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Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft

A tweet from Friday by Marcus "Notch" Persson shows the Minecraft creator has backed off on his hard line against adding Oculus Rift support to the sandbox mining game, saying: "And about now I'm officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus. I'm upset about there being a hole in my favorite sock instead." When it was announced Facebook was acquiring Oculus in March, Notch famously tweeted he was cancelling plans for Oculus Rift support, saying "Facebook creeps me out." When asked if this means plans for Oculus Rift support were back in place, Notch said "that's up to the minecraft dev team." For his part, John Carmack seems willing to help, tweeting an offer of support: "say the word, ship the source, and i'll make sure It runs well on you-know-what..." Thanks GameSpot.

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48. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 21:32 jdreyer
 
@ Tom,

I don't think you and I are too far apart. While I don't think it was his primary motivation, certainly he thinks it will sell lots. He wasn't doing it for charity.

@ Newmaxx,

All the things you describe are niche. Raspberry pi is niche. The uses you describe for VR are niche. Or maybe I've got it wrong and the definition of "mainstream" is off? Graphic accelerators used to be niche. Then AMD and Intel built them into the procs they install on every machine, whereby they went mainstream. IMO, football and basketball are mainstream, b/c nearly everyone has played those at some point in their lives, if only a Thanksgiving pickup game, but skiing is niche. I really don't see anyone from my parent's generation using an OR, but they all have smartphones, graphic accels in their computers, use Facebook, play video games (if only Tetris or Farmville), etc.
 
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47. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 20:58 Frijoles
 
saluk wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:16:
If you can't play more than 10 minutes without barfing, and that's the average for most folks, there will be issues. And barfing. I skipped the DK2 until I can try it because I fell into the unfortunate bucket of not being able to overcome vr sickness on DK1.

I'm in the same boat. Couldn't go more than 10 min in DK1 without sweating and getting sick. In DK2, I get sick in games that were not made for VR (even the new HL2 patch that has position tracking). However, games that are built with DK2 such as Elite Dangerous don't make me nearly as sick. I can play those for a while. Wouldn't recommend it to my friends though until at least CV1. The resolution isn't there yet (hard to make out the enemy ships in Elite).
 
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46. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 20:15 Quboid
 
saluk wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:16:
10+? The amount of gaming population that needs/wants to spend 10+ hours in one go on a gaming session is tiny. Much smaller than the vr market I'd imagine. The average I'd imagine is somewhere around 3, perhaps skewing higher for certain game types like mmo or moba. If that 2-3 hour experience of vr is substantially better/different than 2-3 hours on more comfortable gaming devices, it can still carve out a sizable niche.

If you can't play more than 10 minutes without barfing, and that's the average for most folks, there will be issues. And barfing. I skipped the DK2 until I can try it because I fell into the unfortunate bucket of not being able to overcome vr sickness on DK1.

I always thought notches outburst in the first place was a bit silly, since the minecrift mod even at that time was already working great for most people. An "official" rift component to minecraft will be nice for people but it's not that substantial. So far facebook-owned oculus doesn't feel different to me than before, it still remains to be seen if that was a good or bad move.

10+ was going overboard, no gaming session that long is ever a good idea

I was surprised to find that my DK1 caused little motion sickness as I'm prone to this when travelling. It's the feel of wearing a scuba mask that gets uncomfortable after an hour or so. I completely forget about quickly when playing, but eventually my face will feel sweaty and my eyes will tire.

I expect that the advancements in DK2 (75hz vs 60hz, 1080 vs 800, non-persistence) will reduce eye strain and that this will improve with each release. Based on what they've said and the presumed 2015 release, I expect that CV1 will be 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 at 90hz.

There's a few things they can do to improve the comfort, although I don't know how practical they are. A counter-balance on the back would help but I don't think there's a good way to do this - there's nothing like a battery pack that could logically be moved to the back of the head. Some sort of ventilation would help too. Reducing the weight is best thing of course, but I can't imagine they can knock a whole lot off (although not including the bezel from a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 would surely help).
 
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45. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 20:06 PHJF
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 18:32:
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:12:
Vid cards were a necessity that were bound to happen sooner rather than later anyway, and people need phones so that's par for the course. Apart from practical applications in science/medicine/military with VR most people aren't going to want to strap a TV to their face. They don't even want to wear 3D glasses and they're a lot less cumbersome. VR for entertainment value will remain niche until they can make them no bigger than a pair of sunglasses or contacts. I really don't see it happening until people can jack in ala Neuromancer/Snow Crash.

