XWA VR Issues

Here you can find help for how to best run and setup your XWA VR experience.
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XWA VR Issues

DrFortran
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:16 am

Post by DrFortran » Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am

Dear Devs



A big thanks to whoever was involved in making this dream of mine come true. I remember back in 1994, sleepover at my girlfriends place in high school, playing x-wing at night at their computer (386 I believe?). Resolution was horrible, and I had no audio. Albeit, it was amazing; and x-wing alliance a few years later was a blast. To be able to experience it again, however in VR with updated graphics, is simply amazing.

I'm having a few minor issues, that I hope that someone could be able to help me out with.

System:
RTX 3080 (small impact on this game though)
i7 10700KF
Valve Index VR HMD
32 GB Dual Channel
X52 HOTAS Pro
SteamVR

Benchmark tool:
fpsVR (primarily CPU frame-timing statistics)

I use fpsVR to ensure that frame timing (CPU/GPU)) never exceeds the limit for a given HMD frequency (in some cases I need to look at the FPS instead since it may drop even though frame timing is in the safe area). To further explore things, I use the index HMD at frequencies from 60 Hz to 144 Hz. None of the issues below are related to HMD frequency.

Installation order
-XWAU2020
-XWAU2020update_v4.0
-EffectsByBlueMax_beta_v2021-05-18


Issues
- Cockpit jitter. This is when the cockpit is not stationary when the head is stationary. This only happens in VR, and it is more obvious the closer you are to the instrument panel. I use performance friendly settings, i.e., no cockpit shadows, deferred shading, no additional laser lights etc. I have tried just about anything, especially the items found in this forum, e.g., active / dynamic cockpit on and off, cockpit inertia, etc. However, when I keep my head steady there is always a small annoying jitter to the cockpit.

- Ship box jitter. Allied and enemy star fighers have a square box surrounding them (white or yellow), making it easier to distinguish them against the background. It has a tendancy to jitter, i.e., jumping around a lot. Additionally, the box is very big and thick. Is it possible to customize the box?

- Background jitter. I define the backdrop and star density as background. The background jitter occurs when you are observing the background at certain angles with respect to the game engine 0,0,0 coordinates. Typically it happens when aligned with the galaxy plane (the milky way band looking thing). It might be most noticeable when running the campaign.

- Joystick movement is funny. As an example, I am not able to fly towards the bright star, i.e., it forces me in another direction, when I'm running a deep space skirmish. This is also true if I disable the procedurally generated stars in the effects installer.

- hook_d3d.cfg. I didn't have this file. Downloaded it using the hooks setup. No difference I would say.

- What happened to the x-wing configuration options, e.g., dark sabre model (saw it in a youtube tutorial)?

- The YT-1300 cockpit looks very dull when compared to some of the star fighters. Any dynamic cockpit available?



Cheers / Fortran

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m0rgg
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Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:33 pm

Post by m0rgg » Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:37 am

Hi DrFortran,

I'm not a dev, but I can try to answer.
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am

Benchmark tool:
fpsVR (primarily CPU frame-timing statistics)

I use fpsVR to ensure that frame timing (CPU/GPU)) never exceeds the limit for a given HMD frequency (in some cases I need to look at the FPS instead since it may drop even though frame timing is in the safe area). To further explore things, I use the index HMD at frequencies from 60 Hz to 144 Hz. None of the issues below are related to HMD frequency.
Unfortunately most of the performance issues in VR cannot be completely solved by changing options. Due to the engine rendering pipeline being hooked to implement effects and VR, the control over what the original exe is actually doing is limited. This means that it's not possible to adjust the timing of the VR runtime calls as precisely as it's usually needed to have a perfectly smooth experience.
Hopefully there will be improvements on VR performance in the future, but there are some native engine slowdowns that may never be solved (at least without a full reverse engineering of the engine and even more aggressive modification/hooking).
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am
Issues
- Cockpit jitter. This is when the cockpit is not stationary when the head is stationary. This only happens in VR, and it is more obvious the closer you are to the instrument panel. I use performance friendly settings, i.e., no cockpit shadows, deferred shading, no additional laser lights etc. I have tried just about anything, especially the items found in this forum, e.g., active / dynamic cockpit on and off, cockpit inertia, etc. However, when I keep my head steady there is always a small annoying jitter to the cockpit.
This is a known issue, still under investigation but the root cause still unknown. It may have to do with arithmetic precision limits in the engine or how the camera position is hacked into the game engine.
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am
- Ship box jitter. Allied and enemy star fighers have a square box surrounding them (white or yellow), making it easier to distinguish them against the background. It has a tendancy to jitter, i.e., jumping around a lot. Additionally, the box is very big and thick. Is it possible to customize the box?
I've also noticed this, but I believe the root cause is probably the same as the previous one.
To my knowledge it's not possible to configure the brackets' size or weight without changing the code.
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am

- Background jitter. I define the backdrop and star density as background. The background jitter occurs when you are observing the background at certain angles with respect to the game engine 0,0,0 coordinates. Typically it happens when aligned with the galaxy plane (the milky way band looking thing). It might be most noticeable when running the campaign.
I haven't noticed or analyzed this, but hopefully it's also related with the above.
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am

- Joystick movement is funny. As an example, I am not able to fly towards the bright star, i.e., it forces me in another direction, when I'm running a deep space skirmish. This is also true if I disable the procedurally generated stars in the effects installer.
This is a known limitation of the engine. You cannot fly towards (0,0,0), where the star is usually located.
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am
- hook_d3d.cfg. I didn't have this file. Downloaded it using the hooks setup. No difference I would say.
There are 2 ways to configure hooks: hook-specific .cfg and global hooks.ini file. You may have had the .ini only. If I'm not mistaken the .cfg takes precedence now (this has changed over time)
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am

- What happened to the x-wing configuration options, e.g., dark sabre model (saw it in a youtube tutorial)?
In the latest version of XWAU there is only one model for XWing. Darksaber's models are not included anymore, I believe (his was a non-friendly departure from the project, to say the least).
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am
- The YT-1300 cockpit looks very dull when compared to some of the star fighters. Any dynamic cockpit available?
Nope. Not yet at least. Only Starfighter DC's.

