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Morrowrift - Morrowind VR (CV1/1.3 alpha! v. 3.0.2)

Level 4
6/6/16 - I finally rewrote the OP... editing this literally gave me a migraine but it's finally cleaned up! If you want to look at the old one for some reason, I archived it here
*ahem* anyway.

- Tested with Disk (GOTY) and Steam copies-- should theoretically work with other versions like the GOG version but this is untested (if someone can confirm that it works I'll remove this disclaimer)

This is a program that hooks into Morrowind + MGE 3.8.0 and, with certain settings disabled, adds fully playable (except character creation) support for the Oculus Rift.
This is different from configurations for vireio and vorpx because it actually decouples the view from the menu and draws the menu as a 3D projection, meaning you can look around separately from where you're aiming and lean forward to zoom in on game text, and it automatically levels your view pitch so you can play it standing up without getting dizzy.
It's written from scratch in C, so there are no dependencies other than Morrowind + MGE 3.8.0 and the Oculus Runtimes.
Here's a badly recorded gameplay video showing off the features (and bugs) in the already-out-of-date version 3.0 (one of the bugs in the video is already fixed!)
(NOTE: if somebody with a decent GPU and recording program wants to take a video of their game window running the latest version of Morrowrift, I'll put it here-- right now all my videos are laggy and ugly because my GPU is old and I don't know how to use OBS)

WHY 3.x?
You might be wondering how this is version 3 when it's so basic... short answer: this one is (theoretically) way more stable and optimized than before due to it using an entirely different structure and coding scheme. Long answer: the first one was DK1 only and was a direct fork of MGE, meaning you had to actually replace MGE with my DLL. Version 2 added DK2 support, and was an extra layer on top of MGE that worked the same way-- that is, by pretending to be DirectX. This version is a standalone program that injects a DLL directly into Morrowind much like VorpX or Vireio, except this program is specifically made for Morrowind/MGE and doesn't have any other dependencies.

There are still a multitude of bugs present in this version, some of which were even fixed in an older version, but as I've abstracted the code more and more in an attempt to make my edits more portable to other games, certain things got harder to fix. Here's a list of all known bugs that I can think of right now:

  • Overlay ZOrder Bug - Any game overlays (or at least steam) come up behind the main menu or HUD. If you're playing with a steam controller and you can't move the mouse on the main menu, try pressing Shift+Tab to see if you accidentally invisibly opened the steam overlay. Luckily it's completely usable in-game since the menu is transparent there.
  • Native Aspect Loss - The game is currently forced into a Rift-shaped aspect ratio, which applies to in-game menus too. I'd like it to obey the game's starting aspect ratio when it comes to drawing in-game menus eventually but that might not be possible if I want the mirror window to show both viewports correctly.
  • Race Selection Bug - The race selection menu is effectively unusable-- I recommend creating your character outside of VR mode and then running Morrowrift afterward and loading a save.
  • NPC Shadow Bug - You have to set Real-Time Shadows to None in-game or else NPC's will flicker like a banned pokemon episode if you're not staring straight at them. I think they use their own clipping planes and I'll have to locate those to transform them.
  • Weapon Clipping - Weapon/hand models have messed up clipping. Probably a similar cause as above.
  • Water Clipping - Water sometimes disappears when you're not aiming at it, and also looks pretty terrible with reflections and shaders turned off which is still required for the hack to work. Also, if you have Pixel Shaders turned on, water reflections don't look right and sometimes draws twice with incorrect headtracking.
  • Sky Movement - Positional headtracking affects clouds and stuff in the sky, which isn't really that big of a deal but looks stupid and can be a bit disorienting if you try to breakdance ingame (or anything else requiring a lot of positional movement). Also, the sun is rotated based on player aim instead of camera position.
  • Loading Freeze - Since the game renders the progress bar during frozen loading screens, the background freezes but still moves with your head which feels really weird. I honestly have no idea how to fix this.
  • Tracking Asymptotes - If you're looking straight up or down, the headtracking gets pretty weird and overdoes roll. This is because of some really old code I wrote back when I didn't understand quaternions, I'll fix it eventually.
  • Elusive Crosshair - The in-game crosshair is hard to see on most backgrounds, and since headtracking is decoupled from the menu it's easy to lose it. In the future I'll probably add a custom crosshair that renders on top of it and is easier to see.
  • Annoying Menu Placement - Not exactly a bug but a side effect of view auto-levelling still transforming the menu so the crosshair lines up correctly: if you're trying to loot something on the ground the menu will come up down there, which is a pain to read or use and also suffers from the trackign asymptote bug. In the future I'll probably fix this by leaving the game menu level and only transforming the aforementioned extra crosshair and weapon model based on in-game aim. I'm also planning on implementing a system eventually where recentering the view actually moves the crosshair to where you're looking, instead of the other way around, which will make it easier to find it.

