Simulation sickness is the bane of both virtual reality (VR) users and developers. Caused by a disconnect between what the eyes are perceiving and what the body feels, many developers make reducing these symptoms a high priority, a job which may now be easier with the launch of VR Tunnelling Pro.
Sigtrap Games gained some praise from VR users and critics with its approach to making the VR experience comfortable in its title Sublevel Zero Redux. The developer has taken the technology and turned it into a plugin for Unity, one of the most widely used videogame engines.
VR Tunnelling Pro, or VRTP, allows developers to introduce a number of tools for reducing simulation sickness in users. The plugin comes with a number of presets that let users further adjust the comfort settings to make it suitable for their individual requirements when playing.
The basic idea comes from ‘tunnelling’, which involves controlling the peripheral vision of a player. This is due to the brain taking the majority of information on movement from the peripheral vision, so by controlling what can been seen in peripheral vision during moments of high intensity.
VRTP allows users and developers to access several modes and settings to improve comfort. Peripheral vision can be darkened, blurred or a ‘cage can be placed there to convince the brain that motion is not occurring. Advanced modes allow for static objects such as cockpits to enhance comfort even further.
Sigtrap co-founder Gary Lloyd says “We’re passionate about VR, but comfort is still a huge barrier to entry for many. Whether indie or AAA, we see similar mistakes being made over and over again. We wanted to expand on our comfort technology and make it widely available to solve some of these, and make comfort a standard feature in VR games.”
VRTP supports all the major VR platforms, including Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, and there is a version available for mobile VR use.
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