We have been running our VR-Arcade in Hamburg, Germany for about one year now. During the course of this time we have tested out many solutions to try to create the best possible experience for ourselves and our customers. In this blog series we will be sharing with you our insider hints and tips that may assist or inspire your Arcade.
In this article we will explain how we’ve managed to have all of our VR Stations operation-ready with the click of a single button.
First purchase a set of these “Remote Control Power Switches”.
Then you have to pair the remote control with the Power Switch.
Simply plug the Remote Control Power Switch into the wall socket. Now the Power Switch device should blink. This means that it can be paired. All you have to do is press one of the “On” buttons on the remote control. Now you can switch the power supply on and off with “On / Off”.
This way you can connect several power switches to just one remote control. The two buttons at the bottom of the remote control are there to switch all connected power switches on or off at once.
Note: To get into Bios, we had to remove the Vive Pro video cable, otherwise it wouldn’t display.
In order for the PC to turn on automatically when it gets powered on by pressing the remote, we need to do a little trick.
Most PCs have a BIOS setting that specifies what should happen when power returns after a power outage. This setting is usually found in the Advanced Settings and is called “Restore AC Power Loss” or something along those lines. Find this setting and switch it to “Power On”.
It is important that the PCs are no longer shut down via Windows, but that they are switched off with the remote control during operation. Essentially what we will be doing is simulating a power failure and providing a new contingency when said ‘power failure’ occurs.
It must be noted that If we shut down the PCs through Windows as usual, the paired remote won’t be able to turn the computers back on, and hence the trick won’t work will not work,
This method may sound quite rough, but according to our information and experience, there is no danger for the hardware. That being said we cannot guaranteed this entirely, so please do this at your own risk. If you are using an SSD hard disk, in very rare cases it can happen that the operating system is damaged in case of a power failure. However, we never had this problem.
We’ve added a hidden feature to Tower Tag that automatically connects the game to the default lobby when it starts, without you having to press anything. You can activate this feature by selecting the properties on the desktop shortcut and then adding “-autostart” to the target. If Tower Tag is started now, your customers will be automatically booted into the lobby of the game without you having to do any manual settings on your PC anymore
(This step might not be possible with other games).
The next step is a Windows classic. We place the desktop shortcut of the VR game, in our case Tower Tag, in the Windows Start-up folder to automatically start the game when the computer boots. To do this we press the Windows key together with the “R” key. Now a command line opens. There we enter “shell:startup” and press Enter. The “Start Up folder” will be opened. Now we copy the changed desktop shortcut into the start folder.
Those were all necessary steps. The next time you press the On button on the remote control, the PCs will turn on and boot, Tower Tag (or another game) will start automatically and connect automatically to the other Tower Tag PCs.
We are looking forward to your feedback!