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Valve Prepping Source 2 Engine For VR

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the setting-right-what-once-went-wrong dept.

Displays 49

An anonymous reader writes "In a Q&A session on Reddit last night with Valve's Gabe Newell, the founder confirmed that the company is in the process of getting the highly anticipated Source 2 game engine 'working well with VR.' Valve's Alex Vlachos, Senior Graphics Programmer, is apparently leading the charge. Still no word on when the engine may ship. Valve, who is openly collaborating with Oculus VR, demonstrated a VR headset prototype in January at Steam Dev Days. The company also launched a beta version of SteamVR which offers Steam's 'Big Picture' mode in a format compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset. A developer who got to experiment with Valve's VR prototype says it's very impressive, even more so than the original Oculus VR dev kit."

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This is inovation (1, Interesting)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 5 months ago | (#46411903)

Not what nintendo/sony/microsoft are doing.

Ok the Kinetic is pretty innovating, hopefully we will not see the same misapplication of the innovation here.

How do you know what nintendo is doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46412235)

They surprised many with the Wii , and everyone since then has been riding their dick.

Maybe the big N is getting into VR?

Re:How do you know what nintendo is doing? (2, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 5 months ago | (#46412737)

I highly doubt it. Nintendo has been a majority about group-in-a-room play. VR takes heavily away from everyone sharing the same point of view

Re:How do you know what nintendo is doing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46413243)

So does giving one person a touch-screen controller with a different view...

Re:This is inovation (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 5 months ago | (#46413171)

...

Ok the Kinetic is pretty innovating, hopefully we will not see the same misapplication of the innovation here.

Yes it is, if we are talking about putting a Video & Audio recording device in every living room for the NSA.

Re:This is inovation (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 5 months ago | (#46413427)

Citation please? because I thought we were all given the reason for MSFT pushing the POS Kinect when the patent came out showing they had filed a patent on charging by the head for PPV movies. Of course we have all seen how well it works with gameplay [angryjoeshow.com] and its pretty much universally hated for anything other than dancing games.

To me the Kinect is the perfect example of why Ballmer should have been axed half a decade ago, come up with a DUMB idea to make money, refuse to accept its a dumb idea, and spend a shitload of money trying to push said dumb idea even when everyone has told you how fucking dumb it is.

Re:This is inovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46413893)

How the hell is this innovation?

VR is ancient. This is just improvement and affordability. There is zero innovation with it. Literally
Doesn't make it crap, Oculus will be glorious, but it isn't innovative.

How about a bit of Episode 3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46411915)

I'm starting to feel like Gabe is taking the piss now. So many developers hired, but seemingly so little to show for it.

Re: How about a bit of Episode 3? (0)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 5 months ago | (#46412049)

"So many developers hired"
[citation needed]

The very title of your comment makes it hard not to blow the whole comment away. Why do you want HL3 so bad? It's not done, them working "really super hard on it" isn't going to make art/the process/their feelings toward the game any better any faster.

Re: How about a bit of Episode 3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46413031)

"So many developers hired" [citation needed]

Oh, fuck off back to wikipedia. Maybe you should stop off at google [google.com] on the way.

The very title of your comment makes it hard not to blow the whole comment away.

And the first word of yours did very much the same. Your point?

Why do you want HL3 so bad?

Because the first one was good, we were told that episodes would be released in quick succession but in fact it's been seven years since the last instalment. Episode 3 will have to compare favourably to Christ's second coming to live up to the cumulative anticipation felt by the community.

It's not done, them working "really super hard on it" isn't going to make art/the process/their feelings toward the game any better any faster.

The last time I checked, working "really super hard" on something gets it finished sooner. From this I infer that Valve are either a. not working hard on it or b. constantly shifting the goalposts à la DNF.

Re: How about a bit of Episode 3? (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 5 months ago | (#46422603)

If you think that "working really super hard" makes art come out faster, there is a reason you're not the one making HL3. They might have already finished it, looked at the product and said "this is bad, start over", as they did nine times with TF2.

But no, please keep shouting "where is HL3!!" because it's super important to the history of the world that a single video game comes out.

The amount of impatience you show with VR and Video Games (HL3 in this case) is kind of astounding. What are you out, having to wait?

Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46411939)

Don't care. Until we see something from the HalfLife crew they're as good as dead to me.
 
I have no son!

