say the world is a different place. but i guess it remains to be seen what happens with this “cycle” as you call it. but i do think VR will continue to gain momentum rather than peter out. – to be clear, i do agree there is still a lot of work to be done on improving the experience.

      As you said though neither of our opinions matter that much, well perhaps you’re critiques do since you work closely with the tech.

      Anyways, I’m about to upgrade my rig and get it VR ready and will also be looking at buying a VR set soon. I have only tried the Vive for about a week and really enjoyed it, especially the controller tracking, the roomscale VR was quite cool as well. but video’s online of the rift dont look much worse (in terms of tracking) does the roomscale simply give you the ability to take some steps?

      Do you have any particular VR set to recommend? My budget is 600 pound, i was leaning towards the vive1

      • Lucidfeuer

        The Oculus has a better ergonomic, design and set-up for me, but the Vive is able to track on a larger scale and has a slight larger/clear image.

        I’d base my choice on these factors.

    • Raphael

      So you belief that ranting and whining will bully hardware developers into releasing higher spec VR even though that tech is governed by R&D timeline and won’t be hurried along by miserable self-entitled pricks like you? Seriously? Idiot.

      You’re such a twat you think VR tech is being “held back” or that they aren’t working hard enough. I absolutely detest people like you.

      • Lucidfeuer

        So if VR fails for this cycle ie. no consumer products are released in 2/3 years anymore because the market hasn’t picked-up, who will be the blame? You, stooge losers like you. The Wii U failed for the same reasons, it’s actually the most obvious exemple: I can’t recount the countless degenerate “fanboys” who didn’t want to hear about it’s shortcoming until the day it was discontinued even though the situation was obvious for everybody else, you are such person. Fortunately Nintendo actually ended-up listening to the rational and honest people criticising them…

        • Raphael

          You really are completely brainless aren’t you. So you actually think no more vr pdoducts will be released over the next few years. You think ranting and bitching about vr will make scientists speed up their work? You seem to be totally ignorant of the fact that vr hardware is directly governed by science. May come as a total shock to a smegmonkey like you but companies like oculus, valve, HTC hire engineers and scientists and vr is still only just past infancy. A dumb twat will have zero influence on the r&d timeline. You are completely fucking mental and have a super-inflated opinion of self-worth if you think you can bully scientists into working faster. You dumb twat.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Yeah okay, let’s close the discussion, I sold more than 40 VR experiences and you didn’t, continue your kool-aid fantasy crap, people like you are actually diverting companies that might be future competition from succeeded so it doesn’t contradict my agenda.

          • Raphael

            ” I sold more than 40 VR experiences and you didn’t” << LOL. WTF? All that implies is that some really dumb people manage to crawl into the VR industry by some perverse fluke of nature. It's the same mechanism that puts a narcissistic buffoon in the White House. Chaos engine.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I may be your only hope for a future in VR, Raphael.

          • Raphael

            I find it hilarious you believe ranting about VR stagnation is gonna force scientists and engineers to listen to you… oh but wait.. you’ve sold 40 VR things so what the fuck are they thinking? Are they dumb? You are actually too dumb to live. But somehow you made it this far so well done flappy.

        • WyrdestGeek

          Don’t take it so personally, guy. Some form of VR/AR *will* eventually become as ubiquitous as smart phones. Or maybe instead I should liken it to “visual display devices” where we look at everything from the first tv on up through the modern smartphone as a continuation of the same technology.

          VR and AR will eventually be common part of that milieu.

          The only question is how long will it take to get there.

          We don’t really know. All we can do is guess and gamble and wait.

          Furry cows moo and decompress.

          • Lucidfeuer

            “We don’t really know. All we can do is guess and gamble and wait.”

            That’s not my job, I’d get fired of not paid if I relied on the magic of “I don’t know, because I don’t search”.

            And I never said that VR/AR won’t be as ubiquitous as smartphone, that’s not my point, but you’re right to mention what I personnaly conceive to be “visual and interactive interface device”.

  • realtrisk

    Nobody bought your second game because the first one was crap. It was way, way too short to even begin to get the player into the story or characters or setting, yet somehow was one of the most expensive VR launch titles. I, for one, wasn’t about to be fooled into buying again, especially after hearing the second one was just as short. And with no meaningful development of characters or story in the first game, I have no regrets, either.

    • david vincent

      Yeah I much preferred ‘The Solus Project’, same vibe but much more substantial

  • WyrdestGeek

    The Trough of Disillusionment.

    Gartner is still winning on the naming.

  • Blair Renaud

    I really disagree with Kent’s commentary at the end of the podcast. It’s like he thinks Denny is a doomsayer and is doing damage control.

    *waves arms* Nothing to see here! ThisIsFine.gif