Part 6: Design Considerations

Christiane Snyder

When designing for Virtual Reality, there are some limitations. In the current market, every HMDs you will work with will have some set-back on the experience it can provide. One of the most important things while coming up with an idea for a certain piece of VR hardware is to take into consideration what that hardware cannot do and ensure your game mechanics work harmoniously with the hardware’s limitations. As with any medium, it’s always best to work with it rather than against it.

Even the highest quality headsets out there have limits, for example, the Oculus Rift’s user mobility is bounded at 11x15 feet and HTC Vive is bounded at 15x15 feet. To accommodate, clever designers have come up with game mechanics like floating (so users don’t move their feet and are therefore more mobile in the virtual world) and teleportation to account for this set-back.

If you’re creating a game using the technology, none of your game mechanics should work against the capabilities of your VR headset or else you risk not only creating a bad game, but making your players very motion sick. At no point during your experience should the player see something that doesn’t match up with what their body feels. If the headset your using doesn’t have motion tracking of a player in a scene, do not use some other input controller to allow the player to walk. Try a simulation where everything takes place sitting down (i.e a rollercoaster, fighter jet, car, etc.).