Watching VR titles and streaming content is much harder than traditional games. After all, the gameplay is output via a headset – and not traditionally transferred to a screen. For the Half-Life: Alyx, which will be released on March 23, 2020, Valve therefore places particular emphasis on a comfortable experience for spectators.
This helps own options menu with settings to not only show the title to other users via streaming services such as Twitch, but also to any viewers in their own living rooms.
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You can set that
The most important are three simple setting options that help viewers follow the game.
- User interface: You can display a separate interface for the viewers, which shows the most important values such as health, ammunition and items. The player himself still has to read them on his hand.
- Smoothing: For viewers, you can mitigate the "Rotational Jitter" that is common for VR titles.
- Camera eye: For VR to work, two slightly offset images must be rendered for the right and left eyes. You can choose which of the two is shown to the audience.
There are also two settings for advanced users, but according to Valve, they are more suitable for specialized recordings like short game excerpts. You activate it via commands in the game console, which you open with the ~ key.
- Full in-camera smoothing: This option is said to create a very cinematic look. The problem is that the game in the headset starts to jerk when you use it. Valve has now recorded the game's previously known trailers. To activate it, simply use the commands »vr_camera_decay_roll_halflife 0.5« and »vr_camera_decay_yaw_pitch_halflife 0.09«
- HUD scaling: You can adjust the size of the HUD with the command »hlvr_spectator_hud_size«. For this, you give yourself a number between 50 and 150 after the command. With 0 you can completely deactivate the HUD.
What's next after Half-Life: Alyx?
After Half-Life: Alyx already has big plans for Valve. Gabe Newell said in an interview that we are already much closer to digital worlds like the Matrix than many suspect. And he's working on making something like that a reality.
In addition, the VR game Alyx should not represent the end, but the beginning of new half-life titles. Could Half-Life 3 still be a reality? Valve appears to be at least certain that the future of the franchise will be bright.