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Diggers: Trench Experience - WOW!

 I just downloaded this and tried it out today and ... WOW! For a free experience, it is awesome!  Some may not like it because it's not sweet, cutesy or upbeat like most of the other experiences in the oculus store, but that's what makes it so realistic and good, IMHO!  (The sergeant reminded me of some bosses I've had!)

When I first glanced at the description, I thought it was about miners, but since it was free and looked good, I didn't bother reading it more carefully.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered it makes you a soldier on the battlefield trenches in World War I!  This was edgy and raw, and really gives you a feel of what is is like in this historic  but dark period in world events. 

 When you start start out in the shack at the beginning, you can see the battlefield through the cracks in the woodwork.  The textures are great, and the uneven wood slatting of the underground tunnel is so realistic!  

I like historic experiences like this, because it gives puts you in a time period that most of us will otherwise never have a chance to experience.  There are some glitches and the character animation is not perfect, but I know how difficult it is to do this totally convincingly and we are still in the relatively early days of virtual reality.  

My grandmother gave me a beat up old book that had been kicked around in her basement for decades, Colliers new photographic history of the World War (published in 1919), and I can tell you, World War I was truly hell, and I think this VR experience captures it effectively.  

I highly recommend it, but expect it to be a somewhat depressing experience. 

Comments

  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,756 Valuable Player
    Some may not like it because it's not sweet, cutesy or upbeat like most of the other experiences in the oculus store
    Hah, someone hasn't played Chronos or Edge of Nowhere. Or Adr1ft. There was a whole thread about how so many Oculus games have depressing endings..  (sorry for the spoiler) Heck, I haven't played The Climb yet, but based on all the other Oculus games I expect it to end with you throwing yourself off the mountain. :neutral:


    Joking aside, thanks for the recommendation, this experience sounds rad. 
    It's hard being the voice of reason when you're surrounded by unreasonable people.
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 8,061 Valuable Player
    edited September 2016
    So where exactly do you get this from? I don't see it anywhere on Oculus Home. 

    Edit: I found it, it's in entertainment in Oculus Home.
  • "The textures are great, and the uneven wood slatting of the underground tunnel is so realistic! "

    It looks like clay and plastic. 
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 8,061 Valuable Player
    edited September 2016
    While I like the demo I do think it's lacking a bit of atmosphere. Maybe a few more explosions and some more scenes in the trenches would of brought it to life more. I like the parachuting over France one better if this was the same company that made that one. Does anyone know if that one has been updated to the latest runtime?
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    "The textures are great, and the uneven wood slatting of the underground tunnel is so realistic! "

    It looks like clay and plastic. 
    Not really fair. You could say the same thing about EVE: Valkyrie. About most VR, in fact. All of the ships have a sort of vacuum-formed hollow plastic look to them. 
  • TwoHedWlfTwoHedWlf Posts: 2,234 Valuable Player
    Ughh...I haven't felt sick since like the first week I got my rift.  But for some reason that made me feel sick in a few minutes, by the time I got to the tunnel.  Well...That wounds my ego thinking I'd built up my tolerance...
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,887 Valuable Player
    Not really fair. You could say the same thing about EVE: Valkyrie. About most VR, in fact. All of the ships have a sort of vacuum-formed hollow plastic look to them. 

    Not even close, wow. Have you ever played Eve-Valkyrie??




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  • "The textures are great, and the uneven wood slatting of the underground tunnel is so realistic! "

    It looks like clay and plastic. 
    Not really fair. You could say the same thing about EVE: Valkyrie. About most VR, in fact. All of the ships have a sort of vacuum-formed hollow plastic look to them. 
    It is fair. in the age of photogrammatry and physically based rendering, using techniques from 2002 seems terrible. You won't believe why Eve has plastic looking vehicles, it is because they are man made and painted. Wood should not look like clay and plastic. The big problem with Diggers is that they don't treat materials like proper materials, they all seem to have the same "gloss" about them.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,887 Valuable Player
    Oh and for the record, I actually did enjoy this Diggers-Trench demo. While the graphics were rather horrible considering this is 2016, there was something oddly alluring about their lack of quality. Also, it seems as if the developers/designers decided to focus on human facial expressions, rather than a rich and detailed environment. When the characters looked at me up close n' personal, I actually felt a bit uncomfortable because their eyes seemed a little human.

