A new Cubism update arriving next month will add support for using passthrough as the game’s background on Quest 2, along with a nifty visual effect that allows your hands to display in front of virtual objects.
Cubism was one of the first games to experiment with the Passthrough API back in August, however it didn’t support hand tracking in passthrough at the time due to unresolved bugs in the OpenXR implementation of hand tracking. This new update, coming next month, supports hand tracking and uses some tricks to sell the visual effect.
Most games that implement the passthrough API don’t let you ‘see’ your real hands against the environment. Blaston, for example, puts a subtle black circle around your hands and controllers, placing the game’s virtual hands on top.
— Thomas Van Bouwel🔜#GDC2023 (@tovanbo) December 18, 2021
However, Cubism allows you to see your hands properly at all times, even if they’re in front or behind any of the game’s objects. You can see this in action in the video embedded above.
Usually, such a trick would also leave with you with distorted hands thanks to the way the passthrough image is constructed from the Quest’s cameras (which is part of the reason for the black circle solution in other games). Cubism circumvents this by applying a faint outline of your virtual hands over the passthrough image, according to a Reddit comment from the developer. The game also uses selective passthrough on top of in-game objects when your hands pass over them, which keeps the hands visible on top of the game’s assets at all times.