Lots of Minecraft VR News today

Today 3 Minecraft VR related things happened.

The first, and probably the largest one is that the official Minecraft VR version came out today, it uses Minecraft Windows 10 edition, and you need to own a copy of Minecraft Windows 10 edition to play the VR edition.  As an interesting sidenote, if you have the old Java/PC version of Minecraft, you can still get the Windows 10 edition for free, which will also get you the VR version for free.

As a sidenote, the official Minecraft VR version is exclusive to Oculus, It doesn’t appear that Vive users will get to play this version, at least for now…

The next news item is that the people behind the older Minecrift VR mod for Minecraft was notified by Mojang that they are to stop using the Minecrift name, as it’s too similar to Minecraft and could confuse people, and they can no longer use their domain, minecraft-vr.com.  They were told that they could rename the mod and continue development, as long as the new mod didn’t start with the word ‘Mine’.  The developers of Minecrift decided that they are tired of working on that mod anyways and are stopping all development of the mod, and shutting it down.  It’s a sad day as Minecrift was one of the first games I played on my Oculus DK1 back in the day.  It was very fun back then.  The DK2 made it more interesting as I attempted to look through smaller spaces, and would glitch through various blocks on purpose.

The final Minecraft VR news item for today, The ViveCraft mod released a big update for their 1.10.2 version, they say that they’ll be bringing the new changes to their 1.7.10 version as well, but are having trouble with some of the features as of this time.

Personally after playing some of the official ‘Minecraft VR edition’, Minecrift and Vivecraft, I highly prefer the Vivecraft mod.  Roomscale movement makes the game so much more interesting, and some utility mods can help a lot as well.  The official Minecraft VR edition does have the largest viewing distance, and runs extremly smoothly, but there are too many things that I miss from the Java version to get too invested in it.

Well, that’s all for now, I’m looking forward to doing more mining & crafting tomorrow night. 🙂

 

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Windows 10 Upgrade shenanigans

From what I’ve been reading, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been doing some … odd things to peoples computers.  First is the whole thing about switching some group policies to only work on the Enterprise or Education versions, making the ‘Pro’ version less useful for businesses as those settings can’t be centrally managed anymore as of this update.  The next issue was a black screen or odd fonts in Steam, Steam has since updated to fix these issues, but it is odd that some features that Steam uses would just suddenly be removed or Locked in Windows 10.

The newest issue so far is an issue with machines with multiple partitions on their main harddrive.  It appears that extra partitions may be damaged in some way, making data inaccessible.  from what I have been reading, (My main computer hasn’t upgraded to the Anniversary update yet, I have a secondary NTFS partition on my Windows drive) Other NTFS/Windows partitions may be unreadable for a short period of time, but they should start working after a short time. Linux and other partitions?  It’s possible that you may need to do a re-install of the Linux system.  Hopefully all of your files survived in that situation.  If your other operating systems are on different drives they won’t be affected by this issue.

If all of this turns out to really be happening as much as people on Reddit are talking about it, Microsoft is really doing some shady things with their OS.  At least it appears that other drives are safe as of now…  I have been working on Linux more again as I don’t really feel that I can trust Microsoft to let things work properly.  If only SteamVR actually worked on Linux…

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Today is the last day of the Windows 10 free upgrade.

Interestingly, Microsoft is sticking to their original plan for the Windows 10 Upgrade and ending it today, July 28th.  I find it interesting that they decided to not keep it going as they seem to really want people to upgrade, but it’ll be nice to have some of my older computers stop nagging me to upgrade them to Windows 10.  If you do decide that you want to upgrade your computer to Windows 10 for free, you will need to do it today, otherwise you will have to stick with Windows 7 or 8.1.

In the end, I have upgraded all of my Windows 8.1 machines to 10, but am keeping Windows 7 as I prefer the customization that I can do on Windows 7, but can’t do on 8.1 or 10

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Computer Funtimes

The last week has been a bit … interesting for me.  On the 14th my new computer wouldn’t boot, everything that I tried didn’t work, as I had to go to work, and wouldn’t get home again until very late, I left it for Friday night.

On Friday I took the computer down and removed the side panel to see what the diagnostic LEDs were showing.  ’00’ – That code is probably one of the worst ones that you can get.  Generally it means that the UEFI/BIOS isn’t loading for whatever reason.  Without the UEFI/BIOS, your computer is a brick.  Thankfully the motherboard that I purchased has a backup bios, accessed via a switch on the motherboard.  Only it also wasn’t working, due to a bug, which meant that I would need to upgrade the UEFI/BIOS to a newer version.  I downloaded the latest version of the UEFI from the manufacturers website and put it on a USB stick.  first I decided to try the upgrade on the bad UEFI, it didn’t work, but upgrading the working ‘backup’ UEFI did work.

