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Virtual Sword Fighting

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the sword-sword-revolution dept.

Games 177

Faeton writes "SIGGRAPH is on, and Extremetech has the scoop on it. From Nvidia's N30 to ATI's monster 4x Radeon 9700 render board, the coolest thing was the virtual sword fighting simulator. With a VR headset and a gyroscopic force-feedback "sword", you could really be the badass knight you've always dreamed of. I want this at a local arcade soon!"

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Midevil Knight? (3, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965781)

I think most of the slashdot community would use this be Jedi Knights.

Re:Midevil Knight? (3, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965800)

On second thought, a vast number of /.'ers would probably use this to recreate a certain Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene... as the article says: "None shall pass".

Re:Midevil Knight? (2)

doooras (543177) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965828)

i would be Lancelot, hitting my sword against the wall of the french castle.

run away! run away!

Re:Midevil Knight? (2, Funny)

quarter (14910) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965840)

i would be Lancelot, hitting my sword against the french prostitute.

run away! run away!

Re:Midevil Knight? (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965841)

I'll wait for the version with the large wooden badger. Better yet, the Castle Anthrax.

Re:Midevil Knight? (2, Funny)

Loligo (12021) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965954)

>a vast number of /.'ers would probably use this
>to recreate a certain Monty Python and the Holy
>Grail scene

First the spankings, then the oral sex?

The force feedback isn't THAT good...

-l

Re:Midevil Knight? (2)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966277)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I think you misspelled Snow Crash.

Re:Midevil Knight? (2)

flonker (526111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965827)

Psst. You misspelled Medireview [google.com] .

Re:Midevil Knight? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965897)

I'll play Medieval Knight when the Virtual Trebuchet is available...

SCADIANS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966029)

I think those of us in the SCA would beg to differ with you laddy.

A$$ to your partner balls against the wall,
if you can't get laid in the SCA,
you can't get laid at all.

No (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965783)

They can probably think of an alternate use for this vibrating sword.

Second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965785)

Second post everyone!y aayayaya naanana dehiihid

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965788)

Fourth Post!
areu!

Rotating 360 Degree display (2)

flewp (458359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965791)

Why does the display rotate? Why couldn't it just be 30 stationary displays? It would seem stationary displays would be a lot easier to create and maybe even synchornize. Also, less moving parts would help durability. Anyone have any info on this, or has anyone seen it live at Siggraph?

Re:Rotating 360 Degree display (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965860)

According to the Article, it says each display unit is made up two LED arrays. This isn't like 30 monitors, on their own all you'd see is a bunch of flickering lights, not that exciting, but when they spin they make up images by varying the length each LED is on. Sort of like the color wheel, each color is seperate when still, but when spun it melds back into a white color.

Re:Rotating 360 Degree display (3, Informative)

zenyu (248067) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966030)

It's a parallax barrier system, this is for the 3-D to work. If it didn't spin it would have big black stripes and you wouldn't be able to fuse the images. This doesn't help with the low resolution as someone else suggested, they just used an LED display because it was much cheaper to buy billboard display blocks than lots of custom LCD displays. It is probably easier to drive the low res display. It takes a special display server with four digital video cables to drive IBM's high res display, this would probably be similar with the large 360 degree stereo view.

Re:Rotating 360 Degree display (1)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966184)

Actually, recenly I was playing a military game (I think it was world war II based) at an arcade. It was a 360 view helmet that you pulled over your eyes. No matter which way you turned, the view changed accordingly. You couldn't walk, but it was very very cool to play this way.

I spent a ton of $$ on this game. I mean, the boats were landing, and you had to pick off the marines marching up the beach. I would aim at the landing vessels and take out the driver if I could. Course, once in a while an Apache would appear, and then the missle launcher came in handy. I tell you, I spun and spun on that thing, and I am sure I would have been dizzy if I hadn't had that thing over my head.

So, after playing that, my concerns like yours dissappeared. I recommend this type of game! IT is a blast!

I watched Highlander a bit too much (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965792)

And became interested in swords, and fencing. In college, there was a fencing class, so a friend I took it. After a while, we considered buying our own swords. Eventually, we decided not to, because odds were that eventually, we'd want to play with them, and one of us would end up badly injured or dead. I think we made the right choice.

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (4, Insightful)

flewp (458359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965811)

Eventually, we decided not to, because odds were that eventually, we'd want to play with them, and one of us would end up badly injured or dead. I think we made the right choice. Further evidence Darwin, and his theory of natural selection, is indeed, correct.

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (2, Offtopic)

zenyu (248067) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965977)

Further evidence Darwin, and his theory of natural selection, is indeed, correct.

I have an ex-girlfriend that used to be a big SCA fan, she has some pretty neat swords and didn't mind using them. She's now married and 5 months pregnant and I long ago decided not to have children, I'd say the odds are good that sword play doesn't hurt your procreative chances. I for one had an ancestor that killed three of his playmates with his first sword, on his 10th b-day no less.

I'd rather play with that gyro sword from e-tech and you can see where that path has led....

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (4, Funny)

joshuac (53492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966019)

---snip
I for one had an ancestor that killed three of his playmates with his first sword, on his 10th b-day no less.
---snip

ok, I'll bite...his _first_ sword? You mean he was given another one after this?

