Steam vr desktop game theater

Steam vr desktop game theater DEFAULT

Table of Contents

General Use

There are a few main components to VR Toolbox use and operation. First is the VR Toolbox Global Settings window, which controls many of the functions and settings for VR Toolbox. It looks like this, and should be located on one of your Desktop screens.

The second is the VR Toolbox environment itself. The background can either be set to blank, or can have a skybox image used to ground the user and provide them with the context of an environment. Aside from the background, everything you see in VR Toolbox is an object - desktop screens, browser screens, webcam screen, and all of the decorative props, are virtual objects that can be positioned, rotated, and scaled to your liking.

The third is the Virtual Controller, which is a virtual representation of your real-world motion controller. The ray pointing from the controller shows where it is aiming, which is used to target objects to manipulate them, or to interface with the desktop and browser screens with mouse-like inputs. Left Click and Right Click are accessed by pushing in the Left and Right sides of the Vive controller touchpad, or the ABXY buttons on the Oculus Touch.

Reposition an Object (Prop or Screen)

Aim at the object and hold the Trigger button to engage reposition mode:
- Aiming around the environment moves the position.
- Twisting the controller Left and Right changes the clockwise rotation.
- Swipe the Vive touchpad up and down or tilt the Touch analog stick forward and back to adjust the distance.
- Swipe the Vive touchpad left and right or tilt the Touch analog stick left and right to adjust the horizontal rotation.
- Press in the Vive touchpad towards the top or bottom or ABXY buttons to increase or decrease the scale.

Freely Rotate an Object (Prop or Screen)

Aim at the object and hold the Side Grip button to engage free rotation mode:
- Aiming Up and Down adjusts the top-bottom rotation.
- Aiming Left and Right changes the horizontal rotation.
- Twisting the controller Left and Right changes the clockwise rotation.
- Press in the Vive touchpad towards the top or bottom or ABXY buttons to increase or decrease the scale.

Access the Prop Menu

Aim at an object and press the Menu button or push in the Analog stick to open the menu.

For Screens and Browsers, the menu appears on the screen itself, and is closed the same way it  is opened.

For all other objects, a radial menu appears, offering a variety of features:Locked toggles the ability to manipulate the object.Link allows the object to be positionally tethered to another object so they move together.Alt Skin cycles through available skins and textures for the object.Duplicate creates a copy of the prop with the exact same properties. Delete removes the prop from the environment.

Open The Radial Menu

HTC Vive - Press the Menu button twice rapidly
Oculus Touch - Push in the Analog stick twice rapidly
This menu appears around the controllers, so you will either need to look down at the controller to access it, or you will need to bring the controller up to your line of sight.

Create a new Browser or Webcam Screen

Open the Radial menu, then access the Screens option at the top using the touchpad or analog stick.

For an additional x Chromium-based Browser screen, select the Browser icon, aim in space, and press the Trigger button to place it. You may add as many of these as you want.

For an additional webcam screen, use the Webcam icon, aim in space, and press the Trigger button to place it. To change the webcam input source, aim at the screen, press the menu button or push in the analog stick, select Advanced, and select “Choose Webcam Source” to cycle through attached webcam devices.

Place New Props and Furniture

Open the Radial menu, then access the Props option on the right using the touchpad or analog stick.

Props are divided into various categories for easier navigation. After a category has been selected, props will appear in on the ring selector surrounding the controller.

Swipe or move the analog stick left and right to select different props on the ring selector, then aim and press the trigger to place them in the environment.

Open the Controller Options Menu

Open the Radial menu, then access the Options option on the left using the touchpad or analog stick.
This menu can be used to Toggle On/Off the following features:
- Draw Mouse
- Rotate Background
- Ambient Occlusion
- Prop Snap to Y Alignment

Additionally, the menu can be used to take a screenshot of the scene, and to recenter the scene to the horizontal orientation of the headset.

Return to Top

Sours: https://www.vr-toolbox.com/guide

Valve’s foray into your living room seems to have stalled out a bit since last year’s Steam Machine launch—but what about your digital living room? Last week, Valve announced SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode, allowing you play any of your existing Steam games in virtual reality. Today, I took the new mode for a whirl at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The language Road to VR used in the original report last week was “a virtual environment in a sort of virtual home theater with a huge display,” and that’s not too far off. When I put the HTC Vive headset on during Valve’s demo this morning I found myself sitting six or so feet away from a screen that measured maybe 10 to 12 feet across. But since the Vive’s Lighthouse stations are still tracking your position you can scoot back to a more comfortable distance if you’d prefer.

