Ultimate space simulation software

 
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SpaceEngineer
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VR controls/UX suggestions

12 Jun 2019 06:03

As you probably know, the current version 0.990 is not well designed for VR. Basically, it have just regular SE movement controls, bound to VR controllers. Note also what tutorials are not designed to be played in VR. They are for the desktop mode. Before jumping to VR, you should be very well familiar with a basic controls. More than that, you should bind controls to you taste, and share your layout here! Or suggest completely different control scheme. How you would like to play SE in VR?

Not what the main problem is directly related with the main SE capability: a very vast distance and speed change. Google Earth VR have nice controls, but they are hardly applicable to SE. You have to change speed by orders of magnitude manually, because automatic speed will not work. It is possible to detect nearest star and decelerate flight speed, but this will be annoying if you want just fly forward through the galaxy. Or if you want to fly in a canyon: automatic speed change on approaching to the surface will be annoying.

What I plan to do:

- Attach side menus to controllers, or some equivalent of them.
- Show help bars near controller buttons with short description: "move forward", "go to" etc.

Suggest what do you think about UI and controls!
 
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Dr. Kaii
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VR controls/UX suggestions

12 Jun 2019 06:53

I personally think that a lot of users are going to be preferring to use gamepads over VR controllers simply because there are too many options, plus there is not much gameplay that requires "hands" yet in the simulation.

As a result, I would request that we don't neglect UI features that happen with no VR controllers. At the moment, I can't really suggest anything because it works very well, except one thing: I think we still need some sort of way to "pin" the Info of objects so they don't disappear after a set amount of seconds like they do in VR. 

With VR controllers, they could go and lock to the side of the controllers, but with an Xbox controller, where would they go? Maybe a little "pin" that can be clicked, like the side menus? 

Another feature that would really help would be button combos. Right now that's not possible for gamepad controllers so we are very limited to the number of actions we can bind. This is even worse with VR controllers with very few buttons, and wonky "gestures" etc. so if it could be used for those too, great!
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mrbean1112
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VR controls/UX suggestions

15 Jun 2019 09:44

I think you should take a look at how Universe Sandbox handles their controls.

It's been a while since I've played it, but from what I remember it was very easy to get to 1 or 2 menus, and then select what tool you want.

I think the movement works pretty well in the current build, but getting to the menus to search for objects/solar system menu is impossible in VR. 
 
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Dr. Kaii
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VR controls/UX suggestions

15 Jun 2019 15:07

I think lessons can be learned from Universe Sandbox, but some of them would be "what NOT to do". It has some good ideas, but it's a VERY wonky experience.
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jacrify
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VR controls/UX suggestions

22 Jun 2019 21:05

Hello. Feature request - please disable the "loading" spinner that shows on the right hand side of the screen when in VR mode. It renders over the top of the VR view and is immersion breaking. A workaround is to turn the UI to "off", but then one cannot select objects, see overlay info etc.

This software is the most incredible VR experience I've ever used. I'm using it with an X52 Hotas (took a long time to get the controls to a usable state), but it is amazing. Rotating around M82 with stereobase cranked up to a couple of lightyears is just beyond words. 

One other suggestion- have a settings toggle that allows pegging stereobase to speed range- as speed range increases, depth perception adjusts to compensate for the presumably larger scale. Note it should be pegged to range not actual velocity- you want to be able to halt in intersteller space and not lose depth.  I have my X52 set up with a throttle control, and a rocker switch to move the speed ranges up and down. In general if I'm in intergalactic space I have speed range up in kilo light years, and I generally have stereobase cranked right up at that point.
 
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SpaceEngineer
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VR controls/UX suggestions

23 Jun 2019 02:44

mrbean1112 wrote:
Source of the post I think the movement works pretty well in the current build, but getting to the menus to search for objects/solar system menu is impossible in VR. 

Opening the Solar system browser is bound to some controller button by default. Navigating it is easy: aim the ray to the small arrow buttons in the cells, and press trigger.
jacrify wrote:
Source of the post Hello. Feature request - please disable the "loading" spinner that shows on the right hand side of the screen when in VR mode. It renders over the top of the VR view and is immersion breaking. A workaround is to turn the UI to "off", but then one cannot select objects, see overlay info etc.

Done.
jacrify wrote:
Source of the post I'm using it with an X52 Hotas (took a long time to get the controls to a usable state), but it is amazing.

Please share your controls layout!
jacrify wrote:
Source of the post One other suggestion- have a settings toggle that allows pegging stereobase to speed range- as speed range increases, depth perception adjusts to compensate for the presumably larger scale. Note it should be pegged to range not actual velocity- you want to be able to halt in intersteller space and not lose depth.  I have my X52 set up with a throttle control, and a rocker switch to move the speed ranges up and down. In general if I'm in intergalactic space I have speed range up in kilo light years, and I generally have stereobase cranked right up at that point.

As you know, SE have an opposite feature - speed is linked to stereobase. Isn't this enough? Adding another toggle option will bake controls even more complex. In VR, all controls must be limited by that VR controllers allowing, additional options must be in UI only, and their amount must be as small as possible.
 