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966034)

Depending on how long ago this happened, it may have been a good thing.

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (2, Offtopic)

zenyu (248067) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966046)

ok, I'll bite...his _first_ sword? You mean he was given another one after this?

When he was older, they didn't have prisons back then, so either you were executed or not, and well he was only ten. You weren't allowed to leave the county if you owed money, so not everything got you executed. Someone later in life stuck an ax in his head and he is said to have killed him too, but I guess that was considered legitimite. Archeologists dug up his body a few years ago and verified that he lived long after the ax injury (that is the bone regrew.)

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966398)

ah... i take it you have Icelandic roots, correct?

Re:I watched Highlander a bit too much (1)

MousePotato (124958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966258)

I know quite a few martial artists that would disagree with you. The discipline involved in the study and use of edged weapons can be a lot of fun. There are even a variety of weighted safety weapons available today that have the correct feel and balance of Katana. Not to say that there isn't any risk in training, just keep in mind you can learn anything you want if you have the spirit to do so.

Please refrain from.... (2, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965795)

1) Any mention of this technology with pr0n.

2) Any mention in reference to the "vibrating stick".

3) Any polls that mention prOn or "vibrating stick" with a CmdrTaco last-choice.

4) Creating any troll-ific "Please refain from" lists.

Re:Please refrain from.... (1)

Nintendork (411169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965909)

Personally, the first thing I though of was The 6th Day. If only we could create a headband that stimulates...well, you know.

Great... (2, Funny)

TheWickedKingJeremy (578077) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965796)


I have to contend with sword-fights at all the local bars... now I get to do the same on my computer.

*twirls finger in air*

Re:Great... (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965996)

Where the hell do you drink?!

Actually... (1)

palo0019 (120416) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965801)

SIGGRAPH is off. I just got back last night.

I was a student volunteer and I had the dubious luck to work at the Episode 2 special session. On the one hand I didn't have to wait in line, but on the other I had to deal with freaks with BO who got irate when I had to close the doors.

See you all next year in San Diego, where I'll hopefully be packing a demo reel. :)

Good Concept but too much equipment (3, Interesting)

ApheX (6133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965803)

It seems like VR stuff has advanced very slowly in the past few years - except the graphics part of it. We are now getting to the point with the new cards from ATi and Nvidia that movies can be rendered real time so the visual experience is great, but physically its still cumbersome. Why isn't the equipment wireless, using bluetooth or something similar for everything to communicate. Its not going to feel very realistic to me if I have a strand of wires attached to me. I think the VR industry needs to step back and worry less about pretty graphics and more about making the hardware more user friendly to help add to the experience.

Re:Good Concept but too much equipment (3, Informative)

MagPulse (316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965829)

Check out this project [uiuc.edu] , where you can have a light saber fight with a cheap plastic toy and a webcam. It was on Slashdot [slashdot.org] two years ago.

Re:Good Concept but too much equipment (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965842)

if vr becomes avalible do you really think its going to be some expensive bluetooth gyroscopic control scheme, even if it doesn't have a big strand of wires theres gonna be at least a cable attached, do think people wouldn't steal a control device from something like this if they could, even if the hardware gets better, its still going to be expensive, arcades dont want to invest in some gigantic expensive machine thats goign to be broken easily

SGI VAN ("Visual Area Networking") (3, Informative)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965855)

Why isn't the equipment wireless, using bluetooth or something similar for everything to communicate. Its not going to feel very realistic to me if I have a strand of wires attached to me.

SGI was showing off some examples of what you are describing. Basicly, the big iron (clusters, or large machines such as Onyxes) sit in the machine room, while the users have wireless webpads and such elsewhere. It's the only way we can currently tap the power of thousands of processors and dozens of 3D accelerators in a handheld using current technology.

http://www.sgi.com/visualization/van/ [sgi.com]

Re:Good Concept but too much equipment (3, Interesting)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966386)

It seems like VR stuff has advanced very slowly in the past few years - except the graphics part of it. We are now getting to the point with the new cards from ATi and Nvidia that movies can be rendered real time so the visual experience is great, but physically its still cumbersome. Why isn't the equipment wireless, using bluetooth or something similar for everything to communicate. Its not going to feel very realistic to me if I have a strand of wires attached to me.

Graphics have always been the easiest part of building a VR rig; it's the user interface that's the hard part.

Radio links would indeed work for the control devices, but shoving full-motion video through the link with acceptable resolution and low latency would be trickier (recent wireless kits can likely do it, with difficulty). Also bear in mind that many of these rigs use EM-based position sensors. Nearby radio transmissions could quite possibly screw this up if it's being used.

Biggest killer of current VR technology for me (besides the price)? The display. I like having a decent field of view with decent resolution. Current head-mounted displays aren't there yet (and a CAVE-type solution is a bit bulky/costly).

Historically, fast and accurate head-motion tracking has been a problem as well (even a slight lag causes simulator sickness). This may have improved in recent years (haven't kept up with the field).

VR rigs are really cool toys, but nobody's figured out how to build a really _good_ one yet that I know of.

You can.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965805)

..actually do it in real life, too.