Not that there’s much to see aside from the screen. The “virtual home theater” itself is pretty minimalist, largely avoiding the sort of faux-realism we saw in Netflix’s fake living room/cabin last year. (Valve didn’t provide screenshots of the experience for publication.) Valve wink-wink-nudged me though that we shouldn’t be surprised if Desktop Theater Mode is opened up to Steam Workshop in the near future, allowing the community to mod in their own fantastical/realistic/sci-fi environments at will.

Anyway, I played Broforce. On a huge screen. That’s really all there is to it. Valve tells me that the Desktop Theater Mode uses some of the same technology employed for its Steam In-Home Streaming and Broadcast features—either some incredible foresight on Valve’s part, or lucky happenstance. But with minimal delay, the game output signal is routed onto this massive screen. Valve says any game that runs above 30 frames per second should work, no problem, and that you can still pull up the Steam Overlay from within the VR environment.

HTC Vive

You’re also not limited to Steam apps, from what Valve tells me. While In-Home Streaming requires some fidgeting to—for instance—stream from VLC, Valve’s Desktop Theater Mode seems to work more like the Virtual Desktop app for the Oculus Rift. Anything you can see on your desktop can be routed through the Vive. In other words: You can watch Netflix.

Is Desktop Theater Mode worth purchasing a Vive for? Probably not. I can’t imagine this is where people will spend most of their time—the benefit of the huge monitor is equally outweighed by the heat of wearing the Vive and the fact you can’t actually see what you’re pressing on your keyboard or controller.

But as a fun little addition? Well, virtual reality has a lot of those. Look for more about Desktop Theater Mode in a few weeks—it’s set to launch alongside the Vive in early April, and I’ll probably fire it up with something a bit more taxing than Broforce to see how my computer handles running the Vive at the same time as, say, The Witcher 3 . Theory: My GeForce GTX Ti melts and/or lights on fire. We’ll see.

Sours: https://www.pcworld.com/article//hands-on-steamvrs-desktop-theater-mode-plays-your-2d-games-on-a-giant-vr-screen.html
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What It's Like To Play Non-VR Games In Steam VR

We already knew that Valve was planning something called Steam Desktop Theater, in which non-VR games could be used within their Vive headset (and, indeed, any other headsets which end up supporting the SteamVR APIs), but I wasn't expecting to see it until the first giant boxes full of matte-black hardware arrived at pre-orderers' houses.

Turns out that Valve snuck out a beta update to Steam over the weekend, part of which was an early version of Desktop Theater. In like Flynn, me. The good news: it works. The bad news: I'm now more certain than ever that the hardware needs another generation or two before it's truly ready for the world.

Something I've almost been more excited about than full-on 3D, , sensory-overload VR is playing games and watching movies on a virtual giant screen. That's partly because it's theoretically epic, partly because the jury's still out on the walky-wavy VR experiments and partly because Desktop Theatre might mean I never need to find the money and desk-space for one of those ultra-wide, curved, high-refresh monitors I spent half of last year unhappily price-checking.

Desktop Theater isn't the only tool aiming to offer this kind of functionality on the coming wave of VR headsets, but it is the first official one and also the only one that, so far, is integrated into Steam itself rather than requiring external jiggery-pokery. You enter Desktop Theatre by firing up SteamVR, strapping on your facebox then launching a game from the specially-modified version of Steam Big Picture that acts as SteamVR's default menu system. Find any old game, rather than the specific VR-enabled ones, and the UI will display 'Play In Theatre' rather than simply Play.

Not everything works, I should say right off the bat, but most things I've tried do in some capacity. The rule of thumb is that, if it works with Steam Broadcasting, it'll work in theatre. I'm not % clear whether Theater is using Broadcasting's on-the-fly encoding tech or if it's just a comparison, but a bit more on that later.

If a given game does work, you'll soon find yourself sat or stood within a reasonably-sized screening room, at the front of which is a large screen. I'd say it's a 'respectable independent cinema-sized screen', not IMAX or anything like that, but I'm sure resizing options will arrive later. It's pretty obvious that, for the current default, they've settled on the largest size at which you can still take in the whole screen without having to turn your head too much. After all, we're simply not accustomed to panning our gaze across a big screen when playing a game. Pitching it relatively safe for now only makes sense.

