VR Games are the newest coolest thing in town. I admit I have never had much taste for them, the problem is twofold, being in motion, when not in motion, repulses the body. Your body is designed to do two things when you are in VR moving around, NO: 1 – Your eyes and brain will believe you are in that VIRTUAL WORLD. It doesn’t matter if the graphics aren’t perfect, if you open your eyes, and see that you are in a virtual reality world, then you are in one. Your eyes accept what they see readily. Where everything begins to break down, is a while later, when you start moving your character. It doesn’t really matter if it’s no man’s sky or elite dangerous, just a standardized FPS control set, where you look with the right stick, and move with the left stick. This causes the body to befall to sickness.
An unfortunate reality of VR. The body does not like having it’s eyes controlled with a control stick without any motion involved in one’s head. THE BODY DOES NOT LIKE BEING CONTROLLED WITH A CONTROL STICK. The feeling of motion is absent. This causes sickness in the body. Play for an hour, you are vomiting and possibly falling down.
Always stop playing the game if you start to feel sick.
Check out our retrospective of this classic survival horror game, PATHOLOGIC CLASSIC HD, if you have the time.
So what was their answer to this problem?
While the reality being, one should run around in a large emptied out environment, is actually how VR should be naturally played, the problem of motion is removed entirely. Like a surgeon cutting out an unnecessary heart and replacing it with a mechanical one, the issue of motion is solved by removing motion outright, through the use of teleportation. The body does particularly mind teleportation.
I do not like playing SKYRIM with teleportation. My animal mind coughs out a phrase somewhat resembling “That’s not SKYRIM!!?”
I feel a sense of dissatisfaction with this, as I sit in my spaceship, armed with high grade mechanical cannons, and gatling guns, moving through the infinite void of space, with an instinctual terror. The body does not mind sitting in a chair and the room he’s in moving around is in motion, this does not repulse the body.
But the feeling of floating millions of miles above the earth in the infinite void of space has always been a phobia of mine. When I am floating in the infinite void of space, I feel an instinctual terror, a sense of panic, roughly akin to “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH IM FLOATING IN THE VOID OF SPAAAAAAAAACCEE HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!!!!!”
This is not displeasing to the body, but the mind rejects it. Space Sims are mostly a psycholgical issue with me, rather than a physical one. Try playing No Man’s Sky in VR without getting quickly afraid.
OK I’M IN I WANT THE TERROR AND THE SICKNESS – What are you talking about?!
In order to experience the things which I have just described, you must first acquire a VR HELMET. We do not yet have VR SUNGLASSES the next big upgrade, with AUGMENTED REALITY OVERLAYS OVER ACTUAL REALITY, which doesn’t exist yet. But when we do, it will gamify dating, and anyone wearing those gamified sunglasses is RICH.
People who can’t date will be outraged, and sue. Calling it some variety of bad names designed to ruin everybody’s fun to take them to their level. To equalize the fun, as it were.
A good set of VR HELMET to achieve this is the OCULUS QUEST 2. The latest in a long line of VR HELMET’S DESIGNED TO MAKE VR FUN AND ACCESSABLE FOR EVERYBODY, without a bunch of cameras nailed into your ceiling.
I was never a fan of those camera’s I had to nail into the ceiling, in frustration I put them in a clear bag and threw them on the sidewalk, someone almost immediately picked it up and took it home.
The Oculus Quest 2 does not have this problem. The standard model costs 400 USD, the 256 GB Version will set you back 550 USD. I have the latter version, but I need to bring it from my old place.
How bad is VR motion sickness?
Certain games in VR will trigger motion sickness in some people, making gaming difficult if not impossible. Make sure to take breaks between sessions and drink lots of water, or ginger helps too, and always stop playing if you feel sick.
Check out this article from WIRED, on the topic.
Will Nanite work in VR?
Neither lumen lighting or the new nanite mesh work in VR.
How long does it take to learn Unreal engine?
