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Rain again, appologies.

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I just wrote this as a reply in the tech section, to a thread about rain effects. I appologise, (no not really) for starting a discussion on the subject with some thoughts. 

slight appologies to bring this rain subject back to the fore, but I've been thinking about what is fundimentally wrong with the rain graphic. 

as I may have said long ago here or on Steam forum  the rain effect is a  very clever detailed graphic and captures the reality of water on glass very well, and a credit to the graphics team, but I think now I realise why it doesnt work, either on a pancake screen or in VR. 

Lets first go to real life and rain. When driving in rain, you have a choice that our amazing eyes and brains can make. Either look at the screen and the rain drops and see nothing outside and ultimately have an accident, or, we humans are able to focus on the solid objects outside, the road, the kerbs, other vehichles  and hedges and very effectively blurr out the screen and rain between wipes of the wiper blades to the point it is almost unseen. It's some thing we do unconciously and very very effective at seeing where we are going, night or day, especially if you have a greese free screen and good blades. (Blades is something I'll come back to). 

Now back to the virtual world, the screen and the scenery beyond are in one and the same dimension, there isn't any physical 3D distance between them, there isn't a focal point beyond the screen and raindrops to look at, you can not blurr out the screen and see where you are going without blurring out the whole graphical image. I appreciate there are gamers who will praise the reality of the rain but it's not in the slightest bit real as it is. 

As a VR user I am unfortunately at a disadvantage to players using bonnet cam or any view that is outside of the cars' interior.  

So what am I asking to be done? Hmm, good question, what can be done at this stage in the developement cycle of  game?

Is it possible to have an adjustable  scale of diminishing rain effect on the screen? So players have the choice? Even to be able to have a setting to remove it entirely, while keeping wet grip levels. At least it is still a wet stage. I'm happy to keep dirt splashes and have to wipe them away. 

Can a "rain on screen plus wipers"  effect be added even to exterior camera views so the playing field is levelled (that'll cause an uproar for sure in the exterior camera users community). I kind of remember in Dirt Rlly that certain graphic setting levels actually did put rain dops on the bonnet and  bumper views. 

And so back to wipers, in my days of RL rallying, there were wiper blades made by PIAA these applied a coating of silicon to the glass, virtually removing the need to use the wipers in all but the worst conditions, at speed the water just slides off the screen, rain didn't  create huge view blocking drops either, unfortunately I can't buy and fit these superior wiper blades to my Dirt 2.0 rally cars, but the graphics team should really have taken into account that visibility in rain can be  hugely improved very simply in real life so why not in our virtual rally world? 

 

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It´s a real gamekiller in VR. A friend of mine stopped playing DR2 because of that issue. And I think he is not making advertising for the game. In other sims, which also included different wheathers like ACC or pCARS2, you can see the track very well, even in heavy rain!

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And the side windows are awful under rain conditions. The water just sticks to the windows and you cannot see anything on the sides.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/29/2020 at 7:47 AM, fillipfilloppe said:

Now back to the virtual world, the screen and the scenery beyond are in one and the same dimension, there isn't any physical 3D distance between them, there isn't a focal point beyond the screen and raindrops to look at, you can not blurr out the screen and see where you are going without blurring out the whole graphical image. I appreciate there are gamers who will praise the reality of the rain but it's not in the slightest bit real as it is. 

You do realise the stages are a built up self contained 3d worlds of their own, not a 2d sprite like in gaming years past?
Its harder to see the distence between the objects on a monitor, but it is a damn sight easier in VR do to so, as there is a far greater sense of depth. Because there is legitimate distence been the 3d objects that are shown on screen. Its a full 3d enviroment, and the objects are placed as such in the envroments.

This video below shows a very small snippet of them working on a track stage. Blink and you will miss it.
 

On 1/29/2020 at 7:47 AM, fillipfilloppe said:

As a VR user I am unfortunately at a disadvantage to players using bonnet cam or any view that is outside of the cars' interior.

I am a VR user as well, I have never, not once, felt at a disadvantage for that. If anything, I find it easier to drive in Dirt Rally and other racing games in VR. Better sense of scale, distence, and speed when compared to a monitor. This includes in heavy rain, heavy rain at night, and heavy snow.
 