Even aside from all that, I'm not 100% sure how well this will run on varying systems, so until a few people test it and confirm that it works, it'll be an alpha. Once enough people are able to run it (which may entail some bugfixing) and I improve the launcher a bit, I'll call it a Beta again.

You can download 3.0.2 Here-- Google was yelling at me for uploading an EXE or something so I had to encrypt it so it wouldn't try to scan it. The password is simply "uh" because that was my reaction to Google taking my first upload down. (Just ask this scientician)

If you have a DK2 and you'd rather run the old unstable 0.8 version for some reason, you can still get it Here. There are instructions for using it somewhere in this old archived post.

I recommend starting with vanilla morrowind (goty is fine) since I don't know how different mods (especially MGE and MWSE mods) will affect this. Once you've got it working you can start adding things in and making sure they don't break it.
The first thing you'll need to do is install and set up MGE 3.8.0.
Eventually I want to try to add support for MGE XE and some of the more popular shader mods, but that's a long way off.
Make sure your game has this message in the top left corner before proceeding.
If you're running the Steam copy of the game you'll need to set Morrowind.exe, Morrowind Launcher.exe, and MGEgui.exe to all run as Administrator before this will work.
Next, since this version is still a bit finicky, you have to make sure you run it with the right settings or it will probably just sit there and not draw anything, or render everything totally wrong. Unless you want your game to look that way (or like nothing), you'll need to disable the following MGE features in MGEgui:

  • Distant Land
  • Anti-Aliasing
  • Probably any mods adding shaders

I'm working on getting these features supported but it's very very difficult to do unless I actually modify MGE, and I'm trying to avoid doing that in this version in anticipation of someday retrofitting other games (yes, including skyrim) that don't have open source graphics extenders that I can just rewrite. That's the only reason the ancient DK1 beta version seen on my youtube channel had Distant Land-- I actually modified MGE to add support for it.
If the font size is too small for you, you can choose a lower resolution like 1024x768 and the in-game text will be bigger, but you may get extra aliasing if you do that. Some resolutions render incorrectly right now though like 1600x960.

Just make sure Morrowrift.exe and Morrowrift.dll are in the folder with Morrowind, and run Morrowrift.exe (not Morrowind or Morrowind Launcher). If you're running a Steam copy of the game, you need to make sure Morrowrift.exe is set to Run as Administrator.
If you need the Steam Overlay for any reason (for instance if you use a Steam Controller) You should be able to add Morrowrift.exe to steam as a non-steam game too and still have steam inject its overlay, and if you want to do it with an actual Steam copy of the game you may have to Steam itself as Administrator before it will let you do this (and you still have to add Morrowrift as a non-steam game and run it that way). This may not work for everyone but I was able to run both steam and non-steam copies of Morrowind with Rift support and Overlay support simultaneously.
One caveat with the Steam Overlay though-- for some reason it draws underneath the Morrowind menu right now, so if you accidentally open it on the main menu or during a cinematic, you won't be able to see it. If you can't move the mouse on the main menu try hitting Shift+Tab and see if steam overlay was open invisibly behind the menu.

If you run Morrowrift.exe with -nolevel you can disable the auto pitch levelling, but I don't really recommend it since it can make you dizzy. However if you absolutely cannot stand the menu moving up and down all the time when you aim independent of your head position, this feature can be disabled.

This is currently the only command line argument but I'll probably add more options as time goes on, depending on what needs to be customized.

If you love my project and want to throw in some motivation for me to continue to add new features, new hardware support, and maybe even new games someday, you could make a Paypal Donation and give me a great excuse to work on this project instead of other stuff ๐Ÿ˜›