    It's a decent demo that can be appreciated without over-selling its graphics (or downplaying the great graphics of other VR titles).
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  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    Tokyo_Funk said: The big problem with Diggers is that they don't treat materials like proper materials, they all seem to have the same "gloss" about them.
    Hmmmm, I don't really see that about the wood textures. It all seems quite good to me, which is why I mentioned the tunnels. There are certainly things that can be criticized about the experience, but the wood textures aren't one of them, IMHO. The special effects are good, the props are good, be atmosphere is good, textures are good, the sound effects are excellent, the character animation could be improved.  I think the simulation was made to commemorate Australia's 100th anniversary of entry into the war. 
  • It still reaks of "Student project". The voice acting is stiff and shallow, the animations are rigid and the characters shoulders are too far out, the special effects are low resolution and the poly count is awful.

    http://www.vlocus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Diggers-gear-vr-oculus-rift.jpg

    Look at this image.

    http://www.playthepast.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2015-05-29_00007.jpg

    Now look at this image.

    If you cannot see the difference, I suggest you wear stronger glasses.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,887 Valuable Player
    Looks the same, bra'. y u lyin?

    In all seriousness, I agree that the textures are terrible. But those facial expressions are priceless!
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  • tmxmratmxmra Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
     ...but expect it to be a somewhat depressing experience. 
    You see, this is what puts me off. Why would I want to enter VR for a depressing experience?

    Yes there is merit in examining these topics and making sure history is not forgotten, but I think I will pass on this experience purely for the choice of subject.
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    tmxmra said:
    Yes there is merit in examining these topics and making sure history is not forgotten, but I think I will pass on this experience purely for the choice of subject. 
     The way I see it, it makes you appreciate your life even more when you realize what life was like for some in the past.  Living in the dirt like mole people waiting to die makes you appreciate how good we have it today, with our smart phones, air-conditioning and oculus rift.  The men who gave up their lives in these wars are partly what made it possible for us to live the lifestyle we do today.  I think it also makes you a more informed citizen, when you realize the foolishness of war so you can vote for the leaders who are going to keep us out of unnecessary conflicts. 
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane

    It still reaks of "Student project". The voice acting is stiff and shallow, the animations are rigid and the characters shoulders are too far out, the special effects are low resolution and the poly count is awful.
    Dude, totally unfair! I think the voice acting is fantastic, especially when compared to a game like EVE: Valkyrie, which is stiff and stilted.  Of course, there are a lot more lines in EVE, so it's harder to keep the consistency up, but I was never able to get into the acting in it.   In fact, the large number of lines in Eve makes it even more important for the acting to be stellar, which it isn't. 

    Also, it's not fair to compare Diggers with a standard PC game. The demands of VR are much greater, since you can walk right up to everything and examine it closely. Also, remember with VR there has to be a separate image for the left and right eye, as well as the screen, which makes it like three times more computationally challenging.  

    As far as the animations, I mentioned that they weren't perfect in my original post, and it seems like some props are missing, so the characters are basically pantomiming. Also, it would be nice if their eyes followed you no matter where you were standing.  This is all nitpicking, however, as a main point of the experience is to give you a feel for what life was like in the trenches in World War I. 
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
     Here are some Easter eggs I found in the experience if you really get into it:

    At the very beginning when you come out of unconsciousness, if you lean way in towards the table at your left you can actually read the letters to home that are lying there. 

     You can read the covers of a few of the books lying around.  

     In a couple places in the game, you can see a field telephone apparently operated by battery (the size of a car battery). A 1916 version of the iPhone? 

