Thursday, December 17, 2015

VR Tips Compilation #1

I've been collecting tips & advice about working with VR, from the various Unreal Engine Livestreams & GDC Talks. Even though I myself have never even used a VR device, it seemed like a good idea to get to know more about it from the people who are already working on it. This post is the first of two VR tips compilations based on the data that I've collected so far. 

  • The first and most important thing that I've heard in almost all the talks is to never take the camera control away from the player. This would mean that traditional methods like moving the camera to shift the player's focus on to important game events, would probably be a bad idea. So would changing the camera angle to reflect the action from different perspectives.

  • Many games use Depth of Field & changing Field of View to zoom in on important/relevant targets while blurring out the edges. It seems that this is not going to be of much use when working in VR. Players might create this effect naturally by closing one of their eyes while aiming at a target. It would be a better practice to cut down on the rendering costs of DoF & use it elsewhere where it's truly required.

  • When fading the screen, it's better to fade to black than fade to white. Unlike reality, the player cannot put his hands to cover his eyes if the screen is too bright. On the other hand, if they move their head as a natural impulse, it wouldn't create the necessary response thus creating a break in immersion. And I believe that immersion could be the most important advantage of VR, and when it breaks, it's probably going to be more frustrating than in traditional gaming experiences.

  • During this early stage of VR, when the general public haven't been accustomed to the experience enough to make it feel natural, it would be a good idea to not make the experience too scary. Again, the natural response of covering your eyes don't work here & that could potentially create unfavorable experiences.

With that, I conclude the first post. The second and final post should be uploaded soon.