Onward's Next Update Adds Mode For Inside-Out Tracking



If you’re an Onward player getting an Oculus Rift S or WMR headset you’re in luck- the tactical shooter’s next update will add ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ to help solve the kind of occlusion problems that can occur with inside-out tracked controllers.

The update will also add support for the Valve Index Controllers as well as improve the game’s lighting, animations, and performance.

Unlike externally tracked headsets, the Rift S and Windows MR headsets use their onboard cameras to track their controllers, via LEDs under the plastic of the tracking rings. Oculus use infrared LEDs invisible to the eye, while Microsoft uses visible light. The Rift S uses five cameras, whereas Windows MR headsets use two.

The cameras use wide angled fisheye lenses so can track a fairly wide range, but if a controller is very close under the headset it will be out of that range, or even within range the LEDs will simply be too big to uniquely distinguish.

Downpour Interactive hasn’t explained yet exactly how ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ will work, but based on the name it sounds like the game could keep your closer hand locked at the position it assumes you’d want it to be in whenever that controller’s tracking is lost due to being too close under the headset.

Interestingly, this is an issue Oculus CTO John Carmack stated “is being worked on” in the Insight tracking software itself, and noted that he “expects improvements.”

We tried Onward recently on Rift S. We actually found that two handed interactions like aiming with rifles and reloading worked really well with no noticeable problems, as did drawing the pistol or throwing grenades.

The problem we did encounter was that when trying to grab items from the shoulder such as the tablet sometimes the game would read grabbing for the right shoulder as grabbing for the left. Reaching upwards first solved this, likely thanks to the top camera. Hopefully future updates to the game or Insight tracking software can solve this problem.

Onward is one of the three games in VR League, the first and biggest VR esports league. The league is sponsored by Oculus, so Facebook has an interest in making sure the game is fully playable on the Rift S. While VR League currently uses the original Rift in tournaments, it seems likely they will eventually switch to the Rift S once it’s released, as the original Rift is now discontinued.

Inside-out tracking greatly simplifies setup and allows for lower cost hardware. But as this update shows, its also requires some games to release patches to account for its potential limitations.

A similar situation arose with the release of Oculus Touch and PlayStation VR in late 2016, where developers added snap turning to account for the front-facing sensors. It’s not clear yet whether there’s a similar universal solution for inside-out, but Onward’s solution gives an example that other shooter developers may follow.

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The post Onward’s Next Update Adds ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ For Rift S And WMR Inside-Out Tracking appeared first on UploadVR.

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