Can Virtual Reality Make You a Better Sim Racer?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BlazingGlory53, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. BlazingGlory53

    BlazingGlory53 Member

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    Lately, with the development and fine tuning of Virtual Reality as a technology, it's been interesting to see how Sim Racers have been adopting the tech. After a few months of using VR, I wanted to make this video talking about VR, and why I think it works pretty well:



    Fun topic for discussion! :D
     
  2. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    I think proper FOV is a huge factor. Even going halfway to true FOV on my single monitor (bad idea really, as it's not a big monitor and it's not very close... so starts to severely restrict my awareness on track) the braking zones seem so much less compressed and it's easier to be more consistent with braking points. When the entire track is squashed into the centre third of your screen (yes, I'm exaggerating :)) it makes a 5 or 10m difference in braking point seem like almost nothing.

    I don't see higher screen refresh rates having an effect as far as braking points or turn-in points, at least not in the 'how far am I going per frame' sense. I think it's more beneficial in reducing the overall latency between what time the game is up to vs what time you're seeing. As long as things are flowing quickly and smoothly enough to convey movement I think timing your actions doesn't rely on 'picking a frame' to do it.

    As far as laptimes go, it's probably simplifying things to do some laps and compare the times to try and find the better option. A cynic might say well hang on, what's wrong with VR that made you 9 tenths slower on your fastest lap? (That's a big gap!) Not-Suzuka being such a long and technical track doesn't help, makes it difficult to be consistent. But we know some people can drive in swingman view and go very fast, so to a fair extent the view you're using (and how realistic it is) doesn't necessarily have much of a link to how fast you can go (or even how consistent you are), as long as you're accustomed to what you're using. This changes somewhat if you're talking about sim driving making you a better driver in real life, but you're not :D
     
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  3. Filip

    Filip Registered

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    I think VR will not learn someone to drive but will help with consistency.
    Also in race traffic situations.
    On small single monitors with low FOV situations like "3 wide, you're in the middle" I feel helpless, there is no time for glance left/right.
    VR would surely help in those situations. People said they can judge distances better, drive closer to the barriers etc.

    And there is fun factor. Personally I drive better if combo is more immersive.
    In the end I am not sure if VR would make me a better sim racer but it would make me a happier sim racer.
     
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  4. elbo

    elbo Registered

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    FOV restriction on VR is not as restrictive as you might think, my setup comes with a multi-positional swivel mechanism (my neck) that more than compensates for the FOV.
    I have not noticed that I can judge distances better but certainly the ability to look into the turn has improved my racing line and yes I can judge much better just how close that barrier is in a turn.
    The first thing that I did notice in VR is the ability to pickup on over-steer. The rotation of the car is much more obvious in VR and I find I can correct much more and have less of a sense that the car has snap-oversteered like I use to on the monitor.
    VR is not all good yet, low resolution, high system resource requirements, but for me it adds a lot to the game.
     
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  5. fbiehne

    fbiehne Registered

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    Short answer: not faster, but it made me much more consistent and thus better. I hit the apexes of curves much better, the natural FOV without any distortion gives me a good overview of what’s happening around me.
     
  6. txinas

    txinas Registered

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    In my case it has been a very big improvement
     
  7. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I yesterday used my DK2 in rF2 for the first time.

    The main difference with respect to when I had tried my DK2 using LFS is that in this case I raced tracks that I had already raced before with monitor.

    The turns look more pronounced in VR and the overall sensation was less speed in straights. I had a much better perception of me in the track. IMO this is the biggest positive influence.

    However from cockpit view (using MCL650) I also found image small as a negative point. The cockpit, track and other cars seemed small. I don't know if using CV1 or Vive the sensation is the same. On the other hand when watching the replay with road view everything was huge in comparison. I didn't check cockpit view in the replay but I understand it will be the same than when driving.

    I understand that the good point is in-between both values. I will
    do more tests the following days.
     
  8. Depco

    Depco Registered

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    Regarding the frames per second, on most tracks in rfactor 2 reprojection tends to kick in giving a solid 45 frames per second for me. The same system that gave me solid 60 to 90 frames per second with triple 22 inch monitors on medium/highsettings is now getting me 45 frames a second on low settings in my Rift.

    I understand the thought behind the frames per second and how far you travel per frame. What Furby I actually get less frames in my Rift. But, the immersion factor completely makes up for the loss of frames. And thereby makes it totally worth the switch over.
     
