Mixed Reality With Quartered Screens

There are a couple of reasons you might not want to use the in-game webcam system (which is easier to set up). For technical reasons the in-game system only supports webcams so if you are using a camera with a capture card you can’t use it. This is unfortunate because webcams look terrible when the subject is more than a meter or two away from the camera. You might also be compositing the layers together after-the-fact in which case you will need to use this method to get the foreground/background split into two.

1. Game Setup

Game setup is pretty easy:

  • Start the game holding shift while opening the game in steam. This will open the resolution options. Set the game to open full screen at the resolution of your  monitor.
  • Open the “Settings” menu (you might have to hit the eye button to open the left-menu if it’s closed
  • Turn on “Enable director controlls”
  • Pick “Quatered Views” in the Camera dropdown
  • Close the settings menu

2. OBS setup

OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) is popular streaming software and is pleasently flexible. Weirdly OBS makes it kind of hard to export settings files so I’m going to walk you through setting it up for Fantastic Contraption. It’s good to know how this works anyway so you can make any changes you might decide you want to make. First download OBS if you don’t have it already (download the Studio version). Then open OBS.

Note that since the game is broken into four quadrants your output resolution will be half of whatever your screen resolution is. I’m going to do this totorial with a 4k monitor which will let me stream at 1080 but you don’t need a 4k screen to stream the game. Just adjust the numbers to whatever resolution your monitor runs at.

First let’s add the game background:

  • Hit the “+” under “Sources” and select “Window Capture”. Name the layer “Background”selectWindowCapture
  • Select “Fantastic Contraption” in the “Window” dropdown
  • Flip off “Capture Cursor”
  • Hit “ok”
  • Right click on “Background” and select “Filters”
  • Hit the “+” on the Filters window and select “Crop”
  • Set the “Right” to “1920” (or half of whatever your monitor width is)
  • Set the “Bottom” to “1080” (or half of whatever your monitor height is)cropValues
  • Hit close
  • Grab the little red circle at the bottom right and resize the layer to fill the whole canvas area

Now let’s add the webcam

  • Hit the little “+” under “Sources” again and select “Video Capture Device”. Name the layer “RL Camera”
  • Under “Device” select your camera
  • Hit “ok”
  • Resize the camera layer to fill the whole canvas area
  • Right click on “RL Camera” and select “Filters”
  • Hit the “+” under “Effect Filters” and select “Color Key”. Name it “Green Screen”
  • Fiddle with “Similarity” and “Smoothness” until you get the desired effectcolourKey
  • Hit close

Lastly, let’s add the game foreground:

  • Hit the “+” under “Sources” and select “Game Capture” name the layer “Foreground”
  • Unslect “Capture Any Foreground Application”
  • Select “Fantastic Contraption” in the “Window” dropdown.
  • Check “Allow Transparency”
  • Flip off “Capture Cursor”foregroundOptions
  • Hit “ok”
  • Right click on “Foreground” and select “Filters”
  • Hit the “+” on the Filters window and select “Crop”
  • Set the “Left” to “1920” (or half of whatever your monitor width is)
  • Set the “Bottom” to “1080” (or half of whatever your monitor height is)
  • Hit close
  • Grab the little red circle at the bottom right and resize the layer to fill the whole canvas area

OBS setup Done!

3. Camera Sync

  • The last thing you have to do is sync the in-game camera with the real world camera. This means moving the in-game camera to where the real-world camera is and setting the in-game camera Field of View to match the real-world camera. This is all done very manually.
  • Make sure the game and OBS are both open and the game has the Depth Cameras turned on
  • Now open the OBS file menu and select “Always On Top”
  • Give the game focus and use the wasd keys (as well as q & e for up & down) to fly the camera around. Use the arrow keys to change the angle the camera looks.
  • This will be much easier with another person to help you. To get a rough idea of where the camera should be have the other person go into VR. They will see an insect with a big eye and wings, that’s your camera. Have them direct you, move the in-game camera to where the real-world camera is.

    Using hand controller positions to align the cameras
    Using hand controller positions to align the cameras
  • Then have them pick up the two controllers and walk to the back of the play area. Get them to hold out their arms in a T-pose and then not move. Using the arrow keys change the angle of the camera until the controllers are as close to matching the real-world controllers as possible.  Note that the FOV is still off so you won’t get a good match.
  • To match the FOV make the OBS window small enough that you can use the game’s settings menu again. Open the settings menu
  • Drag the “3rd person FOV” slider until the in-game controllers are the same distance apart as your friends (very tired) arms.
  • After setting the position and FOV set the “Camera Delay” slider. You will notice the camera lags behind the game as the player moves around. This slider will delay the game so it can match the delay of the camera. Drag this slider until the game and the player are in sync.
  • You are done setup! Because of lighthouse drift and camera jostling you will probably have to re-tune this every time you stream.



Now go back to the previous instructions to learn the Director Controls.



Streaming and Recording Mixed Reality

Welcome! We’ve spent a lot of time on the streaming tools for Fantastic Contraption. We were the first people to use these Mixed Reality techniques to show VR and we’d love for you to come join us in the game.