     The Victrola at the beginning of the game plays a random song each time from a selection of songs of the period, apparently all having something to do with the first world war. 

     As mentioned, in the shack at the beginning, you can see the battlefield through a crack in the woodwork near the Victrola. 

     There are a couple of dead bodies at various points in the game. Have you spotted both of them? 

     If you play the experience standing, you can walk up to one of the sniper rifles at the edge of a trench and examine it closely. 

     After you talk to the second sergeant, if you go towards the tunnel and then look back, you will see that he strolls to a different spot on the boardwalk and looks around.  If you walk back towards him, you will not be able to pass him. Eventually, he will turn around and notice you and will motion for you a couple of times to go back to the tunnel. After that point, he will ignore you. 

     During the collapse at the end of the game, you'll not only see the collapse occurring in the tunnel, but if you turn around and look at the room you're in, you will see the ceiling caving in on that side as well!
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,887 Valuable Player
    Not sure why you keep comparing this game to Eve. Thats like comparing a kindergarden play to a Broadway Musical. Either you havent played Eve or you're lying on purpose.
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  • GenetixStudioGenetixStudio Posts: 770
    3Jane
    It was okay - after reading this post I decided to go ahead and try it out. Graphics are nothing special, but at the same time they worked and were effective enough to create immersion, all though the scale felt a bit off, everything was just a tiny bit to small. The ending was good - although the whole experience was pretty short. They could have really done more with this - and even charged a couple of dollars if so. Good start though, all in all I am glad I tried it - not something i'll likely ever use to show off VR though.
  • SadGamerDadSadGamerDad Posts: 337
    Trinity
    edited September 2016
    I found it short and pretty good, not of any replay value to me but would let a friend try it for their reaction.
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
     One reason I think I like it is that it's a re-creation of a historical period, rather than a fictional one.  One interesting use of VR I think in the future is as a Time Machine allowing you to visit any era in the past. (Someone has already re-created 1920s Berlin in second life.) Ten years from now you'll probably be able to experience any battle of World War I or World War II in virtual reality. 
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,887 Valuable Player
    I'm a bit torn about your take on this application, @cybernettr

    Half of me thoroughly enjoys and respects your analysis on the subject matter, story telling, and overall tone of this VR experience. But the other half is pretty much in shock at your comparison to advanced graphic engines.

    I agree with you that this game captures something truly glorious about a piece of human history that should not go unnoticed. But I do not agree that the visual textures are on par with anything leading edge.

    Nonetheless, preach it! :p
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  • It's not fair to compare VR games to real games? Are you sure there? 

    As a comparison here is a VR demo from more competent developers -> 



    It actually runs at a better framerate, has better texturing and better detail.

    Before you say "But it's closed in" here is Crytek's Robinson The Journey running on the significanty underpowered PS4 -> 



    Unreal Engine 4 has tools that allow optimisation for VR and allows developers to see how much memory/video/ram/CPU cycles are being used at a time and VR has only a very minute impact. 
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    Yeah, but are they free? Are they less accessible in terms of required specs??
  • Bavinck1331Bavinck1331 Posts: 50
    Hiro Protagonist
    One thing I haven't seen anyone mention (may have missed it) is whether it was realistic to you to the point that you flinched or ducked the first few times a shell came over. To my shame I found myself ducking my head a couple of times, despite knowing it is just a game. I was not afraid, I was however sufficiently immersed to make my brain consider ducking as a possible option
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    Yeah, part of what I liked was the interactivity of it. I played Seal Delivery Vehicle, which was also free and had good graphics, but he wasn't interactive. 
  • Yes, one is free and the other is using Crytek's AWS 3D method, the minimum requirements of which is a 750ti. The first is a free tech demo. The second is running on PS4 hardware which also runs in a free tech demo. Unreal Engine 4 also supports VR with a 2-5 frame difference per scene. 

    You are defending this thing like you made it yourself or are involved somehow. 
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
     You're attacking it like you have some kind of vendetta against it. 
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