It's big enough, though, and it looks good. The Vive's limited resolution hampers it a little, though. As I said in my extensive breakdown of what it's like to use one in your home, the real-world experience is akin to pushing your face right up against a p screen, so it's jagged edges and screendoor effect galore despite an on-paper res of x

It's no different in desktop theater: even the sides of the virtual screen have jaggies, you could count the pixels if you had a couple of hours free, and then once a game loads there are brand new issues to contend with. Foremost of those is text. Until now, I'd been exclusively been playing VR-specific games on the Vive, whose menus and dialogue boxes were either dispensed with entirely or displayed in big, chunky fonts.

For a game not made with VR in mind, its standard-size text may well cross the line into unreadable. Games with scaleable UI options get around this to some degree, as does fiddling with the overall display resolution, but it's a lottery. The Tides Of Numenera beta was unplayable because of this, for instance, but Hitman's relatively low-text and biggish font approach got around it.

It's not necessarily fair to blame the Vive or SteamVR for this, of course: it's running software it wasn't really designed for. If developers make future trad. games with this kind of usage in mind - i.e. we see more titles with resizable user interfaces - then it becomes more manageable. Basically, though, the effect is akin to running a game made for p minimum on a standard definition TV.

Making up for this somewhat is that, yeah, it's massive and cinematic. I want to play games like this: the intimacy of a monitor but the scale of a movie theatre.

While, for Vive-specific games, physical space is a bit of an issue for anyone with a small house, the opposite is true when it comes to playing sat-down games. The headset takes up a whole lot less space than the hulking 34" ultra-wide, curved, adaptive sync, high refresh monitor of my former dreams would. Hell, it even costs less, which is not a phrase I ever expected to use in the context of the Vive.

The res issue means the Vive can't be a substitute for my current monitor when it comes to trad. games, but presuming VR survives long enough to get a few successive generations (and affordable graphics to power them abound), I have pretty much shelved all plans to upgrade my screen. In two years, hopefully, I'll get a Vive 2 or an Oculus Rift 3 and that will be my gaming display. This requires a great many things going to plan, but it's a future I want.

One of the things which needs to go to plan is performance. Steam Desktop Theater is in its initial beta, so I'm not even beginning to accuse it of not being up to scratch in that regard, but it's definitely going to need a few updates before it's anywhere near fit for purpose. In many games, the image judders and seems to flicker in and out of sight. There's also a bit of what feels like input lag. It's hard to work out if any of this is framerate or some kind of image sychnorisation going haywire.

As we know, Steam VR hardware requirements are pretty steep - regardless of what the final image you see looks like, your PC needs to render x at 90 frames per second - so clearly running max-settings Witcher 3 at big-res and big-refresh is an issue in and of itself. I'm running at GTX , which is basically the bare-minimum required GPU, and I'm resigned to upgrading that later this year.

Straightforward framerate has not been my main problem, though. A game juddering and blinking unbearably in the headset looks to be running reasonably smoothly in the mirrored window displayed on my monitor. So it doesn't seem to be a raw performance problem. That said, 2D games are fine, recent 3D games are without exception problematic, while Devil Daggers, something of a halfway house, is also fine.

Hitman, Rise of The Tomb Raider and XCOM 2 were my main test subjects for recent titles: all quite demanding, whether accidentally or deliberately, but all of which continued to spike and stagger wildly, even nauseatingly, no matter how low I dropped settings and resolution. I have two theories as to why so many high-end games appear to run so badly in Desktop Theater. I may well be wrong: there isn't much info yet, and the software is early, so all is guess work.

One is something related to V-Sync. In Tomb Raider and Hitman the problem lessened significantly when I turned V-sync on, and lessened further still when I forced it to cap the frame rate to No such dice in XCOM 2, though for all I know that's due to its technical woes.

Again, the Vive's native refresh rate is 90 Hz, so at a wild guess the juddering is related to attaining or not attaining specific fractions or multiples of that. While, for the time being, I'm struggling to find many high-end games I'd play for long in Deskop Theater, I expect this stuff to shake out or, at the very least, be explained more clearly over time. If nothing else, the community are bound to come up with per-game tweaks in the NVIDIA and AMD control panels.