Re:Valve (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46412003)

There have been couple of screenshot leaks from their project tracker and HL3 has always been just some kind of early experimental stub there. It may not ever be developed into a real game. Listening Gabe's lately talks, to me it seems that Valve's focus for the future is on Left 4 Dead -type online multiplayer games.

Now, on the other hand, Source 2 has had truly massive resources put into it, so at least it will be very interesting to see what this novel engine has to offer.

Re:Valve (3, Interesting)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 5 months ago | (#46412145)

My bet is that HL3 will be the first source2 game and it will have full VR support and be sold in bundles. headset (insert witty name here) + steam machine + hl3. Steam after all was (practically) launched with hl2.

Re:Valve (2, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#46412281)

I've held this suspicion too. Why deliver a game people have been begging for like oversexed whores for years, when you can deliver the game and a tech improvement that'll bust everyone's balls, propelling the former to "technical marvel" and instantly making a market for the latter?

Re:Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46412309)

HL3 will be 4-player coop with Gordon, Alyx, Barney & Dog.

Re:Valve (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 5 months ago | (#46412757)

That...may not be a bad thing.

Re:Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46412969)

As long as it also has a single player campaign.

Re:Valve (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 5 months ago | (#46413711)

My bet is that HL3 will be the first source2 game and it will have full VR support and be sold in bundles.

As cool as that would be, Gabe also said this in the same AMA:

6) We aren't holding any game until VR is shipping. You don't want to create that kind of dependency.

Re:Valve (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 5 months ago | (#46413743)

Valve doesn't plan on selling vr headsets, they just made theirs for development.

Heh. (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | about 5 months ago | (#46415569)

My bet is that HL3 will be the first source2 game and it will have full VR support...

Half-Life 3D?

Carmack Talk QC 2013 (3, Informative)

pieisgood (841871) | about 5 months ago | (#46411951)

This was evident from Carmacks talk at QuakeCon 2013. He talked about meeting with valve employees and discussing VR. He talked about how the Valve guys showed him that black to white times on the screen were just as important as standard refresh rates. So it makes sense that they would be developing Source 2 to work with VR.

Re:Carmack Talk QC 2013 (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46412059)

This was evident from Carmacks talk at QuakeCon 2013.

As a quick sidenote, there's a couple of good channels at YouTube for anyone who wants to listen/see JC's previous keynotes (and other id Software stuff): idFan_EngineCoder [youtube.com] , James Fisher [youtube.com] . I hope he is able to pop in this year too, even after moving to Oculus...

Re:Carmack Talk QC 2013 (1)

pieisgood (841871) | about 5 months ago | (#46412361)

Carmack said he'd have the talk in the lobby if they wouldn't let him have it officially at the convention.

Reddit AMA? (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 5 months ago | (#46412041)

I don't want to be "that guy", but a response to a Reddit AMA, with no real details or anything, is quite a stretch to put into it's own news story.

Perhaps if all his comments were collated, and this was one of them you might have some kind of story, but the summary was just about as many words as the "news story" (real big comedy air quotes here) is.

Re:Reddit AMA? (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 5 months ago | (#46412273)

Dont worry, it's actually a good thing. The questions and answers REALLY sucked, slashdot saved your time but not reading them

Occulus Rift price (3, Informative)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#46412153)

Forbes claims the Occulus Rift will cost $499 or less, with the device, an omni treadmill, and supporting software going for $999.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja... [forbes.com]

This would be pretty impressive considering that Sony's 3rd generation HMD sells for $999.

Re:Occulus Rift price (1)

TroubleMagnet (529417) | about 5 months ago | (#46412341)

The Occulus team has been shooting for close to, or below, the $300 dev kit price for a long time. They realize that cost will be a big factor in the adoption rate and they need to sell a ton for the first commercial release to get and keep the software developers making VR content.

Re:Occulus Rift price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46412919)

For me, VR is THE killer app of this decade. Whatever happens, I firmly believe VR to be the future. I can't speak for other people (in fact, I'd probably say I'm a boundary case, as a lot of the folks I know still aren't sold on it), but I'd be willing (not happy, but willing) to pay $1000 for the Oculus if support was good. I don't make that much money and I don't have that much in reserve, so this would constitute a very major purchase for me, but I really and truly believe that VR is going to be the future of gaming, and possibly of a whole lot more.

Re:Occulus Rift price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46424413)

I'd say VR is the vapourware of this decade, just like last decade and the decade before that. Oculus Rift might actually come out and it might actually be cool, but it will never gain any significant traction with developers or gamers.

