Jason Rubin, VP of Content at Oculus, and Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac Games took time out from the endless flurry of announcements, trailers and reveals at E3 2018 to give their thoughts on various topics associated with virtual reality (VR) and videogames in general. One of the hot topics in VR at the moment concerns locomotion, and the best way to beat back the scourge of simulation sickness.
Many veterans of VR are beginning to demand more realistic means of movement from VR titles, pushing back against the prevalence of teleport movement. Rubin and Price spoke about how work on these areas remains on going.
Price began that when development on VR began at Insomniac Games, few realised just how different working in VR would be: “We didn’t know how traversal worked. We assumed when we began diving in that we could design VR games the same way that we’ve been designing games for the last 25 years. We figured level layouts and gunplay would be the same and it totally isn’t.”
He went on to explain that developer had a significant learning curve when it came to discovering what worked in VR: “When you are moving around, it’s totally different – your head is the camera, so you can’t control the camera independently. We had to learn to walk before we could run.”
Rubin added that there was much concern about keeping players comfortable in VR: “In The Unspoken we made the decision not to use locomotion, to instead warp around, because we weren’t confident we could get locomotion to work comfortably. Now you’re climbing mountains and jumping all over the place. There are all these tricks we’ve pulled to make it comfortable. It’s amazing how far we’ve come.”
Price said that things have changed as more people have started using VR: “I Think a lot of that has to do with more adoption of VR and more acclimatisation of players who have been in games which have been experimenting with how traversal locomotion should work.”
The technology is, in many ways, still in early stages of development, but Price said that working on something no new and cutting edge is exciting: “Very rarely do developers get to be on the ground floor of new tech and new design paradigm. At Insomniac we’ve been designing console games for so long, and now to have something that’s totally different is inspiring.”
For further coverage and news from E3 2018, keep watching VRFocus.