Aside from the fact that you have to a) leave yer basement and b) take some bruises. :p

Re:You can.. (2)

flewp (458359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965820)

Aside from the fact that you have to a) leave yer basement and b) take some bruises. :p
I think bruises would be the least of one's concerns in swordfighting...

Re:You can.. (3, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965949)

I think bruises would be the least of one's concerns in swordfighting...

Not really. The science of armor advanced to the point where it was quite equal to the sword, and an opponent has to work pretty darn hard to actually hurt someone wearing it.

I understand the SCA has quite a good safety record, considering they have guys in armor swinging swords at each other as a recreational activity.

Oh, and then there are *training swords* that don't have the sharp edges. And boffers. (toy "swords" made from some things easily obtainable at a hardware shop, that are far less effective than a fist when it comes to hurting someone.)

Re:You can.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966071)

I don't have a problem with you being Christian. You might have some issues though since you feel the need to advertise it in an agressive manner.

Re:You can.. (2)

The FooMiester (466716) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966338)

For the most part, in the SCA, heavy weapons combat is done with rattan sticks wrapped in duct tape, made to look like swords. Here are the armored combat rules [sca.org] . If you look at weapons standards, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Disclaimer: I am not a marshal, nor am I a stickjock. I'm just going to pennsic [pennsic.net] for the beer.

Re:You can.. (1)

hicktruckdriver (29349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965952)

Judging by my experiences with competitive fencers, the actual bruises aren't the issue -- it's what happens when friends/classmates/counselors/romantic interests notice them.

"Is your home life OK?"

damn cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965815)

this is sweet, cant wait till its available to home users. kinda cool how technology is advancing to new standards so quickly, and somewhat uncomforting, hehe.

Re:damn cool (2)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965863)

Don't be too depressed if the first home versions are somewhat crude... remember, you have to start somewhere...

The Telstar Ranger [classicgaming.com] wasn't exactly Quake.

Real sword fighting (1)

Alex Mundy (594592) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965816)

Is not that out of reach - but one uses a foil or epee, and the sport is called 'fencing'. I was friends with the California state champ a long time ago. He loved it, and as a sport, it makes a person a bit more interesting than 'football player'. He did say it was nothing like what you see in the movies.

Re:Real sword fighting (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965868)

Problem with real fencing is it's far too formalized, especially with the foil. Kind of sucks a lot of the fun out of it.

Re:Real sword fighting (1)

Alex Mundy (594592) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965956)

Could just have been his personality that caused him to like it. He said that gear had triggers on it, and the theory is that if anyone ever got enough pressure on the trigger, then they hit you enough to kill you (in real life, without the shielding). So essentially you have a ton of manuvering (without a lot of movement), but really only one shot to take out your opponent. It would only appeal to certain types of personalities - the impatient ought to just fall on their swords and get it over with. (pun intended).

Re:Real sword fighting (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965882)

Fencing isn't sword fighting, it's prodding each other with needles. How dull.

They should use proper longswords and stop wearing those crap costumes.

Re:Real sword fighting (1)

Alex Mundy (594592) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965972)

The costumes are actually lightwight body armor, and if your opponent ever got enough pressure on the end of the sword to trip the trigger, then they hit you enough to kill you (in real life, without the armor). And yes, sometimes someone does accidently puncture real flesh. Compared to this, I would think video games are dull....

Re:Real sword fighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965935)

fencing is for french faggots and fence builders.

So. . .. (2)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965831)

I've posted this idea to various bulletin boards many many times in the past few years, about time somebody listens to me. :-D

(My idea was using off the shelf equipment though, and the controller had an estimated price of ~$90-$120, and was wireless to boot. No forcefeed back obviously, heh, would've required tons of batteries for that. :)

The Big Guns at SIGGRAPH (5, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965835)

SIGGRAPH exhibits closed on Thursday evening, but here are some of the biggest highlights:

SGI [sgi.com] annouced their Infinite Reality 4 [sgi.com] option for the Onyx series... comes standard with 1gbyte of texture ram and 2.5gbyte of buffer, expandable to 10gbyte of buffer for a total of 11gbyte of onboard gfx ram. Up to 16 IR4 subsystems can be installed in a single machine. Each subsystem can drive up to 8 monitors... or all subsystems can run in parallel for greater performance. The Virtual LA Urban Simulation project [ucla.edu] demoed part of their 3D LA using IR4 and the older IR3. They currently have over 1TB of texture and geometry data from Los Angeles, mostly in downtown areas... though they have 20,000 square miles mapped out, 4,000 of which are quite detailed.

Sun [sun.com] was showing off their XVR-4000 gfx option, a cardset that uses the IPA slot found in most Ultra-series machines. It has about 8x the geometry performance of IR3 and about 50% of the fill performance of IR4... for a fraction of the cost. 1gbyte of texture and 144mbyte of buffer. Different market targets, but interesting none the less.

Re:The Big Guns at SIGGRAPH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965924)

All of this information is meaningless. C'mon, take your cue from Tom's Hardware.... What are it's Q3 frames per second? Oh? What about UT2002? Eh?