My second is less a theory and more wondering aloud. If the official line that anything which runs in Steam Broadcasting will run in Desktop Theater is more than a coincidence, perhaps the flickering juddering is related to that. Is my PC transcoding the game it's playing and then playing its own HD stream back to itself? I don't know, but it would provide a certain explanation - especially as Desktop Theater games do seem to lag a little bit too.

I might be entirely off-base with this: I'll keep my ears to the ground, I'll keep trying games and I'll try out any Desktop Theater updates. If, however, I am not off-base, it may be that I'm experiencing more problems than others might for a particular reason. That reason is my six-year-old Intel Core i7 X CPU. I have no reason whatsoever to upgrade this CPU - it's got six cores, has been overclocked to happily run at GHz and presents zero issues in any games.

If I upgraded it to something more modern, my real-world performance gains would be minimal at best. However, it does lack a few bells, whistles and instruction sets of more recent CPUs - and Steam Broadcast is a CPU-based activity. Perhaps something is errant there. I'm far from convinced that the judder and flicker is because of that, but I'll try and find my way to a PC which has a relevant chip, so I can at least rule that out.

Meantime, I'm pretty much having to restrict myself to 2D games such as FTL and Sunless Sea. Resolution-fiddling can make them pretty much readable, and a giant pretend screen suits them well enough, but clearly Desktop Theater is going to be at its best with big, cinematic action games. I hope things improve, because I really want to use this.

The final problem is that of resolution. While VR games by and large run a specific res to fit the headset, trad.games in Desktop Theater retain their standard settings menu, leaving you free to choose what you want. Handy, but I've been unable to find a resolution which seems like it's natively fitting the Vive, and again the main problem there is text. I'm ending up with it either too small or too blurry; usually I can find a readable middle-ground, but it always feels like a compromise.

I'm hopeful that word will soon be out about best-fit resolutions for Desktop Theater, even if it involves adding custom res in driver control panels. I did try various variations upon the Vive's res, including the total x and the per-eye x, but no dice: because the Vive composites each eye's view into one wider image, I'm still somewhat unclear as to what the image we actually see (as opposed to the one which is rendered) would be. Fingers crossed for info, and at least a road forwards for manual tweaks.

Just to address a potential question: yes, you can run non-game software in Desktop Theater, but right now that pretty much involves alt-tabbing out of a running game to then get a feed of your desktop. I've tried movies, which looked OK but seemed a little slow-motion, despite looking fine in the mirrored window on my monitor, and I've tried reading RPS in a browser, which requires zooming in quite a way.

An even newer update to Steam now allows movies bought via Steam to be watched in Desktop Theater. I gave Mad Max: Fury Road and spin and while it broadly worked, the flickering was there too. Right now, it's just not comfortable to watch for long, plus quite frankly the 'screen' was not big enough. Really hope manual screen resize/zoom and also curvature is on its way.

So, potential's there but the practice is, for now, quite disappointing. The mystery flicker is a deal-breaker, at least as it stands. It's extremely early days for the Desktop Theater, so I expect things to improve over time, but while there's every chance either my GPU or CPU or both need upgrading in the not-too-distant, the essential readability of game text is a hard-wired issue.

Either future games are designed with VR headsets' resolution and screendoor effects in mind or they're not, and if it's the latter then any number of titles simply aren't going to be a good time. That said, options to further enlarge the virtual screen may improve matters considerably, so long as we can adapt to turning and moving our heads to find further-flung parts of the image.

I remain a full and true believer in VR as The Future, but the more I use the Vive the more convinced I am that it's going to require a second generation, with a far, far higher-res screen, before it can really take off. Jury's still out on how much full-size, VR-native games can get around this by being designed with headset readability in mind though, and I'll be wittering more about that as titles start to launch in April.


If you have a Vive and want to try Steam Desktop Theater, you'll need to follow these brief instructions to try it out.

Sours: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/steam-desktop-theater-guide
How To Enable/Disable Use Desktop Theatre When VR is Active Steam

Whether you have an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you can take advantage of SteamVR. Steam allows you to play any game in your library&#;even 2D games not designed for VR&#;in a virtual &#;desktop theater&#; mode on your headset of choice.