Right, I pretty much agree. I think this will be somewhat popular niche, but still niche. And unlike phones and graphic accelerators, I don't see a path for this to go mainstream. We're a few decades from a pair of 50 gram glasses that can project images right to your retinas.

Why does it have to be wearable? Maybe somebody can make something worthwhile out of Kinect by combining eye tracking with discreet projection (Virtual Retinal Display) straight to the user(s). Avegant is already using VRD, but it is still reliant on headgear.
 
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44. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:58 NewMaxx
 
Tom wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:13:
What I'm saying is that niche technologies sometimes go mainstream. ... who knows what technologies VR may contribute to in the future.

I absolutely have to support you here, as when the OR came up most recently I made a post about it explaining that my work in AI and robotics had opened me up to the possibilities of VR. I included a few links to relevant topics in Google Scholar, as well. I fully understand that people have opinions about the technology but very few of them have intimate knowledge with it and even fewer have an engineering background to back it up. I'd also say that most people like jumping to easily containable conclusions that fit their mental archetype that have nothing to do with the validity of a technology for things beyond its initial intended scope.

The technology the OC is harnessing has already been explored in an academic setting, in NASA, in DARPA, and in many other places as well. The foundation of not only HUDs for military weaponry and drones but also information-sifting technologies is, for the future, rooted in VR. Psychologists even believe there is an analogue between our perception of reality and the connection we will have with AI through VR. I could go on.

My personal experience with robotics has shown that the basic way we program their navigation and sensory apparati is "virtual" while not being very different than the way life interacts with the world. Indeed, our brain processes tons of information at any given moment and makes sense of it through various tricks and illusions, things no different than VR would become. To suggest this is an isolated, useless technology that won't be embraced by the average person is...well, short-sighted. Chances are very good that within 20-30 years, for example, our surgeries will be done through the use of VR (with potentially very distant surgeons) and robotics.

As far as the OR goes, well...you know, tons of people told me the Raspberry Pi would be niche when I first brought it up.
 
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43. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:57 Redmask
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:34:
Says the moron who has obvious reading comprehension problems. And you wonder why everyone knows you're stupid?

You of all people should not claim that you speak for 'everyone'.

This probably won't enrich Mojang significantly and OR will likely be a fledgling platform at best. No one is selling out, where's the beef?
 
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42. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:52 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:44:
Tom wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:13:
Btw, saying "smartphones went mainstream because people need phones" seems like a flawed premise to me. Why do they need to pay $300-800 for a smartphone when a $20 feature phone would be sufficient for making calls, taking pictures, sending text messages, etc? People don't need smartphones. But they're a huge, booming business anyway.

Most people buy smartphones because they're bundled with the contract. Except teenagers who want all kinds of crap on their phones I'd suspect most adults don't use their smart phones for much beyond using it as a phone, followed by the music player, texting, camera in limited use. I've had my smartphone for 4 or 5 years now and I'd be surprised if I've sent more than a dozen texts or taken a dozen pics. I do listen to music on it regularly however. And the only reason I bought it was because I lost my old phone. I ordered this from HK because it was unlocked and half the price there as it was here.

As I've stated before, I actually think the initial adoption rate will be quite high as people always want the latest toy. But most will probably be gathering dust on shelves before too long.


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41. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:44 Cutter
 
Tom wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 19:13:
Btw, saying "smartphones went mainstream because people need phones" seems like a flawed premise to me. Why do they need to pay $300-800 for a smartphone when a $20 feature phone would be sufficient for making calls, taking pictures, sending text messages, etc? People don't need smartphones. But they're a huge, booming business anyway.

Most people buy smartphones because they're bundled with the contract. Except teenagers who want all kinds of crap on their phones I'd suspect most adults don't use their smart phones for much beyond using it as a phone, followed by the music player, texting, camera in limited use. I've had my smartphone for 4 or 5 years now and I'd be surprised if I've sent more than a dozen texts or taken a dozen pics. I do listen to music on it regularly however. And the only reason I bought it was because I lost my old phone. I ordered this from HK because it was unlocked and half the price there as it was here.

As I've stated before, I actually think the initial adoption rate will be quite high as people always want the latest toy. But most will probably be gathering dust on shelves before too long.
 
