VR Sea Legs – Update 4

This post is part of the series VR Sea Legs Development

Our first step during design was to develop the methodology behind our choices.

Here’s our plan. Read our blog posts to unlock more content!

Why should we pick one movement style over another? Which can we trust for VR newcomers, and which are more advanced?

We are starting with teleportation as it is the most comfortable initial experience. One they are accustomed to this type of movement we will take them into Hand Guided grounded movement, which uses the direction of the hand to control movement angle as opposed to the direction of a joystick.

Why not jump right into joystick movement? People coming from a gaming background find stick movement familiar and they have experience in controlling the movement, however VR users with little to no controller based gaming experience find this difficult. Users without a lot of joystick experience will often press slightly diagonal on the stick instead of perfectly “forward”. If you press forward you expect to go forward, not diagonally. When this occurs the user experience an extreme mismatch of their intention and their movement which translates to VR Sickness.

When you signal your direction by pointing and pressing a button, we call it movement intention. Teleportation causes the least amount of discomfort in part because it takes time to target where you are going, which solidifies intention. You know exactly where you want to go, you declare your intention by pointing and pressing a button.

However, teleportation can be extremely limiting. When you have close combat, teleportation breaks the user experience and essentially cheats death. It’s also problematic for vertical traversal of the game space.

SpaceDragons don’t teleport. They fly!

Our first areas after the intro use hand-guided movement. You point the controller, press the movement button, and you’re off. You signal your intention, and then movement follows. This is one of the core aspects of reducing VR nausea. For the very first experience, we showcase grounded movement because it’s familiar to the user, and lessens the risk that they’ll experience vertigo.

In order to get them accustomed to the style of movement, we start slow and with simple tasks. After these tasks are complete, users will unlock the ability to sprint, and we’ll start getting them accustomed to faster movement.

As you can see on the image we have more stuff to unlock…up next: Flight Path!

Continue reading this series:

Categories Dev Blog VR Sea Legs