Precision in VR/AR

How important do you think precision is in fpses? To increase precision, we have to reduce speed (see Doom to Quake to modern shooters), so where do you stand? How do you feel about a fully-realized AR shooter, like virtual paintball, but with different weapon-types? That would have very slow movement speed, but it would create new types of tactical depth that I think aren’t possible with traditional games.

Blah, there’s that word precision again. And used in such a way that it’s not clear what you mean. I think a better phrasing here might be, “to make aiming easier, we have to reduce speed […]” But it’s still not clear what the overall question is supposed to mean.

Speed was reduced in the move to modern shooters because of console controllers, which cannot aim with 1:1 precision like the mouse can. The mouse does not need slower character movement speeds as a concession to make aiming easier. Controllers have difficulty moving fine distances due to the necessity of dead zones at the center of them, and the difficulty of pushing it a slight amount then releasing the stick before the camera moves too far.

This is a non-issue in mouse interfaces. Players of all different games have demonstrated the ability to aim very consistently at high speeds (or consistently enough). We don’t need to cut speed to aid precision, we don’t gain much from doing it.

Stationary aiming and shooting is a type of challenge that has limits on its complexity. As the speed of the player decreases, the range of options that can reasonably be deployed decreases. You can no longer dodge around projectiles, flank enemies, take the high ground, and so on as quickly as your speed decreases. Similar issue in fighting games, if the movement speed is slow and options are limited, there are less things that can fit into that design space without breaking the game.

To go on a tangent, projectiles should be slower in many cases so we can get more out of dodging them, and characters should be faster so they can actually dodge. At the extreme limits, it’s easy to imagine a game where too fast of a character with too slow projectiles can dodge everything. Also easy to think of how with slow enough projectiles even slow characters can dodge them. This makes it clear that there’s probably a medium point where the character and projectile are both the right speed, or in the right speed range to have an interesting dodging experience. What decides that range? Average human reaction time. Food for thought.

As for AR paintball, I know I’ve talked it up in the past. It occurs to me now that it would definitely suffer from slow moving players. The big benefit of it is, you can do it anywhere, and being able to move your whole body would add something you cannot get in computer FPS games. It’s hard for me to think of the real draw of that game as a game, or how full body motion would significantly increase the depth of the game. More than anything, it’s a cool concept.

With a hypothetical VR/AR shooter, even if they were extremely slow, couldn’t they still have potentially greater depth than Quake or w/e? Like, think of war and the tactics and strategies that soldiers use. How the various positions are far more distinct than simple classes in videogames. You have snipers and bomb squads and all sorts of sub groups of specialized individuals. The psychological aspect (mind games) is huge. So imagine a game that simulates this. Wouldn’t it be super-deep in spite of being slow?”

Okay, this invites multiple questions, the first of which is why VR/AR is necessary for any of what you mention. VR was, up until recently, a screen strapped to your face. Before release, motion controls were added to this. The two in synchronicity solve the camera rotation issue inherent in existing motion controls, but they don’t fundamentally change that motion controls are kind of a gimmick. They worked really well for a couple games, like Wii Sports, Warioware, Trauma Center, and Wii Play. They were better than a standard controller for first person shooters, but are still inferior as an aiming method to mouse and keyboard. What do they enable you to do in VR/AR that you cannot do on a mouse and keyboard? Throw objects realistically at variable speeds in variable arcs? That’s about all I got. Is that something that a game could make a big deal? Maybe! Is that likely to fit the theme of a shooter game? Probably not.

I have thought of war and tactics and strategies.

So here’s the question, which of these do not exist in current games? Which of those that do not are not possible with existing technology? Why do the ones that do not currently exist, but are possible on existing technology, not exist?

Here’s one example: attacking supply lines. For (food) supply lines to exist, the forces fighting need to expend energy fighting that is replenished by eating, there need to be stores of supplies on site, there need to be breaks in the battle to eat, battles need to last long enough for this to come into effect, there needs to be a group of actors (not necessarily players) that do nothing but move supplies.

Why the fuck would we want to model all that? Most FPS games you play are short sessions, maybe half an hour to an hour long. Consider the infrastructures necessary to implement other such tactics/strategies and why they aren’t in games already.

This isn’t realistically adding depth to the game, most of the systems in this example aren’t particularly deep, just complex, and require a compromise in other areas in order to be implemented.

The types of interactions that are actually deep here, the types of counters and tactics employed, aren’t deep on the level of individual players. They’re better modeled in an RTS game, where things like this can play out quicker over shorter sessions, and an individual player has control of the entire group.

I don’t know where you pull the idea that the potential for mind games is huge here. I don’t think you thought this through at all, and are running off the assumption that because reality is complex that VR emulating reality is automatically complex.

re: precision in shooters. I’m obviously talking about aiming accuracy, what other precision could there possibly be in fpses? Jumping and platforming? I guess, but those aren’t the what shooters bring to mind first… anyway, Doom isn’t super-accurate, but it’s the fastest fps. Quake has a much

I mean, there’s like 3-4 components to aiming accuracy. The ability of the person, the design of the controller (mouse, touchpad, motion control, trackball, analog stick), the way targeting is implemented in the game, and the cone of fire for the weapon. All of these things individually could be called accuracy. The cone of fire on the weapon does not really fit the definition of precision, but can be included sometimes (an analogy would be the precision of a scalpel versus a hammer in heart surgery). Do you understand now why the word precision is vague?
How is Doom not super accurate? What impedes its accuracy? Based on the last question you asked about this, I presume you mean it’s “inaccurate” because it is difficult to aim accurately at a target when you are moving quickly (which is a more clear way of phrasing it than saying it lacks precision or the game itself is somehow inaccurate) and therefore moving more slowly (and targets moving more slowly) leads to players aiming more accurately.

The other thing is, Doom is not the fastest FPS, Tribes is. People hit opponents moving in midair in Tribes with slow moving projectiles. People can overcome precision problems.

An AR shooter is harder to aim precisely in, in a similar way to console shooters, because you cannot hold your hand steady like you can a mouse. Further, in AR and VR, unlike existing motion control shooters such as Metroid Prime 3 or The Conduit, you do not have forced perspective, so you cannot overlay a targeting reticule on the screen. This makes aiming even harder and therefore less accurate.

Adding all these extra factors makes the game more complex, but it does not significantly increase the game’s depth. Many of these states are redundant. The basic action is target acquisition and tracking. Adding additional layers to this, like unhinged targeting control from camera control, cone of fire, and weapon rotation do not make the base action more tactical or strategic. They add additional game states and complexity, but these states are largely redundant. There is a larger skill test involved with firing, and that is interesting in of itself, but very linear in a broader context. There are no additional decisions being introduced, giving it less purpose in the game than even something like L Canceling, which requires a timing prediction based on context.

Increasing the ease at which players can successfully hit targets by decreasing movement speed does not allow for more depth. There’s a certain sweet spot at about CS:GO or HL2 speeds where human reaction time cannot keep up, and you need to fire weapons based on prediction rather than reaction. This is a good thing. However HL2 is too fast for VR. Valve pulled the plug on it and TF2 because they induced simulation sickness. VR and AR games won’t be as fast as the minimum speed necessary for FPS games. That sucks.

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