Monday, May 29, 2017

You Know VR is for Fun Too, Right?

As the AEC community begins to embrace Virtual Reality (VR) to to aid in the design process and project presentations, we don't want to forget we can have some fun with it too...

Our firm's Events Committee tries to weave in several social events throughout the year to keep things interesting. Over the years we have had Mario Kart and pinewood derby competitions, as well as bean bag tossing and family gatherings.

Next week we will have a little fun in the LHB VR Lounge (see image below). We will be playing the VR archery game in NVIDIA's VR Funhouse game. The HTC Vive also comes with a fun archery game, in The Lab, but the the VR Funhouse one has a countdown and keeps score.

LHB VR Lounge - Duluth Office
Here are two images from this game. There are several targets to shoot at and some are moving. You can start the tip of your arrow on fire, which then starts the target on fire as well. If you run out of arrows, you can pull more from your quiver (a hidden bonus:)).

Here is the invite that went out to staff...

More on NVIDIA VR Funhouse

In addition to the NVIDIA VR Funhouse game being really fun, and a good workout, there is a lot of super cool stuff happening under-the-hood... which is intended to show off the features built-in to the hardware. Using these features significantly improves performance... similar to calling functions built-in to the CPU.

NVIDIA blog post: Our First Virtual Reality Experience, VR Funhouse, Shows What Pascal Can Do for VR

The bullet points from this blog post highlight the NVIDIA supported Pascal features:

  • NVIDIA Flow — Grab a bow and arrow in our target-shooting mini-game. Set the arrow aflame and you’ll be able to shoot it at targets that burst into flames when they’re hit. Our NVIDIA Flow technology physically simulates experiences such as fire throughout VR Funhouse.
  • NVIDIA HairWorks — The whimsical feel of our colorful “Whack-a-Mole” and “Mole Boxing” challenges is enhanced by NVIDIA HairWorks technology. Jab at your targets. Give them a knock and you’ll see their colorful hair bounce. Or pat them on the head to flatten their jazzy haircuts.
  • PhysX for VR — Poke, punch, pound and explore. VR Funhouse is filled with objects that you can interact with in surprising ways using your hand controllers. Our PhysX for VR technology gives the objects in the game realistic physical behavior, enabling proper graphics, collision detection, and haptics force feedback.
  • NVIDIA FleX — In our “Wallwalker Toss” mini-game, you’ll be able to pick up gooey, colorful blobs — that stretch and jiggle in surprising ways in your hand — toss them at targets and watch them ooze toward the ground. You’ll find this next-generation particle-based physical simulation used all over VR Funhouse.
  • NVIDIA VRWorks Audio — Walk into “Crown Creeper,” and you’ll need to use your ears to locate a stealthy drone. VRWorks Audio uses our Pascal GPUs to ray trace sound waves in real-time, realistically simulating how audio propagates and reflects across the room.  The reflections and echoes created by VRWorks Audio will test your skills in locating the drone.
  • VR SLI — The more, the merrier. If you’ve got two GPUs, this technology will let one GPU render images to your left eye, and the other to your right, maximizing performance and minimizing latency.

We have several GeForce consumer "gaming" cards (e.g. 1080 and two SLI'ed 1070s), but this game also works great on our Pascal-based Quadro P5000 graphics card. I previously wrote about the P5000 graphics card; NVIDIA Quadro P5000 for AEC VR; Best Architectural Experience Yet.

If interested, here are two more related links:
NVIDIA Blog post: Why We Made the World’s Most Advanced VR Game – NVIDIA VR Funhouse
NVIDIA Product Overview: NVIDIA VR Funhouse

Oh, and this "let's show what a VR game can do on our hardware" VR game is FREE!