October 20, 2016

Maximize VR for Performance and Streaming [TwitchCon 2016 Panel]

Maximize VR For Performance and Streaming TwitchCon 2016

For the complete list of panels, check out the main TwitchCon 2016 panel recap post.

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconfrankerz/v/92636123?t=06h13m36s
FrankerZ Theater Day Three
Kent Bye
Participants: Frank Soqui (INTEL), Todd Hooper (VREAL), Zac (HyperRPG)

What is happening in VR streaming right now?

  • People are taking the natural approach to streaming VR, they use the old way of streaming and try to make it work with VR.
  • Gamers are very enthusiastic about VR but there aren’t a lot of games right now and it’s hard to stream at the moment. There are high hardware requirements.
  • Twitch is all about interaction, it is hard to maintain this interaction with your chat when streaming VR games because you’re closed off.
  • VR game development right now is very focused on the single person, an audience is not included at all.
  • You need to have several people with you to be able to catch alerts, read chat etc to make sure you still stay interactive.

What is happening in VR streaming in the near future?

  • VR headsets at the moment are early versions. Expect to see many changes especially when it comes to performance.
  • Is expected to have just as big of an impact on gaming as smartphones had, but this impact did not come quick.
  • Gaming is leading the charge when it comes to pushing VR, but the technology is being used widely in many sectors.
  • Communication is going to change from 1 big text chat where everyone can talk to each other to getting smaller groups in the VR space where you can only interact directly with the people in your group. Communication with everyone else is going to take a step back a little to for instance hand gestures.
  • Get viewers to be able to interact with you in the VR space, instead of outside of it.

Hardware consideration for VR:

  • Right now it’s pretty GPU heavy, trying to move this to the CPU.
  • Streaming VR from a console seems to be unlikely because the current consoles are already at their limits.
  • 2 PC setups going to be the standard to stream VR because FPS drops in VR is a lot more noticeable than regular gaming and it’s noticeable at 90fps instead of 60.
  • There needs to be a certification to make sure the hardware you buy is ready for VR. It is important to make sure the first experience someone has with VR is a positive one. If it’s not they’re more likely to be put off.
  • Render extra cameras on a viewer’s PC instead of the streamer’s. Adds more points of view and takes the extra strain off of the streamer’s PC.
  • The upcoming years there are going to be a lot of new hardware upgrades coming out designed with VR in mind. Increasing performance and lowering prices.

What works well with VR and what does not?

  • Creative and simulation type games work well at the moment and don’t require a lot of work.
  • There is no competitive game for VR at all right now, there are games coming out with leaderboards so it is not too hard to make the next step to competitive gaming.
  • High motion games don’t work well for VR right now because of hardware limitations, lower FPS means people get sick watching quicker.
  • Allowing viewers to spectate in the VR world is requested a lot, DOTA 2 has made the first step and it’s expected that more games are going to be following. It allows viewers to be their own cameraman instead of leaving the spectating to someone else.
  • Mobile VR is not a priority right now because there are too many limiting factors like battery life.

There are several resources to talk with other streamers and developers about playing and streaming VR. Reddit is probably the easiest one to access for everyone but there are also Discord and Slack servers.

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