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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Here's a badly recorded gameplay video showing off the features (and bugs) in the already-out-of-date version 3.0 (one of the bugs in the video is already fixed!)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 πŸ˜›

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.
299 REPLIES 299

Level 2
Oh my god, you might actually be my hero for starting to work on this. Morrowind is my all time favourite game.
Just had the biggest shit eating grin upon reading this post!

Level 3
This is great llama!!!!!
Backer "Have faith." -Palmer Luckey

Level 2
brilliant work, you have mad skills and determination :ugeek:
GA-Z97X-gaming gt; i5-4670k; Nvidia780Ti; 16GB PC3-17066; win7-64 bit; DK2

Level 2
Cool, inventory screen looks very nice!
How's the performance? I managed to get Morrowind work with Tridef, but to get 60fps you need to change the view distance (fog) to minimum. Also any MGE shaders or distant lands doesn't work. And the health/stamina/magicka bars and minimap is out of your vision.

Level 4
So far the fps has been near perfect, but I haven't added stereo rendering yet so I'm sure it'll get slower unfortunately. I'm doing what I can to optimize it though. The main issue I'm tackling with this is the whole menu issue where, as you said, the hud is out of your normal field of vision, plus since I'm hooking MGE itself I'll make sure distant land works. The approach taken by tridef and friends is to translate head movement into mouse movement, where mine is adding the head movement on top of what was already there. I almost would have not made this if it weren't for the fact that tridef isn't free-- I couldn't make it work with perception so I just decided to tackle a true VR fork, and I'm glad I did because now that the secrets of the frustum have been exposed, having the menu be affected by headtracking should work nicely.

Level 2
you are my hero

Level 4
Quick update-- spent the whole day mostly trying to lay the foundation for stereo rendering, and finally now at 1AM I've managed to get a left-eye viewport rendering the game exactly as it should inside my rift, including distortion correction and FOV. If I close my right eye, it feels like it's a real rift application, lol. Still working out some bugs, plus there is some fairly bad aliasing on the menus that I kinda want to fix with my pixel shader, but other than that it works and should be ready for the right eye to be added in by overriding each draw call. It's starting to get to the point where MGE is more of a hassle than a help and I almost wish I was doing this from scratch with vanilla morrowind now, but I'm definitely not going to quit until every feature of MGE works to some extent inside the rift. I did fix the player's picture in the inventory as well as the map.

That's right, the game now supports pirate mode. Not recommended for people with two eyes just yet.

Level 2
Great work so far, keep it up!

Can't wait to see where this goes

Level 4
Stereo support works now! Also, the project has been renamed to Morrowrift, since the title "Morrowind VR" might imply it supports other HMD's and I never intended to support anything but the rift. I also added the ability to recenter the screen by pressing the Pause/Break key (my laptop doesn't have scroll lock and I'll bet a lot of other ones don't either, otherwise I would have used that). The way my headtracking works, you could technically play the game laying down with forward being the ceiling, since it doesn't convert to pitch/yaw/roll until after applying the recorded inverse quaternion. Headtracking gets slightly weird when aiming up or down ingame, but it's something you get used to-- later on I'll probably edit MGE's dinput hack to add a customizable keyhole feature.

Oddly enough it was very easy to get the right eye working for all the vanilla features since Morrowind seems to only use two draw calls (DrawPrimitive and DrawIndexedPrimitive) for everything it draws. It'll be much harder to support everything MGE does since it uses the actual D3D9 device and not its own fake D3D8 one which I modified, but since I have its entire source there's technically nothing that's completely impossible, it's just a matter of taking the time and changing things that need to be changed.

This time I've got a video instead of screenshots, so you can see how everything works and how smoothly it runs. I just walked around a few cities and did random stuff, but I didn't go into any buildings since that triggers the blinking frustum bug that I haven't managed to fix yet.

Make sure you watch in 720p if you're going to try and watch it on your rift-- otherwise the text isn't readable. If you still can't read the text, it's probably because of youtube's compression -- it was readable when I was playing it.

before you mention them I thought I'd list a few obvious bugs...
Bugs seen in this video
- the savegame picture is blank-- that's probably something that was broken when I saved it but I think it's fixed now.
- loading screens are still kind of weird-- there's some trouble with the main menu background and loading screen warping oddly around in response to head movements, plus the black loading screen doesn't cover the whole field of vision and leaves trails near the bottom since it wasn't meant to move while it was loading.
- there are holes in the player's arm and stuff-- this is something that obviously needs to be fixed by an art mod, not by my code. I'm guessing some sort of full-body rendering mod might need to be developed to fix it but for now it's not that big of a deal.
- screen quads like the sunflare, the red "you've been hit" border, and the blackout when resting are rotated when they shouldn't be-- could be hard to fix, could be easy. I'll have to see how easy it is to distinguish between a draw call for one of these screenquads and one for menus, which do need to be rotated.
- because the menu is rendered at a different FOV than the world in order to zoom in and make the text readable, the onscreen crosshair becomes disconnected from its proper in-world location, and it can be difficult to position the cursor on small objects like gold coins.-- this will probably have to be fixed by detecting the actual crosshair draw call itself and applying a special transform to it that syncs it with the world headtracking fov instead of the menu fov.