Before I put my computer back in place I decided to try the bad UEFI again and suddenly… I got the error that the backup UEFI had been giving before I upgraded it to the latest version.  I tried the upgrade again, which worked this time, then I tried booting… ’00’  the UEFI that had died was gone again.  I switched to the backup again and started the machine, and saw a message that the CMOS (Storage for UEFI) had been reset.  I set my UEFI settings again, ran Windows for a while on my test bench, and decided to flip the switch to the old UEFI one last time before I put the machine back in its place (I really wanted to still have the backup, just in case) finally the machine booted on the UEFI that had been giving the error ’00’

Since then I have had my machine running properly, I have a working backup UEFI/BIOS so hopefully I’ll be able to fix this sooner if it ever happens again. (I really hope that this doesn’t happen again…  It’s not fun having a computer that’s essentially a brick.)

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Rift hardware DRM removed?

I woke up this morning to some interesting news, it appears that Oculus removed the hardware DRM that they had added to their store in Version 1.4.  If they meant to do this, it’s very nice news, as this should make it easier to use other headsets with Rift games.  It is still recommended to not buy Oculus games unless you have a rift yourself as there is no guarantee that programs such as ReVive will keep on working, at least if Oculus adds native support for other headsets or VR runtimes.

On another note, Oculus started a sale, which’ll be going until June 5, almost perfectly matching the time for the Steam Summer Sale.  The Steam sale has a featured VR games section as well, I’m thinking that I may be grabbing some more VR games soon…

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Yet another … odd Oculus Event

It has been a while since I posted, there hasn’t really been much news as of late, at least nothing that has caught my attention, except for another ‘Oculus Exclusive’ issue that just popped up earlier today.

First of all, Fallout 4 is going to be getting VR support, so far they have been talking about the Vive only.  Thankfully as SteamVR should work with most VR headsets, the game will be available to a large playerbase.  I believe that I will probably get it, I wonder if it’ll be a DLC for Fallout 4 or if it’ll be an entirley new purchase.  Time will tell, I guess.  I think that it’s interesting that they are only talking about the Vive, while it appears that most other companies are talking about Oculus support at E3 this year.  I guess that Oculus has a larger marketing budget than HTC/Valve…

On the other hand, as most anyone who keeps up with VR knows, Oculus wants to have Exclusive games.  Today a game that was going to be sold as a Vive game, Giant Cop,  suddenly switched to being an Oculus ‘timed’ exclusive, much to the dismay of many players who had pre-purchased it, planning on playing it on their Vives.  Those people will not be able to play the game (at least not without breaking DRM) because of the fact that it suddenly became exclusive to the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers.

Personally I *really* don’t like how Oculus is attempting to corner the VR market by making most games exclusive to their headset, making it impossible for people with other headsets unable to legally play the games that they purchased.  I do have a Rift, but I have been having trouble wanting to put it to use.  I really don’t feel that it’d be a great idea to buy games on their store, as the more people who buy from them, the more incentive they’ll have to do their anti-consumer business practices.

Another interesting tidbit of news that came up due to the ‘Giant Cop’ fiasco, the developers of ‘Serious Sam’ came out to say that Oculus came to them with ‘a shitton of money‘ to make their new game, ‘Serious Sam VR‘ an Oculus exclusive title.  They declined to do that, though they said that it was extremly difficult to turn down the amount of money that Oculus was offering.  Personally I’m glad that they’re not planning on making their game exclusive, and I’m planning on getting it, as I want to support developers who are good to their userbase.

A few other notes that came up over the last couple of weeks, new Vive orders are shipping within 3 business days, and Oculus appears to be starting to get ahead on their shipping now as well.  In the end, I want VR to florish, both headsets are very nice, I’m just having difficulty wanting to support one of the companies.  Both headsets have pros and cons… I’ll have to make a post about that soon…

For now, have a nice day.

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Oculus Oculus Oculus…

Oculus really needs to learn that irritating their customer base generally isn’t the best way to make their product popular.  Yesterday they released Oculus Home 1.4, which introduced some DRM features that broke a 3rd party ‘hack’ called ReVive, which allows people to run their Oculus games on the Vive, and other OpenVR compatible headsets.  Interestingly, the developers of ReVive managed to break the DRM for Unreal Engine VR games already and are planning on doing one for games made in the Unity engine as well.  In the end all that adding the new DRM did was cause a lot of anger against them in the Vive, Rift and some of the PC gaming subreddits on Reddit.  It doesn’t appear that the anger has spread too far beyond Reddit, but I feel that those people represent a non-insignificant number of people that would have purchased games from the Oculus store.

My Rift arrived on the eleventh, I haven’t gotten to use it or my Vive much because I came down with a fairly nasty bug the previous Saturday.  It is a very nice piece of tech, but it’s difficult to want to buy games for it after reading how Oculus has been treating their biggest fans.

I used to be a big fan of Oculus, but between the huge shipping delays (My device arrived more than a month after they started shipping, 7 minute preorder.), Retail bundle orders, allowing purchase of a Rift at retail stores before day 1 preorders finished shipping, and now the new DRM… yeah they have not been treating their customers very well.