Re:Occulus Rift price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46413397)

Omni treadmills are idiotic. No one will want to play a real game like that. These VR games are going to be played sitting in a chair with a controller in your hand, even if it is some kind of fancy motion sensing controller instead of just a standard one.

Omni Treadmills (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | about 5 months ago | (#46413829)

The most obvious game type for VR would be FPS, but I can imagine a few others that I would love to play in VR. Top of my list would be space sims - I would love to be able to sit down at my desk, pop on a VR hood, and play something along the line of X-Wing or Freespace. Flight sims and racing games would work really well also.

Re:Omni Treadmills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46420565)

I'm looking forward to the Combat flight sims myself. A game like IL2 would be perfect for a VR headset, giving the ability to look around the cockpit and spot enemies like in rl.

Occulus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46413973)

Is this a running gag here at /. ? The summary even has the correct spelling, yet people insist on the Occulus typo. At first I figured it was done out of ignorance, but now I'm starting to wonder.

My doubts about VR (1, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | about 5 months ago | (#46412465)

Maybe it is a problem that screen resolution and headmounted cameras can fix, but every time I get excited about VR, I think about how often I get to look at my computer screen TO THE EXCLUSION of the real world (never).
A full face headset is a 15 minute toy at best for me, because life is not generally set up for total immersion except in very rare situations.

I have a hard enough time finding a chance to play games without a pause button, I can't imagine how little time I would play one that requires you to don and remove a facemask in-between distractions.

I mean there are lonely otaku that could live in this thing, but the vast majority of people *even geeks* actually have to log into the real world more often than you'd think.

I know I know, games aren't geared toward old dudes with disposable income and kids and wives... but really, VR seems to have a deceptively small use-case

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46412669)

I agree with you. I rarely have a use for this technology. It would be neat to try it, and if it worked well it would be fun. But in reality, it makes me think of 3DTV ... rarely, if ever, used.

Re:My doubts about VR (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46413091)

3D TV is different to VR, IMO. 3D is a little like the jump from 720p to 1080p. You notice it, sure, but soon merges into the background. The VR headsets, by many accounts, offer a very different and more immersive experience and they're better suited to their medium. VR headsets are pitched at games because in a game you're interacting with a virtual world. Up until now, your window into that world is a fixed screen that you control with your fingers. With a VR headset you're stepping into that world. Many beta testers have reported that the experience is quite startling.

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46413351)

3D is a little like the jump from 720p to 1080p. You notice it, sure, but soon merges into the background.

I disagree. The 3DTV difference is huge because

a) you have to wear a pair of glasses to see it. So suddenly its an extra step to be able to watch anything. You can't switch from 2D to 3D content without getting an accessory and putting it on. This is very similar to VR.

b) its irritating for anyone in the room without a set of glasses on, or casually interacting with it because all they can see is a blurry image. Again, VR play is similarly inaccessible to others in the room.

c) wearing the glasses is only for 3DTV, they tend to be relatively uncomfortable/impractical etc as a permanent fixture on your head.

. VR headsets are pitched at games because in a game you're interacting with a virtual world. Up until now, your window into that world is a fixed screen that you control with your fingers. With a VR headset you're stepping into that world. Many beta testers have reported that the experience is quite startling.

Meh. I played Duke Nukem 3D in a VR system years ago at an exhibition. Cost like 10 bucks for 2 minutes or something ridiculous. You had to stand in a little thing, and could move around by leaning on the hand rails, jumping by jumping, and full head tracking... was very neat... but not something I'd set up to play games for hours on end. And that's where OR with a treadmill is headed... in my opinion.

I've also played around with some of wii hacks that gave you some head tracking, and looked at FreeTrack and TrackIR etc and I think there is more value for the average person there. Its less immersive than full VR... but also doesn't need to put on an accessory to use, and shut out the rest of the world.

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 5 months ago | (#46413197)

Maybe it is a problem that screen resolution and headmounted cameras can fix, but every time I get excited about VR, I think about how often I get to look at my computer screen TO THE EXCLUSION of the real world (never).

A full face headset is a 15 minute toy at best for me, because life is not generally set up for total immersion except in very rare situations.

I have a hard enough time finding a chance to play games without a pause button, I can't imagine how little time I would play one that requires you to don and remove a facemask in-between distractions.