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40. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:34 Cutter
 
yonder wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:43:
Are any of your opinions based in fact? You confuse "changing ones mind about concepts" with "selling out" and you think that someone with a net value of 33 billion is a "multi-millionaire". And you wonder why you're the town jester.

Keep being hilarious. We'll keep laughing.

Says the moron who has obvious reading comprehension problems. And you wonder why everyone knows you're stupid?

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2014, 19:44.
 
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39. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:33 Cutter
 
Quboid wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:47:
yonder wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:43:
Are any of your opinions based in fact? You confuse "changing ones mind about concepts" with "selling out" and you think that someone with a net value of 33 billion is a "multi-millionaire". And you wonder why you're the town jester.

Keep being hilarious. We'll keep laughing.

He's referring to Notch ($150M), not Mark Zuckerberg ($33B). I still don't see how this is selling out, neither what principle he's selling nor what money he's receiving.

He's stupid, you're not, so he obviously doesn't get any of this. The difference is he's long proclaimed his hatred of FB, but now he's willing to work with Occulus regardless which is predicated on sales. Otherwise he wouldn't deal with them and would go with someone else who's doing VR.
 
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38. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:16 saluk
 
Quboid wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:24:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 15:10:
Quboid wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 13:22:
I would have thought Minecraft isn't very suited to the Rift. I wouldn't want to spend an entire evening wearing the DK1's headset in one go and I don't expect that to change in the near future.

I've been watching Minecraft vids on Google Cardboard to get an idea of what it would be like, and it's totally awesome. You get completely immersed in the world. MC is one of the best uses of VR due to the wide variety of object distance, providing a sense of scale and depth lacking on a flat screen. Standing on the edge of a cliff is both breathtaking and induces a sense of vertigo. Caves intimidate extending down into the dark distance. Trees reach into the sky. It's easy to assess the distance of approaching mobs. The only OR game movie I've seen that is similar is Skyrim.

I can see that it would be very suited for a while but I don't think existing VR tech is ready for someone to spend 3, 4, 10+ hours with in one go. I have the DK1 and it's not comfortable enough for this. I expect CV1 will be lighter and CV2 (or whatever version the second major revision will be) to be a big improvement as they hone the hardware and supply lines but not enough I guess.

Comfort is probably VR's biggest hurdle at this point. Something like those Oakley MP3 player sunglasses should be the aim but we're quite some way away from that.

Edit: This is oddly similar to what Cutter said, despite me predicting Rift would succeed and Cutter predicting it would fail

10+? The amount of gaming population that needs/wants to spend 10+ hours in one go on a gaming session is tiny. Much smaller than the vr market I'd imagine. The average I'd imagine is somewhere around 3, perhaps skewing higher for certain game types like mmo or moba. If that 2-3 hour experience of vr is substantially better/different than 2-3 hours on more comfortable gaming devices, it can still carve out a sizable niche.

If you can't play more than 10 minutes without barfing, and that's the average for most folks, there will be issues. And barfing. I skipped the DK2 until I can try it because I fell into the unfortunate bucket of not being able to overcome vr sickness on DK1.

I always thought notches outburst in the first place was a bit silly, since the minecrift mod even at that time was already working great for most people. An "official" rift component to minecraft will be nice for people but it's not that substantial. So far facebook-owned oculus doesn't feel different to me than before, it still remains to be seen if that was a good or bad move.
 
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37. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 19:13 Tom
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 18:33:
I think you're making my point for me? You kind of start off opposing my statement, but support it at the end.

No, not really. What I'm saying is that niche technologies sometimes go mainstream. If you invest in those successful technologies early on, and don't screw things up, you can make a boatload of money. So I think it's shortsighted to characterize Zuck's investment as primarily because it's a fun technology that he's a fan of. There is considerable potential upside. If you dispute that, I think you would've likely been a naysayer of 3D hardware acceleration and smartphones as well. By the way, notice how these example technologies contribute to VR... who knows what technologies VR may contribute to in the future.

What I meant at the end of my statement is that even if the Oculus Rift remains a niche technology that doesn't go mainstream and doesn't generate massive profits for FB/Zuck, he'll still have made out fine on the deal. This doesn't have to mean the deal wasn't primarily financially motivated, it just means it's not like he's going to be totally screwed if the deal doesn't work out. So given that he IS a fan (as opposed to some purely money-worshipping investor like say Carl Icahn), why not do it?