Re:The Big Guns at SIGGRAPH (2)

Arethan (223197) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966039)

You know, it's good to see that SGI hasn't entirely lost their grasp on what had initially built their empire. Every since I had first heard of SGI, their name has basically stood for graphics power beyond belief. Then suddenly they lost their edge. No one needed SGI's for mechanical engineering anymore, since the processor speed in IBM clones had caught up, and consumer grade video cards designed initially to run games could perform quite well with most CAD related tasks. In fact, cards designed for games, at one point, seemed to even be outperforming all of SGI's offerings.

Combine that with SGI's sudden idea to start selling x86 systems running linux, and I was sure that they were only a year or two away from closing shop.

It's good to see them finally getting back to what they were always good at. Making video cards that performed admiringly well when given tasks that would bring the competition to it's knees, and putting together the systems with the custom busses required to push these cards.

Anyways, enough of "yay SGI".

It's also nice to see Sun finally getting in on the high level gfx market as well. I've always favored Sun when it came to selecting Unix servers. It's nice to see that they have an offering for the gfx market as well.

Re:The Big Guns at SIGGRAPH (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966141)

Combine that with SGI's sudden idea to start selling x86 systems running linux, and I was sure that they were only a year or two away from closing shop.

Yeah, it's interesting that there's a distinct correlation between SGI's dropping all of their x86-based workstations and servers and their being able to actually squeak out a tiny profit one recent quarter.

I guess the lesson there is, "don't build stuff that people won't buy."

Re:The Big Guns at SIGGRAPH (5, Interesting)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966117)

You got most of your info about IR4 right, but I just wanted to clarify some things in greater detail. IR is confusing at first, and very different from the typical single-board graphics systems that most people are familiar with. All the details can be found here [sgi.com] , but here's an executive summary.

InfiniteReality (be it the original IR on Onyx, or IR2, IR2E, IR3, or now IR4) is comprised of a set of boards. In order to function, the set has to include one geometry engine (or GE), one raster manager (or RM), and one display generator (or DG). The GE board is where the graphics coprocessors live, and it's responsible for most of the 3D math. The DG converts the frame buffer into an analog RGB signal, or a CCIR-601 SD video signal, or, recently, a digital signal.

The RMs are the interesting part. The RM board holds both the frame buffer (80 MB on IR3, 2.5 GB on IR4) and the texture RAM (256 MB on IR3, 1 GB on IR4). A graphics pipe can include one, two, or four raster managers. When you add RMs, you increase frame buffer size (or the size of the raster you can render), but texture cache.

So a four RM graphics pipe will have 10 GB of frame buffer and 1 GB of texture cache, but that 1 GB of texture will be on each of the four RMs. So each texture you download will be stored, in parallel, on each of the four RMs. This keeps texture operations nice and peppy even when you're rendering into a 3840 x 2160 buffer. (That's four times more resolution than HDTV, if you're interested.)

Note, also, that these memories aren't combined. The TRAM and the frame buffer RAM are isolated in hardware. You can't store textures in the frame buffer, and you can't render in texture RAM. So saying that IR4 has a combined 11 GB of graphics RAM is not quite true, and slightly misleading. But only slightly. ;-)

The whole thing adds up to an incredibly flexible system. You can configure the graphics pipe as a relatively small raster of 2,048-bit-deep pixels, or an 8-million-pixel raster of 256-bit-deep pixels, or almost anything in between. You can render a truly giant image-- about 3K by 2K pixels, progressive scan, or even more than that if you're willing to live with interlacing-- with full antialiasing, multi-buffered. It's pretty.

(If all you want is pure geometry performance, for viewing giant CAD models and stuff in real time in a VR environment, SGI also has their InfinitePerformance line of graphics hardware for Onyx. But that's another topic.)

Okay, that's enough "Rah-rah, IR" for one night, with just one more little piece of trivia. InfiniteReality graphics has remained fundamentally unchanged since 1996 or so. The only exception is the change from an Everest bus host to an XIO host system. Every few years, SGI has increased the speed of the GEs, or the texture capacity on the RMs, or the performance of the DACs in the DG, but the system itself hasn't really changed at all in six or seven years. That's pretty amazing.

Insert gratuitous (3, Funny)

gilroy (155262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965849)

... "Hiro Protanonist" reference here.

What? What did you expect to follow "insert"? Get your mind out of the gutter. :)

Re:Insert gratuitous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965891)

I hope it has a mini-sword um version that I could use on YT.

Re:Insert gratuitous (1)

Nintendork (411169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965923)

Considering that YT was like 14 or something, you and that big surfer/spearhunting dude need to get your heads out of the gutter.

parent Hiro Protagonist reference needs modding up (2)

dpilot (134227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966284)

I was cruising at +3 almost 4 hours after the story hit, and hadn't seen a Hiro Protagonist reference. I was about to add one, but first I dropped Score back and found this one, with no mod points. Has /. lost its core literacy?

Perhaps a better question, does/should Neal Stephenson constitute core literacy for a Geek crowd?

Re:parent Hiro Protagonist reference needs modding (2)

TheBeginner (30987) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966336)

Might have scored better if not for the blatant mispelling. "Hiro Protanonist" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Real-Time raytracing.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965864)

I dunno. I think that ATI's demostration of REAL TIME RAYTRACING ON THEIR RADEON CARDS was the coolest thing at SIGGRAPH.