I’m not saying that HTC has not had any of these troubles with the Vive, but they have been largely responsive to issues that have appeared and there is usually only 1-3 days of drama before the issues are fixed.  Oculus on the other hand has almost been solid drama since late March, as they don’t reply to issues often, and when they do, their response is very sub-par.

After I have had more time to try out the Rift, I’ll put up a review, and my thoughts on the headset itself, this mostly has been what I’m thinking about the company today.  As I said before, the headset itself is very nice.  it is very well built, and the fabric is a nice touch, and the image is very clear on that headset, more to come in a later post.

Also, here’s an interesting image posted by the user ‘Damo3000’ on the Oculus Subreddit for this event…

View post on imgur.com

For now, have a nice day.  There’s more to come soon.

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Vive review – one week on

Well, I have had my Vive for one full week so far, and it is still extremely fun to play on.  I was hoping to have my Oculus so that I could do a comparison of both headsets, but as of right now, I have no info on when it’ll arrive, aside from the ‘estimated shipping’ being between today and May 12th.

Roomscale – This is a game changer, at least for people with enough space.  It needs a 1.5×2 meter space to move around in.  I have had the good fortune to have a 2×2 meter area to play in so I actually exceed the minimum area a bit.  Being able to move around to interact with the environment adds a lot to the immersion.  On the other hand, roomscale needs, well a decently large empty room to move around in.

Motion controllers – The Vive wands are very interesting devices, very reminiscent of the Wiimotes from the Nintendo Wii.  The Vive wands are a little larger than a wiimote, thanks to the circular tracking part at the top of the controller.  This part is what allows the wand to track properly.  The accuracy is amazing, part of me wants to see if I could juggle them in VR, though I really don’t want to break one of them…  They have large touchpads that can be used in different ways by various games, they also double as buttons, there is also a ‘menu’ button directly above the touchpad and the system button is directly below the touchpad.  On the back side of the controller is the trigger and grip buttons.  Overall these controllers work very well, though it’d be nice if they had larger batteries or replaceable batteries.  They haven’t died on me in game yet, but they do show that they’re running low on power fairly quickly.

Base stations – You set these up outside of the outer corners of your roomscale area.  If you don’t need roomscale, you can get buy with just one, but it is highly recommended to have both for proper tracking.  It can be annoying having the headset drop to a gray screen if tracking is lost by, say looking away from the base station.  People on Reddit have been complaining about the base stations being loud, in my experience they are quieter than the fans on my computer, so mine are very quiet.  Ambient sounds easily drown out any noise made by the base station motors.  The large amount of space that they allow for tracking is awesome, though there can be dead zones depending on where you mount them.

The headset itself – It looks like something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, and works awesomly.  I have seen people complaining about the screen door effect and ‘God Rays’, so far the SDE is there, but it’s far better than it was on the Oculus DK1 or DK2.  You will only see SDE if you look for it, when playing games I usually don’t notice SDE issues.  On the issue of God Rays, I only really see any of those when there is something overly bright against a dark/black background.  Usually game scenes won’t have that much contrast in their environments, so the god ray issue isn’t really all that bad.

In the end, I’m extremely happy with the Vive and the games that are currently available for it.  I’m looking forward to what’ll be coming in the future.  The Vive is a taste of what’s to come in my opinion, things can only get better from here.  Now I wait to see what the Rift will be like…

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I’m very happy today…

When I woke up this morning I found out that my Vive will be shipping soon!  I don’t think that I’ve been so happy to see a large charge before…

ViveComingSoon

 

Too bad it appears that my Oculus won’t be here until May, something must have gone very wrong on their end to be so slow on sending out preorders.  My Vive was preordered sometime between 15 and 20 minutes after the preorders opened, while my preorder for the Rift went through at 7 minutes.  I understand that manufacturing companies will be better at their logistics, but come on… Oculus has Facebook backing them, You’d think that they’d be able to sort things out at least a bit better.

I guess that for now I’ll be comparing the Vive to the Oculus DK2 for the time being.  On another note, the DK1 doesn’t work in Oculus Home, effectively making the device a brick for anyone who upgraded.  It isn’t an awesomely high-end device, but it should still be able to work.  I wonder how long it’ll be until someone makes a wrapper that makes the DK1 work again.

On yet another VR Related note, people have managed to get the Vive to work with some Oculus Exclusive games.  You can take a look if you want, I find it very interesting.  I wonder how well this will work in the future.  Hopefully Oculus will add support for other headsets, I’m sure that more people would spend money on their store if they could play on more than one type of device.

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Minecraft on the Vive

Well, someone has ported Minecraft, via the Minecrift mod to the HTC Vive headset.  The motion controls look very interesting to me…

Now I’m really looking forward to my Vive arriving, not sure when it’ll happen though.  Thanks to the ‘Sold out’ error that appeared to many people, including myself, when the vive preorders started I couldn’t place my order until around 18 minutes after preorders opened.  Due to that, I appear to have a wait ahead of me.  Probably not too long though, people who placed their orders ~10 minutes after preorders opened have been getting their shipping notifications.

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