Cheers.

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blue_max
XWAU Member
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:12 am

Post by blue_max » Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:55 pm

m0rgg already answered most of your questions (thanks m0rgg!), but I wanted to add a few more details.
DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:40 am
- Cockpit jitter. This is when the cockpit is not stationary when the head is stationary. This only happens in VR, and it is more obvious the closer you are to the instrument panel.
There's two more things you can try:

* Reduce your resolution (I play at 960x1080 pixels per eye) that'll improve the performance of the game. Some users have reported this removes the jitters as well.
* Check that your tracking stations are facing towards you. Someone reported that one of their stations was facing the user, but the other wasn't. Readjusting the stations so that both faced the user seemed to help a lot.
- Ship box jitter. Allied and enemy star fighers have a square box surrounding them (white or yellow), making it easier to distinguish them against the background. It has a tendancy to jitter, i.e., jumping around a lot. Additionally, the box is very big and thick. Is it possible to customize the box?
It might be possible to customize the thickness. I'll take a look.
- Background jitter. I define the backdrop and star density as background.
This is a limitation of the engine, we don't know how to fix this yet.

DrFortran
Recruit
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:16 am

Post by DrFortran » Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:47 pm

Dear m0rgg and blue_max

Thank you for replying :)

I have tested both the resolution and the light house positioning. None of them worked, albeit the jitter might have been reduced if both light houses are observing the HMD (difficult to determine). With respect to resolution, I am not able to run at 960x1080. Instead I tested 944x1048 and 988x1096. This corresponds to a super sampling ratio of about 23% for the valve index. I also noted that at this resolution it is exceptionally blurry, e.g., difficult to interpret information in the target MFD.



Cheers / Fortran

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blue_max
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:12 am

Post by blue_max » Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:57 pm

DrFortran wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:47 pm
I have tested both the resolution and the light house positioning. None of them worked, albeit the jitter might have been reduced if both light houses are observing the HMD (difficult to determine).
My understanding is that the light houses must face towards the HMD, yes.
With respect to resolution, I am not able to run at 960x1080. Instead I tested 944x1048 and 988x1096. This corresponds to a super sampling ratio of about 23% for the valve index. I also noted that at this resolution it is exceptionally blurry, e.g., difficult to interpret information in the target MFD.
These resolutions are close enough, that should tell you if further performance enhancements will help. Unfortunately, it looks like in your case it won't. So, it looks like your only option for now is to try with the light houses again while we try to figure out how to fix this. I'm sorry.

At that resolution it's hard to read text, yes, but this was meant to check where the jittering comes from. Most users run at slightly higher resolutions.

silvertip
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Post by silvertip » Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:47 am

I have an index and am running a Ryzen 7 2700X eight core and a Vega 64, 32 GB ram. While I do not really notice a jitter, I do ahve problems getting framerates playable. I find once in game I have to move the sampling slider around and eventually it goes from a slide show to being a playable and even decent framerate, I don't quite understand why. Even with both stations tracking me it was still an isssue, perhaps some handle jiggling of the stations is in order until I have a more scientific solution :kopfwand:

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m0rgg
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Post by m0rgg » Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:59 am

The stations shouldn't be an issue just for XWA. If tracking works fine in menus and other games it should be ok for XWA. but yes, the lighthouses should be better facing your play area.

What is the sampling slider you mention? Render resolution/supersampling? Or display frequency?
Is there one value that makes it work or is it just the fiddling?

DrFortran
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:16 am

Post by DrFortran » Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:43 am

blue_max wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:55 pm

This is a limitation of the engine, we don't know how to fix this yet.
I found out that it correlates strongly with the resolution. If I set the resolution to 640x480 the background jitter is heavy, and if I set the resolution to 1600x1200 it is barely noticeable. I can't tell a difference in resolution in the vr HMD though.

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blue_max
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Post by blue_max » Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:50 am

DrFortran wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:43 am
I found out that it correlates strongly with the resolution. If I set the resolution to 640x480 the background jitter is heavy, and if I set the resolution to 1600x1200 it is barely noticeable. I can't tell a difference in resolution in the vr HMD though.
Huh, this is an interesting observation. Thanks for the hint! I'll add this suggestion to the jittering thread as a possible workaround.

DrFortran
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Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:16 am

Post by DrFortran » Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:45 pm

blue_max wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:50 am
DrFortran wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:43 am
I found out that it correlates strongly with the resolution. If I set the resolution to 640x480 the background jitter is heavy, and if I set the resolution to 1600x1200 it is barely noticeable. I can't tell a difference in resolution in the vr HMD though.
Huh, this is an interesting observation. Thanks for the hint! I'll add this suggestion to the jittering thread as a possible workaround.
It should be noted that this only applies to the background jitter when flying leveled (default orientation when exiting a hangar), and observing the background.

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