What did they expect? (1)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965883)

"Apparently, one overly exuberant combatant in a moment of pique jumped up to deliver the death-blow, and upon landing smashed the sword into one of the posts you see in this picture, leaving it in pieces, and the device's creators nearly in tears."

Typical. Give a geek a stick and he think's he's Li friggin' Huahua [henan-china.com] .

Siggy's Best Give-Aways (1)

lunadude (449261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965892)

Intel's Glow-cube
Intel's Suctioncup Clock
3DLab's Fan/Lite

When you'll be able to play this on the 'net? (1)

C.U.T.M. (595268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965919)

Just imagine everyone having one of these bad boys at home! :-D Then they'd profit when users had to buy new swords.

Some nice possible application (2, Interesting)

salimma (115327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965927)

I've always wanted to learn kendo, but the nearest club from my university, is, alas, 50 miles away. And I don't have a car.

Would be nice to know that in the future one could just don a VR headset and practice any sort of exotic martial arts :p

Probably safer for getting initiated into using sharp weapons as well..

Nice,

Michel

Remote Kendo? No way. (2)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966298)

Kendo requires that you look directly into your opponents eyes.

And nowhere else.

You must see every little contraction of his iris, every slight flick of eyelid.

Lose concentration for one thousandth of a second and the next thing you know your head has been split in two.

No VR system is gonna allow you to do that.

Great sport anyway.

How well can this work really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3965939)

I can image the gyroscope could simulate a sword gently pushing on something -- but not the abrupt clanging together of real swords.

Also, the reason you don't see more demand for VR input devices for quake etc... is that that none can compete with keyboard and mouse. What you gain in immersion you lose in proficiency.

Not at a local arcade near you (5, Interesting)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965953)

I want this at a local arcade soon!

This might be slightly off-topic, but it has to be remembered that since the 80s, arcades have REALLY had tough times.

Back in the 70s and 80s, the cost of the best games and technology was prohibitively high, so arcades did good business. Since the mid 90s (pretty much since PlayStation), however, you can buy something just as powerful as an arcade machine for home use and you don't need to go to the arcade at all.

I am somewhat saddened by the 'fall' of the arcade, and think they add a great social aspect to gaming. Imagine modern day arcades with 16 player Quake 3 style shoot-em-ups.. but it ain't going to happen for most arcades. Most arcades these days still have their crappy early 90s games (Test Drive, Sega Rally, etc) along with a bunch of lame shooting games.

Arcades are for tourists nowadays, not serious gamers. And that is sad.

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966001)

Silent Scoped is _not_ a "lame shooting game" =)

But i do agree, aside from large malls, arcades are woefully under equipped...on the flipside, i once saw capcom's Dungeons and Dragons arcade box for under 400 bucks used...i drooled

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (1)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966278)

The only reason I think games like Silent Scope are 'lame' is because of the lack of control you have. It's just a simple shoot-shoot-shoot game, and I'm used to games like Max Payne and GTA3 where you actually get full control.

Perhaps my problem is that I like to apply strategy to action games (yep, even Quake 3 has strategy), whereas most arcade games are about reaction times and aim.

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (2)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966021)

so why don't arcades "upgrade" to LAN houses where you can charge people to play 18 player quake or whatever else there is in one environment? I remember a really long time ago during the SNES/Genesis days, there used to be a store where they charge a buck for like 10 - 15 min playing any SNES or Genesis game they had. That was a cool place. But anyway, arcades just arent fun anymore... I hate the new dancing games they have and they overcharge on everything... It used to be a quarter to play, now it's a buck to play for 60 seconds in Daytona. Arcades have killed themselves, I think.

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966089)

so why don't arcades "upgrade" to LAN houses where you can charge people to play 18 player quake or whatever else there is in one environment?

Heck, come to Toronto, there are 24 hour lan houses in almost every neighbourhood (at least a dozen it the bloor + bathurst area) which do exactly that, they're probably the primary reason arcades are dying out here.

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966378)

Great, refuges for fat smelly canadians. They're probably easy to find, look for the total absence of women.

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966067)

I don't know about your assertion about the expense and the fall of the arcade. Maybe you are too young to remember arcades in the 80s. Either that or you are a little older and have a more nostalgic view, but still not a very clear memory.

Well, I remember in the 80s (post 83 or so), arcades had pretty much the same games you could play at home. You had asteroids, pac-man, paperboy, duck hunt, games like that. The only value the arcade added was social value, and unique control systems that the home games didn't have. What was under the hood was mostly the same thing you could buy for home use.

There may have been a brief period in the early to mid 90s where arcade technology outstripped home technology, but I don't really know much about that period in arcade, the number of times I have been to an arcade since the early 90s is few.

Re:Not at a local arcade near you (3, Insightful)

White Shadow (178120) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966149)

Actually, Namco has a virtual sword fighting game called Mazan : Flash Of The Blade [system16.com] . It's not force feedback, but you get this stub of a sword and you swing it at bad guys on the screen. It's pretty neat to watch.

