Immersion cracks

April 08, 2023

I got myself a little bit of VR time yesterday. I get the feeling that while everyone has been yelling about the metaverse, apps without killer features and the like, the actual Quest experience has steadily and secretly became better. I can not put a finger on anything specific, but it all feels a bit … smoother and more immersive? Or perhaps I am just re-impressed after spending so little time in VR recently?

I rediscovered my Meta avatar as well, and the fact that I can see arms in the OS. Fun stuff. I just wish I could add a Daring fireball star to the avatar's t-shirt.

The worst thing about the experience was that I discovered some cracks in the plastic of the elite strap. You know, the thing which actually keeps the Quest solidly and reasonably comfortably on my head. Super glue and silver tape has been applied, but I should probably open some kind of support ticket as well. I have got the impression that this is a semi-common problem and that Meta have been pretty good about handling it, so it could be worth the effort even if I am outside of the standard warranty period.

I also spent a little bit of time in Immersed, mostly wondering about connectivity issues which after a quick chat in the Immersed Discord turned out to perhaps not be problems at all. The issue I was having was that Immersed said that a direct connection could not be made, and that it was making an indirect connection over the internet instead. What the chat revealed was that this is just one of the possible things going on when Immersed indicates an indirect connection. The help messages are written for that case because it is the one most likely to hit users and cause bad performance. My performance, however, was pretty good, so what happened in my case was possibly that the initial handshake failed and was made over the internet, but the subsequent connection was local (i.e. nice and fast).

Error messages are a difficult thing, and it was great to get such quick and knowledgeable help in Discord. But really, this kind of information should not be drowned in a chat system, dependent on either search luck or timing to be found by a user. This is exactly the kind of thing which should be pulled out into a knowledge base, or at least a blog entry. Make knowledge discoverable, pretty please.

Beat saber remains fun, and has both added a lot of music, as well as re-done patterns for some existing songs. The changed patterns are probably all for the better, but I actually miss some of the moves in the old pattern for Imagine dragons' Natural. I also wish Meta would just push a lot more music. I bet it would be a deal-making nightmare, but imagine if they could make a deal with Spotify, or some record company, so that people could pick any track in the catalogue and create patterns? Add a decent pattern editor and some kind of ranking system (I hear Meta has some knowledge when it comes to algorithms for user-generated things) … would that not be a killer app?

All this and more. I have so many things left to try. Plus games on the Switch (Quake! With a big screen, keyboard, and mouse. I was really tempted yesterday, but I could not figure out the puzzle of getting all those pieces together in a nice way). Plus …