If your experiences with VR left you sick to your stomach, you may be interested in a new game that is changing the way we see locomotion in VR games.
When I first tried the HTC Vive, I was amazed at how immersive it was. The graphics didn’t need to be entirely lifelike as they surrounded me, and each fluid movement made me feel like I had entered a holodeck programmed for a variety of experiences.
It was an incredible moment, but then I tried a flight simulator, and I found myself getting dizzy, and as interested as I may be in why the headset could trick my brain into discomfort, it kept me from being the fighter ace I usually am on a television set or monitor.New VR game Sprint Vector has puke-proof fluid locomotion system.Click To Tweet
VR gaming isn’t expanding as fast as I would like it to, but it is growing to the point that we are expanding video game interfaces. Whatever the science is behind the ‘dizziness effect’ in VR games, game designers and VR developers will have to figure out how to address it and fast.
That being said, there are a few ways to avoid the problems with locomotion in video games, and the new game Sprint Vector has an innovative solution, at least for its genre.
Sprint Vector Outruns Locomotion Issues
VR headsets can make you dizzy because they trick your brain into thinking that motion is happening even when you are sitting still. That sucks, but how do you convince your brain that you aren’t, in fact, jumping off of a sheer cliff, twisting and flipping your way safely toward the ground?
In Sprint Vector, the answer to that question is the Fluid Locomotion System, which is their unique control scheme. Each movement has a corresponding physical motion that goes with it, and because the responses of the game are so fine tuned with the inputs from the controllers, your brain doesn’t freak out. Whether it is too busy multitasking, or it just needed the rest of the body to move to not freak out at jumping off of a building, we don’t know, but we’re happy it works.
Here are some examples of the Fluid Locomotion System in action:
To run, you pull a trigger on the controller and swing your arm backward, as if you are pushing with a ski-pole. Reportedly the motion feels a lot like skating when you get used to it, and it combines seamlessly with the other movement methods such as jumping, flying, climbing and swerving.
Jumping is done by using another button on the controller, and timing counts as it will determine the height of your jump. If you get good at it, you can double jump by using the other controller at the same time.
Climbing is kind of like running but imagine swinging instead of skating.
Then we have my personal favorite: Swerving. Swerving lets you move quickly from side to side, and it will be used to quickly dodge objects while running at full-speed. I’m hoping that swerving is extra cool because if it is then that means that playing a running back in VR football games may have a future.
Locomotion in VR’s Future
Sprint Vector has a unique control method, and it will be interesting to see how well it works and how fun it is to play. For now, we’ll have to stick with cockpits, which really only work for vehicle games, and teleportation, which is fun but can kind of kill the immersion effect that comes with a VR headset.
Other games might think about utilizing the motion controls in a way similar to Sprint Vector, even if copying the control scheme entirely is out of the question. I wouldn’t mind having to move my arms around a little instead of fumble around with the teleportation device in the HTC Vive, and it could add some suspense to games where my character is running around (or away from a monster).
It will be interesting to watch how VR evolves, especially as it trickles down into the mainstream. With all the time it is taking to gain steam; hopefully, VR developers will take this extra time to polish their products.