As for arcade games having tough times, Namco and Konami are keeping them alive by offering games that aren't quite as good on consoles/PCs as in the arcade. Examples of games like this are Dance Dance Revolution (unless you build your own hard pad, it's not the same as the arcade), Percussion Freaks (play drums, like DDR except with a drum set), and Para Para Dancing (wave your arms around). Yes, arcades aren't as popular as they used to be, but that doesn't mean the arcade is dead yet or that they're crappy.

Forget about the arcade... (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965965)

I want it for home consoles... also when are they going to come up with a decent gun device for the current round of consoles... or a game with realistic gun sighting.

Feh. DotC was better! (1)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965969)

Unless it's as exciting as Defender of the Crown's sword fighting, I dont' care. Remember, that means there has to be a late-night rendezvous with a recently-rescued fair maiden, all in glorious 16 colors at a 160x240 resolution, as the reward for the winner. ;^)

Sure, the Amiga version was higher resolution and more colors, but the Commodore 64 was first. :^D

My one-and-only shot at live action role-playing.. (5, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965976)

Whilst at University, a few friends decided to have a crack at a live-action role playing session. Not an organised one - just us lot pratting about on the playing fields really.

Armed with my foam sword, and utterly unable to use it, I cheerfully bumbled about with the rest of 'em, swishing the odd swish and generally having a good time.

Until I came up against Nick.

Now Nick is an interesting person. He has reactions like no-one else I've ever played against in anything. To give an idea, I had never been defeated in air-hockey by anyone I played (and I played a lot) until I played Nick. And Nick I never beat even once...

Back onto the role-playing session, and in my wanderings I ran into Nick, who was holding two rather better constructed foam swords. Turning to me, he did some ridiculously cool flick with both hands - crossing swords whilst swinging them, like you see in the old pirate films - and began his advance.

Role-playing to the hilt, I briefly considered. "What would my character do in this situation? Would he a) buckle his swash and fight like a man or b) flee like the cringing curr he really is?".

I ran like hell...

Cheers,
Ian

Re:My one-and-only shot at live action role-playin (4, Interesting)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966047)

There are actually groups that do this frequently. There is the origional, Dagorhir [dagorhir.com] , The rescent spin-off called Belegrath MCS [foamfighting.org] , and if you want more role-playing, Amtgard [amtgard.com] . I've never participated in Amtgard, but I have in Dagorhir and Belegarth, and while the concept of dressing up in medeval clothing and fighting with foam swords and sheilds on central campus seems strange to some people, it it actually a lot of fun, and it's completly safe...doing it several hours a week for a year, the worst injury I ever sustained was a bloody nose.

Re:My one-and-only shot at live action role-playin (1)

Zog (12506) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966253)

Hahaha! That was you!!! (Isn't it great to know that there's always someone more watching you?) :-) Have a nice day!

Simulated sword fighting (1, Informative)

Vess V. (310830) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965992)

For a much less crude, albeit less geeky, sword fighting "simulation," check out the SCA [sca.org] . It's a nation-wide organization that reenacts all aspects of Medieaval life... from armed combat, to chivalrous ceremonies, to arts, crafts, and cooking.... but mostly combat . People craft their own custom armor and costumes and make all sorts of weapons from rattan (the stuff those chairs are made of) wrapped with duct tape. Combat ranges from one-on-one bracketed tournaments, to full-scale open field battle consisting of hundreds of warriors in rank and formation under multiple subdivions of field command, complete with mock castles, and authentic battle formations (shield/swordsmen in the front, pikemen and spearmen behind them, archers in the back, etc), and siege engines! Nothing is scripted - all combat is as if it were really happening -- except the death. "Deaths" in combat are much like paintball -- if you're hit, you're out... more or less honor system. If you're hit in an arm or leg, you lose control of that limb. Loks like a whole ton of fun.

You can check out some of my favorite pictures of stuff going on here [lglan.net] .

Re:Simulated sword fighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966054)

...albeit less geeky, sword fighting "simulation," check out the SCA [sca.org]. It's a nation-wide organization that reenacts all aspects of Medieaval life...

What you lose in geeky, you gain in dorky.

Go to Disney World. (2, Interesting)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966011)

You can play this virtual sword-fighting game at Walt Disney World's Disney Quest [go.com] area in the part of the park called Downtown Disney. It's pretty fun, and a good value, since you pay around $15 and get to play unlimited arcade games, pinball, and weird cool things like the sword fight. I don't think you need admission to the park, either. You could just do this if you wanted. I got sort of bored of the sword fight once I did it once. The gyroscopic sword is a really cool way of simulating an actual sword though. It's sort of funny to see 10 people wearing headsets and waving these handles around! There's also this incredibly cool thing at Disney Quest where you make your own rollercoaster and ride it. How that works is you lay out the track, then once you get all that good to go, the track is rated based on how severe it is. The attendant told me that if you're only going on it once, make it as severe as possible. Then you get into this rotating cabin that can spin a full 360 degrees in any direction. You look into this screen that takes up your entire view and the combination of the spinning, the video, and the fact that you have no idea which way is up makes your body feel like it's actually on a rollercoaster. It's a better feeling than a real rollercoaster, people have gotten sick on it. Amazing.