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The instructions are broken up into three sections. Start with our first Mixed Reality Streaming How To. If you’re using a webcam then that’s all you need to know. If you’re using a fancier camera or want to do your compositing in post check out our Mixed Reality with Quartered Screens post and if you want to go full-badass and stream with a handheld camera we have Hand Held Instructions.

Happy streaming!

How to Mixed Reality: Handheld

I previously gave detailed instructions on how to stream Fantastic Contraption in mixed reality with a stationary camera.

People are starting to pick that up and it’s very exciting! Fantastic Contraption also works with a hand held camera and in this post I’ll show you how to use it. To record hand-held video you do need a third controller though, which is going to be a big barrier for most people.

If you have a third controller and already have the stationary camera stream set up then hand-held setup is pretty simple:

  1. get a third Vive controller (this is the hard part)
  2. duck tape that controller to your camera and plug it into the USB on your computer
  3. know where to put the camera/controller when you start hand-held mode
  4. turn on mixed reality and then hand-held mode in Fantastic Contraption
  5. align the cameras


cam1. Get a Third Controller

OK, yeah, this is pretty hard right now. Valve has said that they’re working on a way to get a third controller and also working on tracking devices that are designed to be added to real-world objects to make them trackable. At the moment the only way I know of to get a third controller is to borrow one from a second Vive. I have no other suggestions, sorry.

2. Duct Tape

The third controller tells the game where your camera is so the first thing you have to do is meld your controller to your camera. Make the coupling super solid so it doesn’t drift over time. Use duck tape, zap straps, putty, glue, whatever makes it nice and solid. Also make sure the sensors on the controller will be visible to the light houses.

Now plug the third controller into the USB of your computer. Third controllers can not be used wirelessly like the controllers that come with the Vive. It will only be recognised if you plug it into a USB port on your computer. You’re probably going to have to buy a USB extension cable.


3. Why is my Hand the Camera?

The game knows you have three controllers but it doesn’t know which one is tied to a camera. To work around this I assume that the camera controller is the one that is most “Vive East” when handheld mode is turned on. Vive East is the direction AWAY from the pink goal in-game. If you did room setup like Valve suggested then it is in the direction to the right of your monitor.

4. Turn on Hand Held

Go to the “Settings” menu and turn on “Handheld mode”. This will take the mixed-reality cameras and move them to where the third controller is.

5. Align the Cameras

You need to align the in-game and real-world cameras like in the previous guide. Use the wasdqe and arrow keys. Note that you can “roll” the camera with shift arrow.

It’s also very important to get the camera delay correct when filming hand-held or the whole world will be swimming around.


Contraption: On Cheevos

As we recently announced in update 1.0.8, we now display badges at the base of your save models to indicate if you beat the level in a special way. On some levels, getting a badge will earn you an achievement and matching jangly charm for your controller.

First confirmed Contraption 100% completion!
First confirmed Contraption 100% completion from @eric_lobdell

Colin and I have differing opinions on “cheevos” in games. For Incredipede, Colin used anti-achievements where you have to leave your computer, go outside and play with bugs (and people actually did it!). Colin argues that achievements cheapen games by giving you a reward for something that should be its own reward, and that they can encourage you to do things that aren’t even fun.

I argue that achievements give you a reason to try new things. Say you always play Rebuild 3 by killing every faction in the city. There’s an achievement for that, but also one for allying with every faction. So to get every cheevo you have to try different play styles and explore parts of the game that maybe you wouldn’t have otherwise. Achievements can also give uber players new and harder challenges.

Fantastic Contraption has a history of solution badges which we used for the achievements in the new game. You earn them by beating specific levels in some unusual way. The ones we’ve kept are:

  • Champion – goal ball stays in goal
  • Boomerang – ball returns to the build area
  • Clean – remove all parts from the level after winning
  • Green – win using no powered wheels
  • Brown/Gold – win using only rods
  • Lightning – win in a limited amount of time
  • Minimalist – use a limited number of pieces


Our Steam achievements include beating Fetch Island green (no powered wheels) and Step Island boomerang (return to the build area), and Log Rolling lightning (within 5 seconds). That last one is so hard that we’re still debating increasing it to 6 or 7 seconds, and it took hours for Colin to finally prove it was even possible.

I hope they encourage Contraption players to be creative and test out different ideas. We may add a few more cheevos as we add more levels… that is if we can fit any more charms on those controllers!

Fantastic Contraption Merch

get one at our official store
Get your own from our official store
Our team t-shirts have been such a success that we’ve opened a store so you can get one of your very own at 0% markup. The uncensored version features a quote from Nathan Grayson by way of an early Kotaku Vive preview. I think “impressively intuitive and whimsical as fuck” sums up exactly what we were going for.

We’re working towards our next update, adding more stuff to track your progress and all the ways you can beat every level, and new tools to help show off contraptions on Twitch and Twitter. I’ve was looking through the shared solutions today and found some incredible ideas in there – we want to help share them with the world!