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Dr. Kaii
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VR controls/UX suggestions

23 Jun 2019 12:11

SpaceEngineer:

As you know, SE have an opposite feature - speed is linked to stereobase. Isn't this enough?

Yes I agree that's enough




As a note for the UX, there is no "Exit Game" in VR that I can find
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VR controls/UX suggestions

23 Jun 2019 13:50

You can exit through Steam/Oculus pause menu. Many games uses this.
 
paulfr
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VR controls/UX suggestions

26 Jun 2019 10:56

Hello A virtual keybord ?  its possible ?
 
Kerckhoffs
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VR controls/UX suggestions

28 Jun 2019 15:56

Hello,

First of all, thanks SpaceEngineer for your amazing work.

The side menus attached to the controllers would be nice, as all the controls will then be accessible. But, this still enforce the user to choose some favorite controls to be directly attached to the controller, and let the others in the side menus.

One alternative could be to be able to switch the controls mapping. For instance, I want to explore so I put my controller in "explore mode". Then now, I want to take some photos so I switch the controller in "photo mode". One button manages the switch, while the others have their functions depending on the controller mode. That would be useful to me.
 
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VR controls/UX suggestions

29 Jun 2019 03:47

Kerckhoffs wrote:
Source of the post One alternative could be to be able to switch the controls mapping. For instance, I want to explore so I put my controller in "explore mode". Then now, I want to take some photos so I switch the controller in "photo mode". One button manages the switch, while the others have their functions depending on the controller mode. That would be useful to me.

Good idea, thanks!
 
GeneticResearch
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VR controls/UX suggestions

18 Aug 2019 07:50

SpaceEngineer wrote:
What I plan to do:

- Attach side menus to controllers, or some equivalent of them.
- Show help bars near controller buttons with short description: "move forward", "go to" etc.

Suggest what do you think about UI and controls!

Attach side menus to controllers is a greatfull idea. You can fade in and fade out if we go with the controller on the left and right side on the screen. If we like to search for a specific object you can fade in a virtual keybord.
Have buy Space Engine yesterday for my new virtual reality experiance and i am sad because i didnt have much options which i have only in the flat desktop mode. I need the sidebars with all of their options and a virtual keybord to search for specific objects. Didnt use it without vr because after this experiance the flat screen looks like a small hole where i am try to looking through. It is horrible. Hope you can realize your idea.
 
galvedro
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VR controls/UX suggestions

31 Aug 2019 10:02

Hi!

I have been enjoying SE in VR for a few days now and managed to set it up to something I find rational and functional. I am quite happy with the experience, except for a few caveats that I'll comment on at the end.

Use Case:

I use SE sitting down in front of my computer, always facing forward. I can reach the keyboard and mouse and don't mind using them in addition to the Oculus Touch controllers when needed. I was a glider pilot and I am also very familiar with flight simulation. I am, so far, using only the planetarium and not the flight sim mode, but I do use it primarily in Aircraft nav mode and pretend I am in control of a spacecraft. At some point I will configure my HOTAS Cougar for SE but, for now, I am using the Oculus Touch controllers.

My settings in the config file:

VRInterfaceCopies - 1
Mirroring the UI on my back does not serve a purpose when I'm always facing forward. Having only one copy of the UI at the front gives me a frame of reference, sort of marking the front of the cockpit.

VRMoveDirection - 0
To me, it is unnatural and disorienting that the move and turn commands you can map to the controllers work in relation to where I am looking (Aircraft mode) or to where the Touch Controller is pointing (Spacecraft mode). I was very happy to find this to be configurable.

Controller[1,2]ModelColor - (0.5 0.5 0.5 0)
Seeing the controllers in the virtual space does not serve a purpose for me, so I made them fully transparent.

HardwareCursor - false
The mouse cursor does not seem to show up every time it should in my system, making UI interaction a bit clumsy. Letting SE render it seems to be more reliable.

Controller1RayColor - (1 0 0 0) - Bug?
I wanted to get rid of the red laser beam on the left controller. This option should do the trick, but it doesn't. Looks like a bug to me. It does affect the velocity vector (which I'd like to keep) but does not affect the laser.

Left Touch Controller Mappings (Common & Camera):

Menu - Main Menu
Trigger - Move Forward
Grip - Move Back
X - Next velocity
Y - Previous velocity
Stick Press - Go to object
Stick Up - Move down (I invert these so they work like a helicopter's collective)
Stick Down - Move up
Stick Left - Turn CCW
Stick Right - Turn CW

Right Touch Controller Mappings (Common & Camera):

Trigger - Solar System Browser (selection)
Grip - Solar System Browser (current position)
A - Universe Map (current position)
B - Interface Interaction / Select Object
Stick Press - Center Object
Touch Pad - Stop Rotation
Stick Up - Turn Down / Interface Scroll Up (Aircraft stick style)
Stick Down - Turn Up / Interface Scroll Down
Stick Left - Turn Left
Stick Right - Turn Right

For both controllers, Turn Sensitivity - 0.2

For the map/chart context I am, similarly using the Thumbstick to orbit the map:

Left Stick Press - Go to object
Left Stick Up - Move forward
Left Stick Down - Move back
Left Stick Left - Turn CW
Left Stick Right - Turn CCW
Y - Exploration Mode
X - Procedural objects

Right Stick Press - Center Object
Right Stick Up - Turn Up
Right Stick Down - Turn Down
Right Stick Left - Turn Left
Right Stick Right - Turn Right
B - Select Object
A - System Architecture

Problems I found so far:

I cannot select objects in the Universe Browser. It is impossible for me to know which object will be selected when, or if something will be selected at all. In VR, the obvious solution to the parallax problem is to take advantage of the Touch controllers, by letting the player reach out for the target object and "touch it" to select it.

