Creating a virtual reality (VR) videogame has its challenges, especially when tackling the subject of motion sickness. VRFocus spoke in-depth with Tamaz Murgulia, Chief Experience Officer of Neurogaming about their latest VR videogame World of Tanks and how they tackled it by looking at field of view (FoV).
VR hasn’t hit mass market yet, this means that your average consumer or the general public have still not adopted VR at home. Until the prices for VR headsets has gone down, there’s been a resurgence of arcades dedicated to VR. These out-of-home entertainment locations have started to appear in numerous locations around the world. This is exactly the space and target audience for Neurogaming, who are seeking to revive the local arcades. “It’s too clumsy to come into your home right now with all the wires, but perfect for out-of-home entertainment where you have a spare fifteen minutes,” Murgulia explains.
Creating a VR videogame has it’s own challenges as well, especially when it comes to motion sickness. Murgulia seems to remember painful memories of trying to do this, explaining that their first concept for a VR tank game was to put various players in the same tank with different roles. Neurogaming have spent around a year prototyping, experimenting with what works and doesn’t work in VR. Their first experiment RevolVR proved to be their first success. A videogame experience that lasts only eight minutes where players had to fast draw against others and win. A simple game that made players completely exhausted but had them extremely excited. “This is the experience we want to deliver,” Murgulia says, “we wanted to do something like this but with different mechanics.”
Murgulia explains that when it comes to tanks in VR, “motion sickness would be the main enemy. The adversary that hasn’t been beaten yet, no one know how to do this except us. You cannot avoid it, but you can trick your mind into not feeling that you’re motion sick.” He explains that their first step towards success is by creating intuitive controls, and that they’ve invented a mechanics of movement control which didn’t make you think too much. Players can aim separately to the movement of the tank by simply using the touchpad, this way players can look around them whilst moving around a map.
Their second solution was solving the field of view. All corners of the tanks have to be visible, and you can’t be too low or too high. You have to see the corners of the whole tank, but not on turret height and certainly not near the ground. Murgulia says that, “your mind is effected by screen resolution, and should get sick but it doesn’t because it doesn’t have much time for this. it has a goal, it’s completely taken with the idea of killing, evading, of getting kills, shooting and all this.”
So far players, even those who have never tried VR before have not experienced any motion sickness.
Currently World of Tanks is in beta mode in one location in Moscow. This is just to get feedback and will be launching to all of the locations Cinema VR exists around the world starting from May. World of Tanks by this time will have more than just team death match, but also various maps and a progression system as well.
World of Tanks can be played with four players in real time in Cinema VR, but Neurogaming are also currently looking to increase this and connect two Cinema VR systems together so four players can battle it out with tanks with four other players. This would make for a total of eight players fighting against one another in real time. To find out more watch the video below, and for further updates keep reading VRFocus.