As virtual reality continues to make headway into the modern zeitgeist, it is still lacking in a few key ways. There’s not yet an accepted standard for correlating body motion to movement within a game, with most of the mainstream VR offerings sidestepping this problem by requiring the user to operate some sort of handheld controller to navigate the virtual world. And besides a brief Kinect fad from the 2010s, there hasn’t been too much innovation in this area. But computers have continued to increase in capabilities and algorithms for tracking movement have improved, so [Fletcher Heisler] aka [Everything Is Hacked] leveraged these modern tools into a full-body controller configurable for any video game.
This project builds heavily on a previous project by [Fletcher] which took body position information and turned it into keyboard input, leveraging OpenCV and posture detection software to map keys to specific body positions. It only needed slight modification to work for gaming with regards to the ability to hold down keys or mash buttons, but essentially works by mapping certain keystrokes from the previous project to commands in games. In addition to that step he also added support for multiplayer by splitting the image captured by the camera into two halves so it can keep track of two people simultaneously.
Continue reading “A Controller For More Than Thumbs”
Playing a video game online is almost second nature now. So much so that almost all multiplayer video games have ditched their split-screen multiplayer modes because they assume you’d rather just be alone at your house than hanging out with your friends. This wasn’t always the case though. In the early days of online multiplayer, systems had to rely on dial-up internet before broadband was readily available (and still had split screen if you didn’t even have that). Almost no one uses dial up anymore though, so if you still like playing your old Dreamcast you’re going to have to do some work to get it online again.
Luckily for all of us there’s a Raspberry Pi image to do almost anything now. This project from [Kazade] uses one to mimic a dial-up connection for a Dreamcast so you can connect with other people still playing Quake 20 years later. It’s essentially a network bridge, but you will need some extra hardware because phone lines use a high voltage line that you’ll have to make (or buy) a solution for. Once all the hardware is set up and working, you’ll need to make a few software configuration changes, but it’s a very straightforward project.
Granted, there have been ways of playing Dreamcast games online before, but this new method really streamlines the process and makes it as simple as possible. The Dreamcast was a great system, and there’s an argument to be made that the only reason it wasn’t more popular was that it was just slightly too far ahead of its time.
Thanks to [Rusty] for the tip!