Capstone Planning: Locomotion Research

For my capstone project I wanted to create an immersive experience and experiment with Unity’s terrain building features. One of my major complaints with VR experiences is the teleport mechanic which, unless there is a good in-game reason for it, breaks immersion. There are three potential solutions for this:

  1. Operate at room scale. This solution has been employed very well in Space Pirate Trainer, and Chair in a Room, but does not work well if I want to fully explore a terrain.
  2. Find a good in-game reason to have a teleport system.
  3. Use an alternative form of locomotion.

Of these three the last one seemed like the most fun. There are some fantastic experiments being done in the realm of VR locomotion and it would give me a chance to try my hand at something a bit more complex. So the first step is to look into what is already being done. Links to some of my research are below.

If we rule out teleportation, and confined room scale, the next most appealing is the subtle manipulation of the virtual space that keeps the user physically moving within their limited boundaries while appearing to, as implemented in Unseen Diplomacy. This would require a level of sophistication in planning that I am not sure I am up to at the moment. Ultimately I decided to experiment with a walk in place mechanic. This can still cause vection in some users, but it seems like it might be at a level that can be adapted to.

 

Links:

Oculus and Crytek Explore New & Novel Methods of VR Locomotion

https://www.blog.google/products/google-vr/daydream-labs-locomotion-vr/

https://medium.com/usable-or-not/the-science-of-locomotion-in-vr-e2314be3f1ca

https://medium.com/pixel-tours/get-moving-locomotion-in-virtual-reality-dbfbb08ab867

 

 

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