The UI layout is not working too well. The lower resolution of the VR headset makes some toolbars overlap (mainly spacecraft controls). It is sometimes difficult to know where the mouse pointer is which, in turn, makes the autohide function clumsy. Also, the framing arrangement that works well for flat screens feels strange in VR. What I think would work well for me without redesigning the interface is to lay all the toolbars flat, together, forming sort of a keyboard in front of the player, tilted back some 50º-60º so it actually looks like a control desk (like the toolbar in Oculus Home, for example), and give it a controller binding to toggle it visible/hidden at will.

The red raygun is an annoyance unless you are using the "accelerate/move towards where I am pointing" mode. It would be great if it didn't show in other modes.

"Center Object" and "Stop Motion" take effect instantly instead of showing some innerce like "Stop Rotation" does. This makes them uncomfortable to use in VR, specially "Stop Motion". Try it at high speed and low altitude for a good "whoaah" experience :shock:.

I hope this feedback helps! And thank you so much for this truly marvelous piece of software!
 
galvedro
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VR controls/UX suggestions

03 Sep 2019 08:24

I found that it is possible to rearrange the UI by using scripts, and I have implemented what I suggested above: pack most UI buttons into a control panel of sorts. This works well for me, solving the unstable mouse interaction with the auto-hiding and overlapping toolbars.

scr00006.jpg


This is a script that sets my VR "cockpit". It assumes the UI is configured to a resolution of 1200 (I believe it's the default). I typically fly with the Camera toolbar hidden, but I added it here for those who use it.

// Rearranges SE's UI into a control panel that is more comfortable to use in VR
// Author: Anton G. Alvedro (galvedro)

Set ShowVelocityVector true
Set EnableLensFlares   false
Set EnableLensGhosts   false
Set VRInterfaceCopies  1
Set VRMoveDirection    0

ShowDialog    "Main toolbar"
ShowDialog    "Filters toolbar"
ShowDialog    "Navigation toolbar"
ShowDialog    "Camera toolbar"

// NAVIGATION TOOLBAR

SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar" { WinColor (0,0,0,0) PosPix (368,966) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Pin" { PosPix (2000,2000) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Decrease velocity" { PosPix (2000,2000) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Increase velocity" { PosPix (2000,2000) }

SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Free mode" { PosPix (240,36) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Spacecraft mode" { PosPix (272,36) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Aircraft mode" { PosPix (304,36) }

SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Go to object" { PosPix (356,36) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Land on object" { PosPix (388,36) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Center object" { PosPix (420,36) }
SetWidgetStyle "Navigation toolbar|Track object" { PosPix (452,36) }

// FILTERS

SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar" { WinColor (0,0,0,0) PosPix (0,0) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Pin" { PosPix (2000,2000) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Filter settings" { PosPix (2000,2000) }

SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Spacecraft#plural" { PosPix (352,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Galaxies" { PosPix (384,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Stars" { PosPix (416,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Clusters" { PosPix (448,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Nebulae" { PosPix (480,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Planets" { PosPix (512,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Comet tails" { PosPix (544,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Atmospheres" { PosPix (576,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Clouds" { PosPix (608,1040) }

SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Water" { PosPix (640,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Aurora" { PosPix (672,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Constellations" { PosPix (704,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Orbits" { PosPix (736,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Markers" { PosPix (768,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Labels" { PosPix (800,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Selection pointer" { PosPix (832,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Velocity vector" { PosPix (864,1040) }
SetWidgetStyle "Filters toolbar|Celestial grids" { PosPix (896,1040) }

// MAIN TOOLBAR

SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar" { WinColor (0,0,0,0) PosPix (0,0) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Pin" { PosPix (2000,2000) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Display" { PosPix (2000,2000) }

SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Main menu" { PosPix (464,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Wiki" { PosPix (496,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Universe map" { PosPix (528,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Solar system browser" { PosPix (560,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Solar system chart" { PosPix (592,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Star browser" { PosPix (624,1072) }

SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Find object" { PosPix (656,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Spacecraft manager" { PosPix (688,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Journey log" { PosPix (720,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Locations" { PosPix (752,1072) }
SetWidgetStyle "Main toolbar|Settings" { PosPix (784,1072) }

// CAMERA TOOLBAR

SetWidgetStyle "Camera toolbar" { WinColor (0,0,0,0) PosPix (430,1104) }

SetWidgetStyle "Camera toolbar|Pin" { PosPix (2000,2000) }
SetWidgetStyle "Camera toolbar|Camera settings" { PosPix (2000,2000) }

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