If only.... (1)

H3XA (590662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966012)

... the Shuttle SS51 had a 64bit PCI slot - then I could put one of these in it - CAE render board with 4 x Radeon 8500 GPUs [ziffdavisinternet.com]

Mind you I would have to cut a big long slot in the top and front of the case to make it fit..... who cares though if my PC looks like a toaster when you have one of those.

- HeXa

Re:If only.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966337)

And I thought the Voodoo5 was big. That is one huge F'ing video card.

I want it.

Serious waivers ahead (3, Funny)

dave_mcmillen (250780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966068)

The article text is:

One of the more amusing displays was this sword-fighting simulator that used a VR headset along with a "virtual sword" that had two gyro motors running it that allowed for tactile force feedback. Apparently, one overly exuberant combatant in a moment of pique jumped up to deliver the death-blow, and upon landing smashed the sword into one of the posts you see in this picture, leaving it in pieces, and the device's creators nearly in tears. But, they were able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, and the virtual combat raged on. This system also used multi-channel audio to help the player localize sounds and better immerse them in the scene, and also used video compositing to put an image of that particular player into the rendered 3D scene.

If this became a home entertainment unit, can you imagine the sort of waiver the company would want the average geek to sign before using it?

"The undersigned (hereafter, "they") agrees that Swashing Buckles Incorporated (hereafter, "we") were just sitting around innocently when the undersigned came in and DEMANDED to be given one of these virtual sword units, despite the fact that we warned them OVER and OVER that they hadn't done anything more strenuous than click a mouse in TEN YEARS, and therefore would ALMOST CERTAINLY strain EVERY MUSCLE IN THEIR BODY within minutes of engaging in a virtual battle. The undersigned further agrees that we warned them that they would QUITE LIKELY destroy a valued POSSESSION, PET, or LOVED ONE, while leaping about blindly inside the virtual reality helmet. The undersigned agrees NOT TO COME CRYING TO US when these things happen."

So how long till they mod it for the force. (1)

xagon7 (530399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966069)

Dueling with a lightsaber... every geeks dream ;)

Back in my day... (1)

JoshMKiV (548790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966073)

Well, ours was not as cool, but we tried as hard as we could. We used World Tool Kit on a Sparc 5, and the Polyhemus tracking system stuck on the end of a plastic Lightsaber toy. Graphics not quite up to snuff, but fun. Wow, almost ten years ago now. Feel somewhat old.

Swordplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966080)

I thought Die by the Sword was pretty realistic with a mouse. Fun multiplayer game for a while, then it got boring.

Sword fighting in the arcade (2, Informative)

JJC (96049) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966105)

Thought some people might be interested that there's an (admittedly less sophisticated) sword fighting game from Konami out in arcades which uses a motion-sensor sword controller. It's called Tsurugi (apparently Blade of Honor is the US). Here's some pics and information [the-magicbox.com] from the Magic Box [the-magicbox.com] .

Ugg... it's gonna turn into counter-strike (1)

KanSer (558891) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966107)

Have at thee! *Clash!* *Opponents arm falls off* 'do0d... the bl4ck n1t3 n3v35 d13s!!!' Your arms off! 'n0 1t's n0t d0od. I'm 2 1337 4 d4t. come get some' *Clash!* *Opponents other arm falls off* 'd0od you cheat! CHEATER!' I beat you fair and square! 'the bl4ack n1t3 n3435 dies! NONE SHALL PASS OVER MY L33tz0r BRIDGE!' *You tire and log off*

Bilestoad's (2)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966147)

user interface just got a lot easier than:

qwe iop
asd kl;
zxc ,./

You must be kidding me - SIGGRAPH was MUCH more... (3, Informative)

SpaceGhost (23971) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966216)

This wasnt even close to the coolest thing at SIGGRAPH! Takeo Igarashi's work on predictive interfacing making easier 2d and 3d drawing tools was cooler. Digiplasty [asu.edu] , a kind of 3d exquisite corpse as shown by Stewart and Makai was cooler. (For that matter the Studio, manned by Makai, Stewart, Scott and many others, where you could create 2d and 3d art and print 2d and 3d was AWESOME - you could work in there for hours, vs. the few seconds of playing with a silly virtual sword.) Scotts Dodecahedron [asu.edu] was a wonderful example of taking something abstract and virtual and making it real and usable. Isa's overview of wearable tech and cyberfashion [psymbiote.org] (she took out the notes, dammit!) was refreshing, if not so new to a frequent slashdotter. (She's a burner too!) Some of the mixed reality work [nus.edu.sg] being done at the University of Singapore was really neat. (This is an example of some of the most exciting stuff there. Several researchers showed some great work being done in augmented reality, and combining that with some of the reasonable priced wearable and wirelessable computing, we can see some real headway being made. One researcher even composites a virtual face back onto a fellow participant in the augemented reality environment, masking the HMD, even going so far as to track the eyes and simulate the gaze.) The results of last years meditation chamber [gatech.edu] research installation was an interesting and possibly VERY useful application of VR technology. W. Bradford Paley's work on applying alternative interfaces to explore other media was fascinating, where you can use this LARGE java tool named TextArc [textarc.org] to examine graphically over 400 literary works. The Web3D Consortium's release of the final working draft of X3D [web3d.org] (with tools) could end up being much more important than the newest video card from ATI. Dietmar Offenhuber's work on non-isotropic spaces at wegzeit [futurelab.aec.at] was an interesting approach to mapping and representing real places. Zachary Simpson et al's delightfully simple shadow interactivity [mine-control.com] was many times more fun than the virtual swordfight. Fabric.ch's [fabric.ch] knowscape [electroscape.org] was also exciting, both for the viewers and the presenter, as he would find additions from his European counterparts each morning when he logged on to the shared 3d space. Kenneth Huff's beautiful art [itgoesboing.com] using maya was just one example of some wonderful digital work being done. Lastly, Michael J. Lyons soon-to-be-published research on the aesthetics of Tokyo's Kyoto Gardens was both informative and inspiring. And this is just a TINY PART of what happened there!