First things first, I need to fix bugs. If I can get distant land, anti-aliasing, shaders, and MGE XE working well, I'll consider it a major, major victory. Once I have at least MGE working perfectly I may also try to tackle Oblivion and Skyrim support alongside of MGE XE, since they'll have similar shader setups. MGE XE has the benefit of being open source so I can actually look directly at how it works, which may help me structure the code so it works with newer games.
As a side goal, I'd also like to implement SteamVR support instead of just Oculus support to my codebase. Right now I'm saving up for a GTX 1070 and HTC Vive so I can do this, so that's probably what any donation money will go towards. My current GPU is an old GTX 770 which can barely even run things on the DK2, so if I'm going to get a Vive which has no Async Timewarp I'll definitely need a better GPU to go with it.
If I do get a Vive, another pie in the sky goal would be to hack the game so much that your hands and weapon are drawn based on motion controls, and one of the four weapon moves is performed depending on how you move your hands. This would be so insanely awesome I'm kind of afraid to even mention that I'm planning to try it, since it's probably nearly impossible, but hey, I can dream.
298 REPLIES 298

Level 4
This thread is the only place for updates currently, but the beta dll should work just fine and allow you to play the entire game comfortably-- main downsides are the crosshair fov bug and the fact that you have to turn off shadows and water reflections. The fps could be better in certain places too, and there's only one control scheme currently (headtracking deviates from the normal game view, mouse is not locked and cursor aim is not affected). The new wrapper will address these issues and also support more games, but I'm not able to work on it as often as I'd like due to IRL things going on at the moment. I will keep posting updates in this thread, and once the wrapper supports more games then I'll make a new thread and website for it.

Decided how I'm going to do the profile system. When right shift is held, a transparent overlay will appear on-screen giving numbered options for changing settings, and you can press the number keys while holding right shift to make a choice. The overlay will actually be readable inside the rift too-- I'm hoping you'll be able to make a game rift-compatible while wearing the rift, starting out with nothing but drawing the backbuffer on both eyes properly distorted, and ending up with full headtracking, projected hud/menus, stereo, and wide fov. Of course, once you have a game profile set up with all the correct hacks and everything, you never need to do it again and can even send it to other people so they don't need to set it up manually either.

Level 3
Wow, looks incredible. Cannot wait.

Level 4
Here's a picture of the WIP interface to the new DLL -- it's not much right now but you can see how it uses a non-distorted game window with a rift version on the extended screen, and how it properly rotates menus now instead of distorting the background and only rotating the text. I was holding right shift while I took the picture, which opens the hacker tool (currently nonfunctional but I'm working on it). "Scan Matrices" will show you a list of matrices used to draw the frame, and allow you to classify them as hud matrices and stuff. Similar options will exist for Vertex Shader floats so you can identify matrices that go into those and transform them as needed, etc. Don't worry though, you won't have to do any of this with Morrowind since I'll have a profile already prepared for it.

Level 2
Hello, good work, i really love morrowind, it is my best game ever and whole TES serie. I hope all will go well and do not give up. I keep my fingers crossed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Level 2
Please don't give up! This looks amazing!

Level 4
Just got the manual selection of HUD matrices working. Progress is going slow because of finals and everything, but it should pick up in a few weeks.

Level 4
Sorry for the long delay. When I'm the last person to have posted anything, I generally wait for someone else to post before I post again unless I have major progress to report. I've been getting a few PM's asking about it (not sure why people don't just post in the thread and ask, but whatever) so I thought I might as well post about the current status of my wrapper.
Basically, I was trying before to spoof Direct3D9 calls into Direct3D9Ex calls, which allows texture sharing between the monitor and the rift, and allows multithreaded headtracking even when the game isn't rendering as fast as it should. As it turns out, 90% of games hate this and I can't for the life of me figure out why-- all they do is just stop or not even start, no error messages, etc, nothing to debug. I've been battling this for about a month-- so far the only games I've been able to do this with successfully are Morrowind and Audiosurf... so I've decided to just take that out and make it an optional feature sometime in the future. So as soon as I get the code cleaned up a bit and finally have Skyrim drawing in two oculus eye views, then I'll work on stereo separation and fov hacking and that sort of stuff and then it will be able to replace the beta dll, and then I'll continue adding features so more games can be supported, etc.

Level 2
Don`t give up. You`re doing good and we`re all waiting to see how it goes.

Level 2
I just stumbled onto this thread, and I'm so glad I did! superllama, It's really appreciated all the hard work you're putting in. Morrowind is such a favorite of a lot of people, it will be awesome to play on the rift, ESPECIALLY with stereo separation. Please keep up the good work ๐Ÿ˜„

Level 2
Great to hear you're still working with it.

Any news about the disable of vertical mouse movement in Morrowind? It works now well enough when turning the vertical sensitivity to minimum and horizontal to maximum, but a real fix would be great.
And one other thing would be that resetting the view with Pause/Break centers everything. Wouldn't it be better if it resets just the horizontal drifting?