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VR Game Design
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #1
VR Game Design
I've not been very active on the game design front of late, as I've been working towards retirement, but I've recently bought an HTC Vive system and have become fascinated with the future potential of VR.

Have any of you been working on any VR projects using Esenthel and OpenVR? If so I'd really like to hear your experiences so far.
08-28-2016 04:56 PM
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Esenthel Offline
Administrator

Post: #2
RE: VR Game Design
I've made Dungeon Hero (on Steam) which supports OpenVR.
And when I was testing it on Oculus Rift, the game felt much more realistic, stronger feeling of immersion, monsters are more real, and also a little bit more scary too, in a good way.

I think the biggest difficulty in VR games is movement and nausea.
In my game I didn't notice it, maybe because it has 90 deg rotation, and block based movement.
08-28-2016 11:58 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #3
RE: VR Game Design
Thanks for the reply Greg, I hadn't realised Dungeon Hero was VR enabled ... very nice!

I'd very much agree, being 'inside' the game as such really adds an incredible feeling of immersion and realism. It's hard to ignore something attacking you no matter how unrealistic it might look as your senses are telling you it's really there even though your brain knows it isn't. Turning around and finding something right behind you still makes me jump in a way that never happened playing on a monitor. It's exciting but scary at the same time!

I've not suffered too much from motion sickness so far but I think people have differing sensitivities to it. The high frame rates seem to help I think but with the peripheral vision being fully immersed too it's more likely to cause issues with motion and sensory confusion as the eyes have no static point of reference.

Certainly, the conventional forward velocity movement of typical first person controllers initially feels uneasy and unnatural in VR, and can make me feel a little queasy. However, just walking on the spot seems to alleviate that (gets tiring after a bit of course grin ). I've found I have gradually de-sensitised to it though as I've played more.

I personally prefer to teleport which seems to have no negative affects. The ability to actually walk around in a defined 'play area' within the virtual reality is also very effective and adds even more to the immersion. Unfortunately most of us are somewhat constrained in the amount of space we can clear in our homes to accommodate this.

Certain things still inevitably break the immersion though as you cannot truly feel physical things in the way you do in real life. Like resting your hand on a hand rail whilst descending stairs, your hand just goes straight through it in game. There is obviously nothing to restrict your physical arm even if collision is applied to the arm you are seeing in the game itself. So there are of course limits to the VR illusion and experience.

The perceived resolution is still very low too, achieving nothing like the resolution we are currently used to with HD and above monitors. The increased FOV decreasing the pixels per degree of vision considerably.

Still a fascinating technology though despite it's current drawbacks. Upon retiring I might have to invest in a new licence and play around with this as it's definitely fun and destined to become more main stream as time goes on and the technology improves.
08-29-2016 01:48 AM
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RedcrowProd Offline
Bronze Supporter

Post: #4
RE: VR Game Design
i feel like VR is too early in is conception, maybe in a couple years it might start being interesting. ( price/technology )
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2016 05:10 PM by RedcrowProd.)
08-29-2016 05:09 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #5
RE: VR Game Design
Oh its definitely interesting already !!! Just very expensive at the moment, but the Sony Play Station release will go some way to reducing that cost and encouraging more sales of this technology.

There are literally hundreds of Indie Studio's designing games for VR, and some are very innovative too. The bigger AAA companies are holding back a bit as I suspect the market place is not large enough yet to interest them (not enough profit in it as yet). It's currently a great opportunity for Indie game makers.

The interesting thing is most of the game releases have support for both current systems (Oculus/Vive) which is encouraging as this does not appear to be turning into a war between the systems which benefits no one really and scares away potential buyers of the hardware.
08-30-2016 10:04 AM
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Zervox Offline
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Post: #6
RE: VR Game Design
The way I've experienced VR seems that they still won't be able to overcome the sense of disconnection between movement, a fast paced game just can't take advantage unless you actually make "VR arenas"(The Void I belive one is called) in which people walk through a mace of objects were the game cleverly makes you move and rotate around the room.

playing with VR and having to use mouse and keyboard is extremely annoying to me, being able to look around constrained to how you do it in real life is great, but when that is pretty much all they have nailed down its hard to truly enjoy it.

AxonVR or Virtuix omni is one making a step closer to that. smile
08-30-2016 12:25 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #7
RE: VR Game Design
Realistic movement and true physical constraints are definitely two of the biggest limitations in current VR but technology is advancing all the time and solutions are coming on board to aid with that.

The Void is a fascinating project and probably represents the ultimate in a VR experience where the virtual worlds are modelled around existing physical ones giving real physical feedback ... but will never be a home experience.

To be honest, along with the already up and running teleport/genuine play area movement combination, if I also had the choice of using one of the existing treadmill type motion systems which allow you to walk/run in any direction whilst remaining in a fixed position then that would probably solve 95% of all the VR motion requirements.

I agree that the sensory feedback suit type systems being developed are looking promising in terms of delivering more tactile feedback.

Being tied to a keyboard and mouse would indeed be a huge immersion breaker. I have not played a single VR game that required this as the Vive has hand held controllers which movement and game functions are mapped to. So you are free to move around (within limits) in the Virtual World.

I would never argue that the technology hasn't got a long way to go yet or that VR is a replacement for conventional gaming. I see the two running along side each other as each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
08-30-2016 04:24 PM
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Zervox Offline
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Post: #8
RE: VR Game Design
as VR is now and I've tested quite a few of these collective ways of using VR, VR is still at most a hyperbole with the exception of a few genres of products which really won't change games overall as it is still way to early in its infancy.

The best and only VR that I truly enjoyed, even as I tested it for well more than 4 hours was in simulated flight, in which you had a joystick,VR with special gloves which tracked your hands so you could push buttons in the cockpit in-game, the gloves then activated pressure on your hands by utilizing motor controlled bands/wires that would tighten and relax around the hand(felt very realistic besides the gloves weighing a tad bit more artic gloves).

The above could be applied to any game which primarily focuses on simulating scenarios that you would mostly be sitting still, Vehicular/Ships/Airplane/Spaceship.

PS: I should note that I do not expect people to be defending or attacking a certain technology, VR has a great future, but how fast we will get there and at which point consumers can enjoy it at home or at an affordable rate is what will change the VR game.
I am excited about VR's future but I am not entirely convinced at this moment, gathering experience from developing with VR now though might not be a horrible idea as the basics is probably not going to disappear the next 10 years atleast.
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2016 06:33 PM by Zervox.)
08-30-2016 06:24 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #9
RE: VR Game Design
I agree, VR is very much in its infancy and has a long way to go yet. It will be fascinating to see how it's evolves over the next 10 years. I was interested to hear about your flight sim experience as that sounded really quite effective with the feedback from the gloves.

I do think the individual impression of current VR technology though is greatly influenced by one's own expectations.

I went into it with very fairly low expectations and have been pleasantly surprised at the degree of immersion it currently offers, finding it exciting and really quite addictive.

As an example I currently play a hour of table tennis most nights against an AI opponent that is competitive enough for me. The experience is of a full sized table housed in a sizable American style basement and, for all intents and purposes, it
provides a realistic experience leaving me in a sweat at the end of the hour. I do not have the space in my home for a real table tennis table and sufficient surrounding movement area. This imo is an effective implementation of VR at its current level.

I do however think the term Virtual Reality is a poorly chosen one and would prefer a term like 'Immersive Systems', as the goal of reproducing reality virtually is a lofty goal indeed and clearly a long way from being realised ... if ever.
08-31-2016 10:35 AM
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