Really, SIGGRAPH was NOT just an exhibition floor with cheesey swag (although the little green LED lights were very nice) and some cool new toys. It was presentation after presentation by resesarchers, some barely able to speak engrish, but all excited about their work and open to collaboration. It was hours and hours of animation, some (Like Allain Escalle's "Le Conte du monde flottant") were so stunning as to make you forget where animation ended and life began. Disney's work on replacing one actors face with another, retaining ALL facial expression, was downright scary. And the Spiderman gag footage, his spidey-suit oddly replaced with a fully reflective silver surface, like most of the rest of SIGGRAPH'S less entertaining presentations, were surely an indication of things to come.
Take the time to go to SIGGRAPH2002 [siggraph.org] and look around. If you find something interesting, write the author. This is where the new VR and AR comes from - not ATI!

INSTANT GRATIFICATION URL: Virtual Chanbara (2)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966263)

If you want to see a video with the Virtual Chanbara (sword fighting) in action, to to this SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies [siggraph.org] page. Actually, a coworker of mine is a committee member. Lucky bastard.

Click on the video stream towards the top of the page for audio visual enjoyment (which includes the virtual sword fighting and much more). I *so* wish I was there.

A very Quick Summary [siggraph.org] of the Virtual Chanbara is also available. Trust me. The video does a much better job.

Then again there is the old way. (2)

cpuffer_hammer (31542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966286)

I just spent 4 hours makeing armor adjustmers on a friends suit so we can go to practice tomorrow. I can say with some confedenect that there is a lot more to sword fighting than swinging a stick. I would incorage anyone that wants to learn to take a class or find there local fencing club or find there local SCA practice. There is something to be saI just spent 4 hours making armor adjusters on a friends suit so we can go to practice tomorrow. I can say that there is a lot more to sword fighting than swinging a stick. I would encourage anyone that wants to learn to take a class, find there local fencing club, or find there local SCA practice. There is so much more when you do it for real, I jest don't think there will ever be enough polygons.

Charles Puffer
know in the SCA as
Lord Duncan Forbes Squire to his Grace Brion Tarragon

Tried It (2, Interesting)

tux-sucks (550871) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966293)

I actually tried this at sig a few days ago. It's interesting, but not as good as advertised. While it's fun, the feedback is slightly buggy, and chopping at the enemy occasionally would not register as a hit. The sword device uses a fast-rotating weight that must start up again every time you are "hit" by an enemy, which takes a few seconds and feels unnatural. Users would sometimes get tangled up in the wires and one user got so into it that the device flew off of his head.

As far as the graphics are concerned, we're back to VirtaFighter 1. If high poly high texture models are your thing, this wont interest you. But,the graphics didn't worry me as much as the animation. I counted about 5 different cycles of animation from the enemy, which include predicable routines of slicing vertically, horizontly, the spinning cyclone of um, death, and the backward leap. Your enemy is no samuri. :)

I also found it intesting that everyone who played won. It was that easy. I long for realistic, fun vr experiences, but this was hardly much of a step forward.

I'm working on a similar project (1)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966345)

Using 5 cameras to detect your body in 3d space. Street fighter, the real edition coming soon :)

swooord fighting?? (1)

null-sRc (593143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966348)

Virtual sword fighting?

why not virtual light sabre-ing?

i can see it now... Jedi Knight VR!

We played it - it wasn't that great. (2, Interesting)

sbaker (47485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966373)

My 11 year old son and I tried this exhibit at the 'Emerging Technologies' section of SigGraph.

The headset doesn't fit well and moves around all the time. This would be OK for the usual sitting in a chair looking around" kind of VR, but when you are jumping around and spinning to see where he bad guys are coming from - it's hopeless.

Your field of view is *WAY* to narrow for fighting.

The graphics were very 1995 - it looked like they were almost an afterthought. Hardly any texture, plain green floor, crude enemy animation with red triangles for blood splotches and yellow triangles for sparks when the swords hit.

The spatialised audio didn't help in locating your enemies. People watching the show were forever shouting "He's Behing You!!" to players who couldn't see that they were being chopped to bits by enemies they couldn't see. The narrow field of view wasn't helping any.

The fancy "force feedback" sword was about as effective as a Nintendo 64 rumble-pack in conveying that you had or hadn't hit something - but that was about it.

It was a brave effort - and fun for a short time, but definitely *NOT* earth-shattering VR.

Re: I want this at a local arcade soon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966396)

Hell. I want this in my livingroom!
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