Gear VR Jam 2015

The last three weeks I’ve been working on a project called Crime Watch, a cyber-punk adventure role playing game for the 2015 Oculus Gear VR Jam.

I’ve been told we’re crazy for trying to create it in Unreal 4, since it doesn’t have full tested support for the Samsung Gear VR, but I’ve been working on performance issues so that it runs acceptable on the mobile hardware.  What has been helping us so far is the timewarp feature which gives the illusion of a frame update every 16.2ms even when your software doesn’t have a frame to deliver to the framebuffer.  What this means is that your head movements will always update at 60 vsynched frames per second even when your game misses a frame.  It works surprisingly well even though we’re finding ourselves hitting up to 28ms frametime and still having smooth head tracking.

One way to make the timewarp feel better is to disable the smooth framerate feature, which tries to lock your fps to certain values. You don’t need this since the Gear VR TimeWarp will always make the display update at 60FPS, so even if you’re getting odd skipping frames, you wont notice it when you’re in a slow moving game like ours.

I’m in the last sprint to finish up our final milestone, and I’ll have more to post later.