I mean there are lonely otaku that could live in this thing, but the vast majority of people *even geeks* actually have to log into the real world more often than you'd think.

I know I know, games aren't geared toward old dudes with disposable income and kids and wives... but really, VR seems to have a deceptively small use-case

Ya, and cars when first made were slower then horses, guess they will never catch on, right?

Re:My doubts about VR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46414639)

they caught on much faster than VR

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 5 months ago | (#46422629)

VR is done, VR isn't out, what the hell are you trying to imply by this?

That VR must be adopted as fast as the car?

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

theGreater (596196) | about 5 months ago | (#46413379)

Camera on the front, adjustable transparent real-world overlay?

Wheel + switch on the side for a) virtual only, b) blended via wheel, c) real world only?

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46415969)

It needs to be an eyetap. There needs to be a camera for each eye, with the same separation as your real eyes. This is why prism-based designs are best...

Re:My doubts about VR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46414623)

I'd like a VR headset for coding. RIght now I have a 3 monitor setup. The 2 side monitors are used to display reference information (APIs, Bug Tracker, long running tests, email) with the center monitor used ful screen for my IDE.

So most of the time I am focused on the center monitor and I glance left or right to check generally static or slowly refreshing data. I imagine that with a VR headset I would have the ability to effectively tile windows all arround me (not that that is a practical option). It will also help to focus my attention on the task at hand and discourage others from interrupting me and breaking me out of the zone (open plan offices suck).

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 months ago | (#46414881)

Actually... I have an Oculus Rift and have to say I don't use it more than 30 minutes to an hour at a time.

Mostly because a lack of a killer app at this point (Skyrim with special drivers comes close, but I think Star Citizen will be the app everyone has to get VR because its amazing just sitting in the hanger looking at the 3d screens sitting in your ship's hanger that pop out at you).

Anyways... If you can't find 30 minutes to an hour a day to enjoy some me time then I would argue that there is something wrong with your life.

I don't have kids personally but I have dealt with families that do and basically unless you go to bed when the kid does, you should have at least 30 minutes to enjoy the experience.

Basically I spend 30 minutes alone playing games. Then maybe an hour watching TV with the significant other and then to bed to get 8 hours of sleep.

If not, then I would argue, you are going to have stress management issues in your life and no one wants that.

So yeah... The Oculus Rift is amazing. Most of the demos are short games so I haven't spent six hour with it in a sitting, but demos like Titans of Space really take my breath away.

Also the rollercoaster demo made me go "Oh shit!" out loud. Only happened once since successive rides had me knowing I would be ok, but no non-Oculus Rift game has ever made me fear for my safety.

Its something that even non-video game players can get a kick of it.

Anyways, I own one and its amazing. The only problem with it is that I'm going to have to buy an expensive computer to play the 1080p and the lack of games for it right now.

Once both of those issues are resolved. I think we are seeing a revolution.

Re:My doubts about VR (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 months ago | (#46414955)

One a side note. If your significant other doesn't allow you 30 minutes of me time uninterrupted then you are going to have a rocky relationship.

When my special something is reading a book. I leave her alone unless its an emergency. (Also she has a bad habit of watching TV shows ahead of me on hulu so if I bother her she will start saying spoilers).

When I'm on the computer she does the same.

I just make sure at a certain time I turn the computer off and spend some time with her before we go to bed.

We generally watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report and then head to bed.

Re: My doubts about VR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46423959)

I feel ya. But as the owner of an Oculus Rift dev kit, I think VR is compelling enough that creative solutions to these problems will be found. Like you said, head-mounted cameras could let reality "bleed through" as needed. Or displays could be developed that turn transparent at the press of a button. Noise-canceling headphones could be modified to let human speech through.

I notice that you mentioned games and nothing else as applications for VR. I'm sure you're *aware* of other applications (training simulations, etc.), but like many people you strongly associate VR with gaming ... and not much else. I tend to do the same thing, honestly, but I think it's short-sighted. Porn may be the number one application for the Internet, but that's not why the Internet changed the world.

Virtual and augmented reality, and telepresence, have staggering potential. They'll soon become household technologies and we'll wonder how we ever functioned without them.

Nice move Zenimax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46418337)

Still think it was a good idea to not let Carmack r&d VR for integrating id games, Zenimax?

Gabe needs to get Carmack to come work at valve....source 2 and HL3!!!

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46419769)

So when can I start working on creating mods for Liru and Horo in source 2?

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