Crystal Cave VR (ON HOLD)
By Jmcm16


You must enter the cave ready to uncover the secrets locked within this First-Person VR adventure!

Platforms:

Status:

Concept

Genre:

Adventure

Audience:

Kids

Other devlogs on this game:

Dev Log 4) I love my Masterpiece!
Devlog by Jmcm16 on February 25, 2018.


Dev Log 3) Milestones: Deadlines of Doom!
Devlog by Jmcm16 on February 21, 2018.


Dev Log 1) A New Beginning
Devlog by Jmcm16 on February 17, 2018.


Dev Log 2) The Navigation Situation!
By Jmcm16 on February 17, 2018, 3:04 pm.


Hello GameDev Underground!

Super Speedy Update: Player is able to move about the scene, as well as a spotlight has been parented to the camera to set up for the headlamp you obtain in the game.


NEWSFLASH: "MOBILE VR CAUSES MANY TO FALL SICK"

At one point or another, we've all seen headlines similar to this. Some would call it sensationalism, others would call it a game-breaking issue. 

So which is it?


Motion sickness is a common problem in VR today, and I can assure you that it is certainly an issue. (1) In case you aren't sure what motion sickness is, I highly recommend you go below deck on a ship or read while riding in a moving car on a curvy road. (2) You'll find out soon enough. For those who aren't as daring, motion sickness is caused by a perceived unbalance of your visual information and your balance information.

VR Sickness results from the fact that what you are seeing is not your reality, and if there is any difference between what you feel balance-wise and what you see, that is grounds for major sickness, even if temporary.


There is Good News!

Fortunately, if we follow some good industry-standard rules and guidelines, we can minimize this effect drastically:

  1. Don't force the camera to rotate against the player's control.
  2. Avoid moving the camera at all costs.
  3. If you must absolutely move the camera, don't use acceleration.

For those of us who come from a background in cinematography or level design, this may be a very startling set of rules.

"Don't force the camera to rotate against the player's control? Avoid moving the camera? Don't use acceleration?"


How can you move the player in VR?

There are actually several ways of giving the player mobility in VR:

  • Teleporting

While not ideal, it is the most surefire way of making sure players of your game don't get sick as they are playing. It is also one of the more restricting mechanics in terms of gameplay. Most of the time where this falls short is when there are rotation controls with teleporting. That just makes it confusing to the player, and awkward to utilize.

  • Locomotion (controller based)

Very few games make use of this, especially on the mobile platform. It's very hard to pull off, but may make the game feel a little bit closer to the games we play every day. Lots of VR games use controllers to make mini teleports, "nudging" the player along.

  • Locomotion (room-scale)

The absolute, most ideal play experience. If it's trouble for us to move the player, why not they move on their own? After all, we could use ARKit to track the relative player position, especially since it's getting better every day...

At the same time, while it is a cool concept (and I have pulled it off, and it works extremely well), it's not the standard use of ARKit, nor is it common mobile VR standard. Remember, we're developing games, not technology :)

  • Locomotion (way-point based)

This is an innovative way that I figured out how to navigate, and it's relatively simple: the player points to a location on the ground, a guide arrow/line then plots the path on the ground to reach that point, and then the player moves at whatever speed is comfortable until they reach that spot. (3) Because of having a visual path on the ground, it minimizes the impact of the player moving and not knowing exactly where they are headed. After extensive playtesting, this was the best feature that felt comfortable and I have decided to make this a big part of the game. 


Since a lot of my game will be exploring a cave in VR, getting the player movement right is extremely important. For my game's implementation, I will be giving the user the option to choose either to teleport or use way-point locomotion, just to give some comfort adjustments for VR. I could go into the topic of giving the player VR comfort options, but that will be for a later devlog. 


From the Developer, 

Josh M.

___________________________________________________

1. I once decided I wanted to try a few VR games off the iOS App Store. Unbeknownst to me, most of these had poor camera controls or had broken the guidelines mentioned in this dev log. Suffice to say, I needed a whole lot of rest and a bit of recovery time before I could continue on through my day. Note, this is not typically the norm for me. I tend to do very well in VR, but no one is perfect.

2. PLEASE don't actually attempt to read while driving. That would be very dangerous, and someone could get hurt. Have one of your friends drive :)

3. I think I got the idea based on a few different concepts that have been presented in the VR community. And I also was thinking of GPS at the time.




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