You are only going to be at whatever disadvantage you allow yourself to be at. If you go into it thinking someone will do better than you because of what hardware they use, what view they use, or any other arbitrary reason. Then you will end up doing worse, you already lost, mainly because you just wont apply yourself to the best of your abilites through negative thinking. You are basically accepting defeat and blaming the game. I hate to be that person, but its true. A negative mindset does nothing but hamper you in a competative setting.

On 1/29/2020 at 7:47 AM, fillipfilloppe said:

Is it possible to have an adjustable  scale of diminishing rain effect on the screen? So players have the choice? Even to be able to have a setting to remove it entirely, while keeping wet grip levels. At least it is still a wet stage. I'm happy to keep dirt splashes and have to wipe them away. 

You can already remove the rain by lowering the graphical settings. You still get all the effects of a wet stage, without anything hitting the windscreen at all. But to be fair, that would defeat the entire purpose of rain in a racing game.

On 1/29/2020 at 7:47 AM, fillipfilloppe said:

Can a "rain on screen plus wipers"  effect be added even to exterior camera views so the playing field is levelled (that'll cause an uproar for sure in the exterior camera users community). I kind of remember in Dirt Rlly that certain graphic setting levels actually did put rain dops on the bonnet and  bumper views. 

Thats just plain daft. Ok, I admit it is easier for people in the exterier cam views to see whats going on in bad weather. But adding that sort of effect, its just daft. No matter which way you look at it, this is a game. People who choose to use that view should not be penalised for it.

On 1/29/2020 at 7:47 AM, fillipfilloppe said:

And so back to wipers, in my days of RL rallying, there were wiper blades made by PIAA these applied a coating of silicon to the glass, virtually removing the need to use the wipers in all but the worst conditions, at speed the water just slides off the screen, rain didn't  create huge view blocking drops either, unfortunately I can't buy and fit these superior wiper blades to my Dirt 2.0 rally cars, but the graphics team should really have taken into account that visibility in rain can be  hugely improved very simply in real life so why not in our virtual rally world? 

Rain should move along the glass better than it does, I agree. I have no idea why Codemasters didnt make that effect more prominant in DR2.0. It is there, but not to the level it probably should be. I think you are embellishing just how effective it all is in real life though.

Most of the time when rain pops up in DR2, in my experiance, it is heavy rain. But there are other settings for rain included in the game. Such as lite rain and showers. Heavy rain in the game, I will admit, you have no option but to use the wipers. Just as you should, its heavy rain afterall. But when the other options for rain are used, its absolutly possible to drive a stage without even using them at all, and it will show you the effects are better than you are giving Codemasters credit for. Not perfect by any means, but better.

Just to prove the point and show I am not talking out my rear.

One thing I will add however, I have specifically made sure DR2.0 runs at 90fps in VR by setting textures to low (really doesnt make any visual difference I can see, in VR or on a monitor; but does help with FPS), turning off crowds, turning off ground cover, and turning off multisampling. These settings in VR kill the frame rate. I also have the game set to windowed mode on the monitor, with a resolution of 1024x768. Every other setting is set to "high" on my end. I mention all this this for one specific reason, this game does not work well with reprojection (ASW on the Oculus Side of things). It makes it damn near impossible to see out the window in heavy rain, even with the wipers going full speed. It makes the game feel stuttery, it increases input lag also. Its just not a great experience at all.
So I would suggest you check your settings, and if possible, force reprojection off while playing Dirt Rally 2.0. That is again ASW for Oculus, and Motion Smoothing for SteamVR (latest release version of steamVR). And also make sure you have no supersampling on for Dirt Rally 2.0. SteamVR adds that automatically by raising the resolution based on computer hardware specs.

@Flens07 That last part is for you as well. I really advise you to make sure you are not running with any reprojection at all when playing Dirt Rally 2.0. Its a god awful experiance if you are, especially in the heavy rain. You system is more power then mine, according to your forum signiture. And you are on the valve index. So I have no idea if this is what is happening for you. But I would really check your FPS if possible while playing Dirt Rally 2.0.

My system specs, just incase anyone is wondering -
Intel core i7 6700k@4.2GHz
MSI GTX1080 Gaming X plus 8gb
16gb dual channel DDR4@3000MHz
Oculus Rift CV1 (also have a Rift S in my household)

Edited by Ialyrn

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