Elite: Dangerous emerged fairly early on in the Oculus Rift DK2s public life as the poster boy for the new hardware. With an exceptional, VR-tuned UI and an all-round best in class VR experience, it’s clear that the team at Frontier clearly care passionately about virtual reality. I was pretty enamoured myself in an early playtest (see above video). There was one gripe that DK2 owners found marred this great experience, visible judder when glancing around.
Frontier has just released the long awaited update Beta 2.0 which brings with it a vast array up fixes and tweaks, including Oculus SDK 0.4.2 support.
Anyone who followed the progress of the DK2 launch will know that it was originally delayed by a week in order for Oculus to work on issues with the revamped SDK which brought with it a host of fundamental changes and advances. With the introduction of Oculus Runtime and the debut of new rendering modes designed to minimise input to display latency (aka motion-to-photons). Somewhat inevitably for such a major overhaul, early recipients of their DK2s found a multitude of issues with the new SDK – including an annoying artefact that caused judder when panning your head whilst in the Rift. Additionally, early DK2 support in E:D was supported by a much earlier beta SDK which was not forwards compatible with the version which shipped alongside the DK2, so users had to hack about to get it to work in the first place.
It was an issue Oculus were more than aware of. Responding to some of my early thoughts on my DK2 experiences, Chris Talyor tweeted some good news:
— Paul James (@muterobert) July 26, 2014
Early reports are that the new release does indeed resolve this issue and brings along with it a vast series of additional Oculus Specific updates too (thanks to CogitoSum from /r/oculus for compiling the list).
- Fix for crash when shutting down the game by clicking on the close button while rendering to Oculus Rift
- Support for Oculus SDK 0.4.0 added
- Fix for GalaxyMapCamera when Oculus Rift is enabled
- Make sure the reference camera, which is used to provide the rendering service with a projection matrix, uses FOV and aspect ratio taken from the stereo cameras when Oculus Rift is enabled
- Radar not being displayed on hyperspace when rendering to Oculus Rift fixed
- If Oculus Rift isn’t present or the SDK could not be initialised, don’t show the Oculus Rift options in the 3D dropdown list part of the graphic options menu
- Update Oculus SDK to version 0.4.1
- Time warp fixes for Oculus
- Updated Oculus SDK to version 0.4.2. This SDK isn’t compatible with runtimes 0.4.0 and 0.4.1, so installation of runtime 0.4.2 is mandatory
- Added the setting ‘Oculus Image Quality’, a slider that controls the parameter ‘Pixels per Display Pixel’ passed to the SDK when calculating the recommended texture size. This gives users more control to find the right balance
- between quality and performance for their particular setup. Since low values of the setting can have a very dramatic effect (e.g. text can become unreadable), the user is asked to confirm the selection even when only this setting has
- been changed (using the already existing confirmation dialog). The slider is only enabled if stereo mode is set to Oculus Rift, and it will not be shown in the graphic options screen if an Oculus Rift wasn’t detected
- Disabled depth testing for the landing pad schematic material as its billboard is now partially occluded by the cockpit after the Oculus depth
- When disabling Oculus stereo mode, if using Direct Access, make sure the swap buffer gets recreated
The full patch notes (many pages long) can be seen here – it’s bewildering!
Do let us know your thoughts on the patch and whether you’ve noticed any improvements or indeed any further bugs introduced in this version.