Things I'm Excited for in 2022
Published on 12/28/2021, 1567 words, 6 minutes to read
2021 has been...a thing. However there are a lot of things that I am looking forward to in 2022 that I'm gonna summarize in a few categories.
2021 has been a really dry year for VR tech. The chip shortage has really hurt the budding VR industry, but there are some things that have been announced that I am looking forward to.
VR has really been one of the main things that's been keeping me sane over the eternal plague. It's become one of my main activities and I am looking forward to the improvements that come with new generations of VR tech.
Simula is trying to create a VR headset that can function as a monitor replacement. This is something I am really excited for. The Simula One has a lot of potential to change how people use computers.
Right now a lot of the "working in VR" kinds of projects try to recreate the experience of using a desktop PC in VR. This makes sense, the existing paridigm is already there and people are already familiar with it. However there is also a lot of room for ditching the constraints of the past and really experimenting with what computing can be if you aren't constrained by monitors.
The Simula One headset is going to have one of the highest pixels-per-degree on the market for consumer VR. It's going to be running NixOS and Monado.
I don't really know if it is going to take off and if the result will be any good, however it's very important that people try these kinds of things. Who knows what will catch on? They are going to open up a kickstarter in January and I plan to be one of the early high tier donators.
Valve has been working on the Steam Deck, but there's also a section of Valve that has been hard at work on a VR headset codenamed "deckard". The rumor mill says it will have an option to run as a standalone headset as well as a traditional PCVR headset. Other digging into things have found a wifi chip (a specific wifi6 realtek one) that would allow for streaming VR gameplay over a network and there are also references to using xrdesktop as a way to run "flat" applications in a VR space. There are also rumors that it will support "inside-out" tracking, which is also essential for being a portable headset.
I would absolutely love to have such a thing. I travel occasionally for work and I would really love to have a quality PCVR experience on the go. It would let me be able to not skip my workout days when I'm in a hotel room.
The VR space on Linux is slightly stagnated at the moment due to most of the investment either being in SteamVR on Windows or on Oculus' fork of Android. This does make sense though, there is a lot of money to be made in the VR space.
Hopefully Valve can improve the state of VR on Linux with the "deckard".
2021 has had some banger releases. Halo Infinite finally dropped. Final Fantasy 7 Remake came to PC. Metroid Dread finally came out after being rumored for more than half of my lifetime. Forza Horizon 5 raced out into the hearts of millions. Overall, it was a pretty good year to be a gamer.
I was going to do a writeup of my thoughts on Halo Infinite, however I really want to reserve that for when I can do it co-op. From what I've heard of the development of Infinite there were many points where they didn't think that the game would ship at all. It came out though. It's decent, movement is really fun, but overall I don't feel it's going to be genre-defining in the ways they would have hoped.
However 2022 looks like we're going to finally start returning to "normal" with development schedules. Here's what I'm the most excited for:
The Steam Deck is a handheld PC that will let you play games. It's also likely going to be my first "next gen" console, as despite my repeated attempts I have been unable to get an Xbox Series console or a PS5.
I'm excited for this on multiple levels. Valve is going to make it run SteamOS 3 by default. SteamOS is based on Arch Linux and they have been making improvement after improvement to the Linux kernel and all of the software they are going to use on it. Valve hopes to have most games on Steam playable like they are on a PC running windows.
It's also a bit of a chunky boi. It's gonna be a bit hefty, but I'm excited for what it is going to bring to the ecosystem. It may lead to the year of Linux on the desktop!
Splatoon is one of my favorite game series. It's a game where you have a bunch of ink guns and your goal is to cover as much turf as possible. The game feels like Quake in the best ways. You use your sticks to lead and the gyroscope to refine your aim, just like you would with a Steam Controller.
Splatoon 3 looks like it will build on the fundamentals in great ways. I can't wait to see what they have in store!
The Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
I have over 400 hours logged in Breath of The Wild. It is in the running for my favorite games of all time. The really innovative part of Breath of The Wild was the fact that it was a jRPG without a leveling mechanic, experience points or a hard-defined story path. You are dumped into the world, given tools to explore through it and then given free reign to do whatever you want. It is a massive open world (probably one of the biggest in a Nintendo game save maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X) and you are given the agency you need to play the game how you want. You can run straight to Ganon and finish the game in less than an hour. You can spend hundreds of hours exploring the world to solve all the puzzle shrines.
Most of all though, the really great part about Breath of The Wild is the fact that as you play, your skill as a player improves. You learn to chain together mechanics to do basically whatever you want and the game doesn't stop you. You can do whatever you want and the real progression system is your skill.
This sounds weird, but tying progression to player skill is incredibly anti-meta as far as these games go. Usually jRPGs are very tailored experiences where you go through the standard "fetch bread -> kill god" kind of power skill tree, but with Breath of The Wild you can "kill god" right out of the gate and "fetch bread" later.
I have no idea what to expect for the sequel to Breath of The Wild, but I'm excited as heck to see what they come up with.
This is going to have an article written about it once I've gotten a chance to play through it. This may take a week to a month. It's gonna be worth the wait.
I don't really like having too many project plans ahead of time, but here are the biggest things I'm already committing myself to do next year. Something something forward looking statements something something.
Daily Workout Streams
I love rhythm games. I haven't really had good rhythm games to play until I got back into VR. I've been playing a lot of Beat Saber and more recently Synth Riders. I've been streaming my play on Twitch and I have a playlist of the VODs on YouTube.
I live a very sedentary lifestyle, even before COVID, and I want to start to get back into shape. Doing it dancing on the internet is fun, so why not?
I have a bunch of unreleased material for Spellblade that I need to go in and edit up and post.
I got a webcam for Christmas that I plan to use for V-Tubing coming soon. I want to use it for recording conference talks as well as for doing some non-VR gaming streams.
I have been working on getting a V-Tuber model hacked up out of the one that I've been using in VRChat, but having no idea what I am doing in Unity has really not been helping.
Hope this was an interesting view into what I'm excited for. This may be my last post for the year. Stay safe out there, things have been rough.
Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.