Mechs In VR: A Stroke Of Locomotion Genius In 'Archangel'

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"Ideal Locomotion" = Rail Shooter? >_>

The game could be cool, but I didn't actually read much in the article that sounds like "A Stroke Of Locomotion Genius". Just that they took locomotion out of your hands.

A similar idea that could be interesting would be if you had an NPC copilot sharing the same cockpit with you, who would navigate the vehicle, but who could also respond to voice input. That way you could audibly suggest where to go, or even complain to them about their performance, and they could react accordingly, perhaps even arguing back and ignoring your orders at times, depending on their mood, how nervous they are about the current situation and so on. If they were given believable enough behavior and an interesting personality, it might not matter as much if they didn't always do exactly what you wanted.
 

scolaner

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Well yeah, voice input would be amazing. I don't know that game devs are quite there yet! It would be cool to drive the mech yourself, too. The point is, movement in VR is really hard to get right. Done poorly, you get motion sickness. So all the VR game devs have to come up with creative ways to let you move around in the games. This title has ideal pacing and just enough points of reference to keep that from happening.
 

alextheblue

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The headline spoke boldly but the content of the article failed to express anything vaguely approaching "ideal locomotion". Your piloting skills are a big part of a mech sim - have you even PLAYED the MechWarrior series? This is rail shooter ice cream with mech flavored sprinkles on top.

I look forward to seeing a real mech sim in VR. It might actually drive me to buy a VR headset. Maybe they'll add VR capability to MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries before launch.
 

Yeah, voice input in games isn't quite to the point of being seamlessly integrated yet, but it could be getting there soon. Considering the advances in natural voice input and text to speech in recent years, it might not be long before we have games that let you strike up believable conversations with NPCs. Of course, they'd have to be closely tailored to the game, and you obviously couldn't just plug in some generic voice assistant. Of course, one downside to voice input is that it might be bothersome or awkward if there happen to be other people around, who just hear you talking to yourself with a VR headset on.



I agree, a MechWarrior-type game would likely work great in VR. The bipedal vehicles in the MechWarrior series are relatively slow moving as far as mechs go, which might help reduce nausea from piloting them around. It would help give the game a good sense of scale too, which can be difficult to feel in these games on a regular screen. The developers of MechWarrior 5 did mention that they were designing the game with VR in mind, although it's probably worth pointing out that the game is being developed by the same company that did MechWarrior Online, which had kind of a mixed reception.
 

bit_user

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I get your point about the gaming experience, but if you look at far simpler weapons platforms, they have separate gunners and pilots. So, a rail shooter would probably be more accurate.

Also, I don't see how the locomotion tricks they describe have anything to do with whether it's a rail shooter.
 

alextheblue

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That's the point of a BattleMech. You're a one-man show. Changing it to dedicated pilot and gunner roles makes it something else entirely. Anyone who has played the MechWarrior series would think that's silly... the Mech becomes like an extension of you - you're pointing the guns at whatever you are facing.

Anyway it's a slow rail shooter and that is in large part why it works. You slowly plod along and then periodically stop and shoot at things. Throw that out... now you're in some variety of light mech capable of speeds of around ~80-130 km/h (depending on model). Your torso pivots independently of the legs, and you're dashing around corners. Speed, check. Freedom of movement, check. There goes 2/3 of their "tricks" for a "genius" and "ideal" solution. The only thing they did that genuinely helps is sticking you in the cockpit so your have a frame of reference that is near-motionless (perhaps some jostling) relative to you. Similar to being in a car... but that isn't exactly novel or genius. In fact they already do that in MechWarrior.


As I pointed out, not all mechs are dirt-slow. Many of the lighter ones move at a decent clip. I do agree that I have some concerns about the developer, but the dev teams are separate and the trailer shows a lot of promise. Also I think it's a little easier to cook up missions designed for single player.
 

scolaner

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Are you talking about the current iteration of MechWarrior, or the promised VR support in MechWarrior 5?
 
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