Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Virtual-O

in: Orienteering; General

Jan 14, 2017 2:26 AM # 
Has anyone tried this

I am not much into computer games but the YouTube clips make it look interesting and at USD$39.99 cheaper than the cost of driving/flying and paying the entry to most events!
Jan 14, 2017 3:44 AM # 
Does it have any improvements over Catching Features other than updated graphics?
Jan 14, 2017 3:55 AM # 
The few times I tried CF I thought it felt incredibly clunky (coming from a long history of playing first-person games). VO feels a LOT better. I also find it a lot easier to relate the ground to the map and vice versa. Don't underestimate the value of 'updated graphics' in this, detail is everything.

The terrain in VO seems a bit strange to me, but that might just be the European terrain in the early versions - never run in Europe, so can't say how closely it resembles reality.

The VO engine runs very nicely at high detail on my PC, which is a few years old but no slouch. (i7 @ 3.4ghz, 16Gb, Geforce 560Ti for reference)
Jan 14, 2017 8:43 AM # 
Does VO allow existing maps to be imported into it from
Jan 14, 2017 9:00 AM # 
No(t yet) - no official word from the devs as to whether it'll happen, but I got the impression from one thread that they're already doing it internally.
Jan 14, 2017 9:02 AM # 
VO is a completely different ball game. When I'm playing CF I feel like most of the time you can just hit your bearings with almost 100% accuracy and the actual orienteering experience is very limited. The benefit of CF is that it's quite easy to upload maps from OCAD so there's more variety.

VO actually FEELS like orienteering. I've been running the rocky map which is supposed to be based on a map from the Czech Republic (I think). Rocky complex maps on CF feel almost nothing like the actual thing, and it doesn't feel like very good practice at all. On VO, if I'm not concentrating, I get lost, big time stylee, and need to use proper techniques to relocate. Plus you can easily make your own course within the game and practice. I've also run several contour only courses which leads me to believe you can manipulate what is shown on the map file if you're clever enough. It's very hard to explain in words but VO does feel like orienteering, just without the physical effort.

On the down side, I think you'll need a pretty decent PC (maybe?) to run it well. I have it on high settings and my PC does fine but I can see it being an issue for low end laptops, but I haven't experimented with the low end settings.

Do recommend. Looking forward to more maps being released! I believe you currently need to have a steam account to play, which is easy enough to get going.
Jan 14, 2017 9:48 AM # 
This is the rocky map, I was there personally three times and I don´t have enough yet. In summer there will be held 3 days O
If you like sandstones and if you like to get lost, it´s pretty clear choice.
Jan 14, 2017 1:01 PM # 
In that case VirtualO is highly realistic, because I got wildly lost on that map. :)
Jan 15, 2017 3:44 AM # 
How does it compare to Suunnistussimulaattori? Which I have never managed to get working on my computer ... I assumed my machine didn't have the graphics capabilities. Older clunky graphics on CF is good insofar as it can run on anything!
Jan 15, 2017 10:44 AM # 
How long is a beer ultra-long?
Jan 16, 2017 7:38 PM # 
Do people who play use the automatic thumbing ?
It seems too easy if you do, too hard if you don't (although I've only had a couple of goes).

Good way to check out the new str8 compasses :)
Jan 17, 2017 11:15 AM # 
I helped a little with the Alpha version of the game, but yes I was hugely limited by the specification of my laptop (i3, Intel Integrated HD graphics, 8GB Ram)

It’s ever so slightly better with the final pre-release version but still the frame rates are too low so the game was too jerky to be able to be fun, even with graphics set low.

It has huge potential as a training tool for clubs/coaches too once the maps can be created by players.

Once I have a better spec’d computer I will definitely be purchasing the game!
Jan 17, 2017 1:22 PM # 
I must try this.
Jan 17, 2017 5:27 PM # 
My computer doesn't seem to have the right graphics, so I'll be waiting. Looks nice.
Jan 18, 2017 11:51 PM # 
I think I'll have to buy some sort of controller. Using the keyboard and no auto-thumbing the map is too hard. Auto-thumbing the map is OK, but feels like cheating.

I'm running it on one of these.
Jan 19, 2017 1:15 AM # 
I had to update my computer graphic card and worth it. Now I can play at maximum resolution and it's fantastic.
Perfect O feeling when you get lost.
Jan 19, 2017 1:20 AM # 
Post from the VirtualO team on Facebook:

Did you ever wonder how to get your map into Virtual-O?
If answer is yes than please read this post carefully.
We would like to establish contact with map owners, event organizers, clubs simply with everyone who would like to share maps for Virtual-O.
It's an great opportunity how get new exciting maps for training in Virtual-O
At the same time you will get space in map presentation video which is played when player is choosing your map.
This video is medium where we want to show info about map itself, club etc. Photos/short videos from real terrain or interesting places from that place. And most importantly you can propagate your orienteering event here that is somehow related to this area or your club. Of course we are only on start so don't hesitate to come with your own ideas here.
And most importantly you will help to propagate orienteering itself as Virtual-O will have chance to present these exciting terrains to world.
We are not searching only for toughest terrains. It's very important to convert some good beginners maps too with appropiate difficulty.
LIDAR based maps are little less demanding on conversion time so if you are deciding which map than choose LIDAR one. But it's not mandatory.
If you are interested please contact us on this email. It would be great if you can attach preview image of the map too:
Jan 19, 2017 2:41 AM # 
Yep, the feeling when you get lost is absolutely spot-on.
Jan 19, 2017 12:06 PM # 
undy: It might seem strange at first if you have no PC gaming background but I am quite sure that keyboard and mouse are the best way to control Virtual-O.

(I haven't tried Virtual-O myself, yet, but I know games and Catching Features. In CF, rotating and shifting the map is still more difficult for me than in real life. I alternate between rotating by keyboard (rough) and with the mouse (fine).)
Jan 19, 2017 1:54 PM # 
As a long time gamer I find the mouse buttons for moving to be quite strange. I much prefer the WASD controls for moving and the mouse for looking around, I've not been able to experiment with re-assigning buttons for map controls yet, need a new laptop/desktop first!
Jan 19, 2017 7:07 PM # 
Can you look around (left/right/up/down) while running straight in virtual-o like you can in Suunnistussimulaattori? I haven't yet figured out how to do that in CF (is it possible?).
Jan 19, 2017 9:19 PM # 
Yes you can. Hold down the tab button then look around. Release the tab and your view returns to forward. If running you continue to run in the original direction.
Jan 24, 2017 2:14 PM # 
in Virtual-O you can use two approaches for map handling.

1. Fully controlled by keyboard similar to Catching Features.
Compared to CF you get additional key to orient map to north automatically one-time (an experimental feature now)

2. Or you can handle map with mouse. For example you can move your map while holding left mouse button and moving the mouse. And rotate map while holding right mouse button and moving the mouse to left or right.
(this is now default method of map handling as it's easier for beginners)

Compared to CF you can enable map assistants if you want. For first competitive run you must use course setter conditions, so if he doesn't enable assistants you cannot do it. (to ensure fair condditions)

For additional re-runs you can alter conditions like you want. For example enable map assistants, change game speed, weather, time of day etc.

Of course you can remap controls like you want. Even remap it to gamepad for example.
Jan 24, 2017 2:26 PM # 
Regarding contours only map.

For each map there are now 3 map types prepared. (you can choose it in course conditions)
Brown - contains only brown symbols basically contour map
Less Details - some symbols like roads are removed to make it more difficult

In future I would like to add an another option that would enable you to mask part of the map like here:
Jan 24, 2017 9:17 PM # 
Great training features, Virtual-O!

This discussion thread is closed.