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Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs


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Hey ,


I did some more research on this because I wanted to be sure, or as sure as I can be. I'm not a hardware expert here, so please bear that in mind - and I'll see if I can get my assumptions double-checked. Don't sign a contract on my say-so!


In our offices (San Francisco) we have three Vive 'areas' next to each other in a large room, pretty much how you are suggesting here. All we have between them are basically cloth partitions (a good solution, btw, which lets you move things around as needed!).


Generally speaking, we have no issues but - we're not running the Vives all day every day with regular customers. We're using them as-and-when we need them.


Now, in theory, as long as you have partitions - which will help with the possibility of 'infrared leak' between the different base stations - then you should be okay. (Partitions are a good idea anyway, especially soft / padded walls - they stop people from accidentally swinging an arm and hitting another customer.) With partitions up that don't let light through (or at least, very little) you'll minimize the possibility of infrared leak between base stations. Another way to help is to use the sync cable (in the Vive box) to physically connect two base stations together. That's not the way most Vives are set up, but it can be done.


This video should give you a better idea of how the light houses work, if you're interested.





Apart from hardware problems, tracking issues in an environment are more often caused by reflective, shiny surfaces (don't make the partitions mirrored ;) ) and by base stations being loose, or not being angled downwards so they cover the whole area. So make sure you have secured base stations, that your floor isn't bouncy (eg, old floorboards can be bad - vibrations!) and that you have the base stations angled downwards, pointing into the play area.



Creating a guide to 'how to make your premises VRcade friendly' is a good idea, although honestly, I'm not sure how great a guide we could write! Perhaps if we get enough feedback and suggestions from people in here we could put something together.


So what say you, arcade owners and operators - best sizes? Preferred partitions? Do you hang the cord from a hook in the ceiling? What about storage of HMDs and controllers? Where does the PC go? Any other thoughts on practical hardware and room design?


Finally - I found a few VRcade sites when looking about. Here's a video from a site in Canada called Ctrl V, where you can see (a little) how they have things set up.



I'm going to reach out to some of these operators and see if we can get them posting here. I'd love to get opinions from people who've done it. :)


TL;DR - Get partitions between each set of base stations / lighthouses. :D


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 Thank you again for detailed answer and links to Ctrl V, very usefull :)

To be clear, I'm fully understand you're not technician, and in the final all risk going to be on me, so about renting premises etc. I'm just collecting as much info as possible to not be surprised in the future when can't change something :) Prefere to find possible solutions before problems appears. Of course every info and tests you can do with technical guys on your side will be great and help to arrange everything.

I was thinking about your answer and it seems to be sure that there will be no tracking issues, in this case may be better to have some more partitions like in this new picture.

Now the partitions block laser beam between A-B and others. The problem in such arrangement is that the passage between play zones may be narrow, and for sure less partitions looks better and easier to arrange :) So I was thinning about other solution.


Since the lighthouse going to be mounted on the ceiling, and it is at the height of 3 meters, it seems I can use just 2 lighthouses for each 2 play zones. The problem is that the distance between lighthouses going to be about 7m, but it seems to be fine (I can use sync cable if not) and laser beam reach more, I hope. In this scenario, I'm worried about laser beam leaks between for example Ab and Dc. What do you think?


I have also question about material used for partitions. Thinking about curtains, easy to rearrange, soft... just I need some advice about light transmission. When thinking about room design, higher transmission seems better, but the question is how small it needs to be to stop laser beam. There are curtains with low transmission (1%) and medium transmission (5%) and high transmission (10%). For design of the room, higher transmission is perfect, but it may not block the laser beam.  


Could you discuss those 2 subjects with technicians? 


BTW, about guide for arcade operators, it would be perfect, and I believe on your side, you could prepare some very useful technical info, starting from those problems with lighthouses. It would be much easier for you to make some tests in different environment and with different materials for partitions for example. It would be very helpful not only for me I guess.


Thank you again for all information you already sent and hope for more :)


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Hey Stephen,


Thanks for posting these links for the other people on the forum. I'm happy to share some of the solutions we've created to overcome the challenges of having so many Vives in one space. We should definitely do an email interview, but in the mean time, I will try to weigh in on some of the posts I've seen here.



CEO, Ctrl V

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Hey , I'll need some time to do research on this (it's Thanksgiving here in the US, so the office is closed until next week).


One thing I wanted to ask though - in your second example, are you talking about 4 play areas total? Because ideally, you need two lighthouses/base stations per headset. You can make do with one and it'll work for some titles, but for many you'll have problems.


If you're just talking about pushing the lighthouses further apart, you could be okay.


If you're only talking about 4 play areas as a result, you could perhaps 'squeeze them together' so you can access from both sides, maybe?

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Hello , Happy Thanksgiving! :) I will not disturb you anymore... till Monday ;) 


Anyway, just answering your question. In 2nd example, I was thinking about 8 separate play areas, just sharing lighthouses. For example, area A, headset A using lighthouse Ab and Bc and area B, headset B using same lighthouses Ab and Bc. If I understand correctly lighthouses do not contact with computer or headset (works even without Bluetooth) so for tracking can be the same. The possible problem may be when for example user A block signal from lighthouse Ab but since lighthouse will be on the ceiling (over 3m) it may happen not so often (hope so :) )


Hmmm... squeezing together... seems to be good idea :) I'll think about it :) THX!

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Hey , does Wednesday still count? :)


Checking into the single lighthouse thing, it's technically possible to use one lighthouse but generally it's only recommended for seated experiences where you're going to face the lighthouse directly (or rather, the HMD is). Occulusion is a big problem; if the HMD isn't facing the lighthouse you can easily lose tracking.


For the VRcade experience - which after all, you want to be first class to bring customers back - I'd still strongly recommend two lighthouses per 'booth'.


Still tracking down what we use for material on our partitions. Apparently it was custom ordered!

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  hahahaha :) yeah, for sure Wednesday still count ;)


About setup... :) no, no, no, for sure I don't want to have 1 lighthouse setup, in this idea was something different. I was thinking to create bigger "tracking zone" 3x7 meters (2 lighthouses, B and C) and inside those "tracking zone" create 2 separate "play zones" 3x3 meters (each for another headset). So it will be 2 lighthouse setup for each headset, just 2 headsets using same set of 2 lighthouses.

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