What You Need to Know

This feature doesn&#;t turn any old game into a fully immersive virtual reality game with head tracking. That&#;s just not possible. Instead, you&#;ll be placed in a virtual theater and the game will play on a giant 2D screen you can see in the theater.

This works a lot like watching videos on a VR headset. It&#;s cool to sit in a virtual theater and see your game appear to take up most of your vision. But the same downsides apply. VR technology is still new and needs more time to improve. You won&#;t see as much detail as you will if you just played the game on your PC&#;s normal monitor.

RELATED:How to Play SteamVR Games (and Other Non-Oculus Apps) on the Oculus Rift

There are other tools for doing this, but SteamVR&#;s desktop theater mode is free and integrated into Steam itself. It uses the same technology Steam Broadcasting uses. If a game works with Steam Broadcasting, it&#;ll work with desktop theater mode.

If you have an Oculus Rift, you&#;ll first need to enable Unknown Sources before continuing, so SteamVR can use your Oculus Rift headset. By default, the Rift only allows apps from the Oculus Store, which means SteamVR and Steam games won&#;r work.

 

How to Start SteamVR&#;s Desktop Theater Mode

To start playing, just open Steam and click the &#;VR&#; icon in the upper right corner of the window to launch SteamVR. You&#;ll only see this icon if you have a VR headset connected to your PC.

If you haven&#;t set up SteamVR yet&#;this will be the case if you have an Oculus Rift and have stuck to the Oculus Store&#;you&#;ll be prompted to set up SteamVR first. You can see more about how to set it up in our HTC Vive guide (yes, even if you have a Rift), but the setup wizard should be mostly self-explanatory. Just select &#;Standing&#; only for your play style. You don&#;t need to set up room-scale tracking, which is a feature intended for the HTC Vive.

Once SteamVR is set up and ready to go, select any game in your Steam library and click the &#;Play&#; button to launch it in desktop theater mode.

Steam will warn you that it&#;s launching the game into a special environment on your virtual reality headset as well as on your desktop normally. Performance may or may not be good enough to play the game comfortable on your headset. This depends on the game, its graphical settings, and your PC&#;s hardware.

Click &#;OK&#; to launch the game.

Put on your headset and you&#;ll appear to be seated in a virtual theater in front of a large display containing your game. Play the game as you normally would, with a keyboard and mouse or a controller.

You won&#;t see your Windows desktop at all unless you Alt+Tab out of the game&#;we just needed to Alt+Tab to get a screenshot of the virtual environment.

And yes, you can Alt+Tab out of the game and attempt to use your Windows desktop in desktop theater mode. But we really don&#;t recommend that&#;due to the low resolution of the first virtual headsets, text will be almost impossible to read.

If you want to play Steam games normally without desktop theater mode getting involved, just quit SteamVR before launching games from Steam.

Sours: https://www.howtogeek.com//how-to-play-any-game-in-vr-with-steamvrs-desktop-theater-mode/

Theater desktop steam vr game

Like any piece of new technology, virtual reality needs a legacy mode to handle content not designed for VR. Soon, the HTC Vive (and other Steam VR headsets) will have just that, with "Desktop Theater Mode."

Unfortunately, we don't have any images of the feature yet, but it's safe to assume it will be very similar to the YouTube "Virtual Movie Theater" for Google Cardboard and Oculus Video, designed for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR. Both project a traditional display inside the virtual world, allowing you to view traditional 2D content on a rectangular plane.

Unlike those software solutions, however, Desktop Theater Mode would also work to play standard, non-VR games (like your entire Steam library) with your VR headset. You'll also likely be able to use the standard Windows desktop if you so desired, though reading text comfortably with such a setup might prove difficult. Third-party software for Oculus and the Vive currently supports this already: it's called Virtual Desktop (video below), but Valve's solution will be built-in.

Since it's a virtual environment, you'll conceivably be able to load up different "backgrounds," like a living room, and movie theater, or a desk, onto which the "display" will be projected. It has the benefit of cutting out real-world distractions, and loading up the Windows desktop could be useful in a pinch.

According to a brief press release, the new feature is currently in early beta, and it will be shown off for the first time at GDC in San Francisco next week. We'll be there.

Sours: https://www.theverge.com//3/12//steam-vr-desktop-theater-mode-beta-announced
How to Play Any Game in VR With SteamVR’s Desktop Theater Mode

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