  9. RNelson

    RNelson Registered

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    My experience is the opposite. I use a CV1 and my take is the scaling makes everything feel bigger. Whereas using monitors, everything was flat and small (triple 24" monitors) this feels completely natural, literally as if I am in a real sized car.
     
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  10. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    Not sure if this was in response to me at all, but I've realised my use of "FOV" could have confused matters.

    The common question with VR is how much FOV you have and how limiting it can be. In that sense we're talking about how wide the viewport is, in other words how much of your eye movement is covered by screen. More is obviously better generally, and ideally you'd have maybe 210° horizontal FOV so that your real life peripheral vision is replicated in VR, but I understand that as long as the movement is smooth and low-latency you can largely overcome a FOV deficiency by simply moving your head around.

    However, that's not the FOV I was referring to.

    The configured FOV at a given viewing distance (VR or screen(s)) determines whether perspective is 'true' or not. I'm sure most VR users would use FOV that gives true perspective.

    By true perspective I mean the apparent size of objects matches real life. If you looked at a car 10m (33') away from you in real life, lifted your outstretched hand and your palm width neatly matched the size of the car in your view, having true perspective on your screen would mean the same size car 10m away from you in the game would again match the width of your outstretched hand. Objects occupy the same 'space' (arc) in your view as they would in real life given the same dimension and distance.

    What seems common is people getting VR comment on things looking the correct size, track corners looking more realistic and sharper, slopes more pronounced, etc. What you knew was a steep incline now looks the way it should. And that's all true, but the point I was making is that this comes down to getting true perspective, and you can do this even on a single screen but it's obviously better to do it with a very large screen or triples (or curved projection, or whatever's available). That slowing-down of your forward motion and better visibility of braking zones etc, all comes from having correct perspective.

    Of course VR gives you more than just true perspective, and it's interesting to read people talking about having better feel for car movement. I wasn't sure how that would be affected by having your view so fluid, so that's cool.
     
  11. MaD_King

    MaD_King Registered

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    Same for me.

    And to answer to the subject,
    I drive faster now in VR than Flat screen, but for that I have to convince my mind to take more risks on some parts of the track (Curbs, Close to walls, ...)
    Your mind is faked and believe you are in "real" environment, really in the car, so you take less risk in VR, altered naturaly.
    When you decide/force to override this, you go faster because the feeling in the car is better to catch the over-steer, you feel it better and you see better the apex because you move your head to target it. So you are quicker.
    And to finish you are more consistent in VR.

    This is my experience in VR I have. Hard to explain, but it was the case for me, but it's hard to fight with your mind to override it and take more "risks", fight against the fear :)
     
  12. Seven Smiles

    Seven Smiles Registered

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    I find that most clearly when starting out on a new car/track. Part of it is physically not wanting to crash as that triggers motion sickness - it's getting less now I've had VR for a couple of weeks but there's still that unsettling feeling in my stomach every time I crash or spin.
     
  13. elbo

    elbo Registered

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    In AC I was struck by how good world scale is. I drive a Z4 at home and standing beside the Z4 in AC the height and position of roof, door, hood, length of car, ect are remarkably similar to when I stand beside my car, so much so that I remarked on it to a few buddies.
    RF2 does this less well but it is still pretty good, even though things do seem out of wack. It does not help that in RF2 in VR you are driving a machine that is lacking all sorts of elements and most of the back of the car...I hope they get their act together on this soon.
     
  14. Oldseb

    Oldseb Registered

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    I'm not faster with VR but I make a lot less mistake!
    on the screen I find the track too narrow or cars too big I do not know, in VR it's more on the scale
    and the pleasure to drive and multiply! :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  15. Filip

    Filip Registered

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    Real racers opinion:
     
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  16. Leonardo Nogueira

    Leonardo Nogueira Registered

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    Did you use FOV default or 100? I think for rF2 it has to be 100 (default is not 100 every time I think)... maybe this is the trouble, correct me if I'm wrong!
     
  17. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I used default FOV.
     
  18. The Iron Wolf

    The Iron Wolf Registered

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    My personal experience of racing rF2 in VR since summer 2016 - I can turn in into corners much better.
     
  19. Leonardo Nogueira

    Leonardo Nogueira Registered

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    Try 100% for Oculus Rift and see if this solves the problem
     
  20. Leonardo Nogueira

    Leonardo Nogueira Registered

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    Me too... and the feeling of space between cars, walls in the side or behind is very better!
     
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