Btw, saying "smartphones went mainstream because people need phones" seems like a flawed premise to me. Why do they need to pay $300-800 for a smartphone when a $20 feature phone would be sufficient for making calls, taking pictures, sending text messages, etc? People don't need smartphones. But they're a huge, booming business anyway.
 
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36. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 18:48 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 18:32:
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:12:
Vid cards were a necessity that were bound to happen sooner rather than later anyway, and people need phones so that's par for the course. Apart from practical applications in science/medicine/military with VR most people aren't going to want to strap a TV to their face. They don't even want to wear 3D glasses and they're a lot less cumbersome. VR for entertainment value will remain niche until they can make them no bigger than a pair of sunglasses or contacts. I really don't see it happening until people can jack in ala Neuromancer/Snow Crash.

Right, I pretty much agree. I think this will be somewhat popular niche, but still niche. And unlike phones and graphic accelerators, I don't see a path for this to go mainstream. We're a few decades from a pair of 50 gram glasses that can project images right to your retinas.

I agree, which all furthers why this isn't Notch "selling out."

Unless OR gave him a payday to change his mind. I think Notch would probably tell us if he did. He doesn't seem to really care about PR or how he looks.
At the same time, I think OR would have been stupid not to be calling him up every day and offering him more and more money.
 
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35. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 18:37 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:15:
He's a multi-millionaire, not billionaire so it's not that much. However, the fact that he is selling out when he doesn't need the money only makes it worse. Hell, I'd sell out for the right amount. Principles start to get pretty rubbery with the more money that's involved. I'd feel ashamed of course. But cruising around the Caribbean on my 50ft sailboat, drinking rum and banging hot island chicks has a way of assuaging that guilt PDQ.

Toff


Okay, but I don't see how this change gets him any extra money.

1. Supporting OR won't increase sales. No one is going to run out and buy this just because it suddenly is supported. People who already own it might go get an OR, but not the other way around.

2. Even if he didn't change his mind, Minecrift already supports OR in Minecraft. So his decision didn't matter either way.
 
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34. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 18:33 jdreyer
 
Tom wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 15:48:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 14:55:
And it really seems like Zuck was making this investment not primarily as a financial decision, but as a fan of the technology ($2B for niche tech? Are you kidding me?).

3D hardware acceleration was once niche tech. Smartphones were once niche tech. Someone with the means and vision could have made a fortune on those and any number of other things. Zuck's $2B could easily be handsomely rewarded. And if it isn't? No big loss for him, he'll still be filthy rich no matter what. And he'll have had tons of fun with Oculus Rift. Why would he NOT do that deal, given the opportunity? Why would you not do it?

I think you're making my point for me? You kind of start off opposing my statement, but support it at the end.
 
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33. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 18:32 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:12:
Vid cards were a necessity that were bound to happen sooner rather than later anyway, and people need phones so that's par for the course. Apart from practical applications in science/medicine/military with VR most people aren't going to want to strap a TV to their face. They don't even want to wear 3D glasses and they're a lot less cumbersome. VR for entertainment value will remain niche until they can make them no bigger than a pair of sunglasses or contacts. I really don't see it happening until people can jack in ala Neuromancer/Snow Crash.

Right, I pretty much agree. I think this will be somewhat popular niche, but still niche. And unlike phones and graphic accelerators, I don't see a path for this to go mainstream. We're a few decades from a pair of 50 gram glasses that can project images right to your retinas.
 
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32. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 18:31 NKD
 
Why do you guys go full retard every time Blue posts something about Notch?  
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31. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 17:23 Julio
 
Got to agree with Cutter on this one. Notch is probably seeing some dollar signs are possible here, and selling out. So when's full Facebook integration coming with Minecraft? Or is embedded already?  
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30. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 17:12 Drayth
 
Minecraft (for whatever reason) already has built in anaglyph 3d support. He obviously likes 3D. This is cool tech, and I think that's what all there is to this.

I guess that's not drama enough for some.
 
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29. Re: Notch Softens View on Oculus Minecraft Aug 18, 2014, 16:47 Quboid
 
yonder wrote on Aug 18, 2014, 16:43:
Are any of your opinions based in fact? You confuse "changing ones mind about concepts" with "selling out" and you think that someone with a net value of 33 billion is a "multi-millionaire". And you wonder why you're the town jester.

Keep being hilarious. We'll keep laughing.

He's referring to Notch ($150M), not Mark Zuckerberg ($33B). I still don't see how this is selling out, neither what principle he's selling nor what money he's receiving.
 
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