While you could do it in a few weeks, arguably 4 months of study will give you the experience you need to have a good grasp of the Unreal Engine.
Will there be an Oculus Quest 3?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed a new Oculus Quest is in development, but don’t expect it before 2022.
HOW DO I INSTALL AND PLAY THE OCULUS QUEST 2
Just follow the installation guide. You need to download a proprietary app from OCULUS, get STEAM VR connected to it, a bit of tinkering to get it running with UNREAL ENGINE. Nothing too difficult really. The setup is a bit confusing. But once you have the helmet connected to the point that you can plug it in and play a game, you’re basically good to go.
You can start developing in Unreal immediately.
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WHAT KIND OF GAMES SHOULD I DEVELOP IN VR???
Keeping in mind the madness I just described. There are a few key genre’s you can stick to.
STATIONARY / ON RAILS
You won’t run into any motion sickness related problems if you have the player as stationary or on rails. As long as the player is standing still, they can use their fists and weapons to take down hordes of minions and enemies, sending wave after wave of enemies after them. Wave based games work well with this. A good example is Superhot VR.
In Superhot VR, you move your head by looking, move your hand around to fire weapons and fight people. The body is not sickened by this, because you are standing in place, but the motions and movements you do see are being mirrored by your own motions, so the body accepts it.
This can be done to really great effect in certain games, for instance, Until Dawn : Rush of Blood was a genuinely fun and scary game, feeling more like a rollercoaster with gunplay than a standard shooter, because of the on rails nature of the game, the body accepts it, almost without question, and the sickness is beaten back.
Of course there are those of us who don’t get sick from VR at all, a sizeable portion of the gameplaying population, so this isn’t always necessary.
There are lots of good games where you can teleport around, some examples come to mind like FALLOUT 4 VR and SKYRIM VR. With a bit of tricky controlling, through the clever use of teleportation, you CAN make a complex game like Skyrim or Fallout 4 work. This means that beyond the motion control related issues, you can program in the full range of interactions and scale of world and story and everything else you’ve come to expect from a modern game, and because you are teleporting the body accepts it without question.
Conversely, not all people are sickened by VR. Approximately 20%-40% of the public are sickened by VR, not everybody is. Some people have a weaker stomach for such things, the mind rejects it. So if you’re one of those members of the public who can play in VR and not get sick, then all the better for you, you can just plug in your VR headset, and switch the control mode to control stick, and you can have a somewhat normal, although sensorally unusual experience.
RPGS AND ADVENTURE GAMES WORK WELL
This type of game goes well with RPGS and ADVENTURE GAMES, vast open worlds, lots of quests and missions, a big range of weapons and items to mess around with, lots of towns and cool things like that, people to see, people to talk to, people to fight.
Teleportation, with the ability to option standard controls for people with a strong stomach, is the best of both worlds when it comes to VR development, I would recommend this path over an on rails game like Until Dawn : Rush of Blood.
VR is a very complex system to develop in, it is one of the harder, more niche fields you can be developing in, and therefore it will earn you more money. If you get really good with VR, you can make some serious bank on self employment sites, maybe even get promoted up the line to do something at a big company. VR is highly sought after and in demand, as it is specialty work, and therefore hard to come by. Along with lighting and shaders, or work on mobile devices, VR is one of the specialties you should be looking into.
Also just for your own enjoyment, you should get into VR, it is a very fun platform to develop for. Although if you’re like me you might have trouble working in both VR and standard desktop at the same time and still get work done efficiently, pick your poison and make whatever platform you like best. VR has the advantage that you can get really immersed in the world where standard desktop games cannot, but some people prefer the simplicity and familiar controls of the original. To others, doing something innovative and interesting will yield better results.
And if you’re looking to get employed, those people might be onto something. Simple desktop development is not as in demand as specialty work like VR. If you’re just good at making standard desktop games you can still find work, but you will get snatched up quicker if you have some VR experience. A little bit of VR experience under my bed and I had raytheon knocking down my door, didn’t exactly work out but that job offer was not lost on me.