Hey guys, thanks for all the feedback. Apologies for not responding sooner - but this is the first time I’ve logged in due to the festive period. I’ve been focused on my GW experience instead (gain weight).
I will most certainly look at Runeberg and Mordentral. Perhaps Runeberg first as suggested, if it has an easier learning curve - I’m not a programmer.
I wanted to add some further explanation for why I chose the locomotion method I did, and why it works for me despite the obvious limitations.
Firstly, I currently work for a simulation company and much of the work we do is tested out on VR (Oculus and Vive). We’ve done quite a bit of experimentation into limiting motion sickness, which is the real killer for a lot of people, especially non gamers. We’ve found that the biggest contributor to dizziness appears to be peripheral movement - as we’ve built some driving simulators that employ three screens, with the car wing mirrors and side windows effectively on the outer monitors. This false movement (because your brain knows you’re not really moving) can floor even the most hard core gamer after… 40 minutes or so if you don’t take a break. I’ve noticed my own tolerance for it has improved through repeated use, which is probably like training a pilot, but this is no good for someone who picks it up for the first time. So with my own project I wanted to limit, quite drastically, the chances of vomit-inducing movement.
I found that slowing everything down to a crawl has really helped, but what seems to have helped more… is using the head direction as movement direction. Strafe movement is fairly safe, as your eyes are still focused forward, but as soon as you add body rotation with your hands, while your head stands still… let’s just say that sitting with my head in my hands waiting for the room to stop spinning is something I would rather reserve for a good booze up. So my experience (I shy away from calling it a game) does not permit you to run. I’m designing it for anyone who wants to try VR and not just for experienced gamers like myself (33 years and counting). I’m using my wife as a perfect text subject as she has never played games, doesn’t get them and can’t understand why I spend so much time playing them. Makes me (and probably most of you) wonder why I married her. <jokes>
Initially I had a flashlight in the right hand, so you could move it independently of where you were actually looking - but after getting the aforementioned wife and my stepdaughter to have a go… both of them wondered around with the flashlight tightly clutched to their chest, even though it had separate functionality. Clearly they were more concerned with seeing what was directly in front of them, rather than admiring the room around them. Hmmm… interesting. So I dispensed with the handheld flashlight and fixed it to the head instead - so you always illuminate what you’re looking at - makes sense really when you think about it. What I shall probably do is have a helmet with mounted flashlight in the first room - maybe lying on the floor lighting up the exit. The player’s first action will be to pick it up - whether they want to or not. The added bonus of the head mounted version is that you reduce peripheral visibility and thus further reduce the chance of sickening your player.
So with slow, non-run movement, head locked to direction of movement and headlight focused visibility I have done as much as I can to limit the chances of spending the afternoon lying on the sofa under a blanket, sipping water and maybe, just maybe risking a dry biscuit.
The second reason I’m not too concerned with more dynamic locomotion is because, as rightly assumed by some of you, I am designing this as something to be played seated, or standing still. Not everyone has a large area to move around in and I’m guessing most people have a small, spare room/man cave where their PC is located. There are inherent downsides to the head direction being used as the “rudder” obviously - you can’t really use a keyboard. I mentioned WASD as a movement method as people understand it - I also intend to include a standard FPS type version for those without VR equipment, so in their case they will no doubt be using keyboard and mouse. I don’t know what percentage of VR users have controllers - motion or XBox - so I’m taking a little risk using that as my primary control method. With the tests I’ve done so far… standing isn’t an issue at all really. It feels natural to turn on the spot before moving. The chair also feels good with one MAJOR exception… the VR headset cable gets wrapped around you and the seat! Going 180 is fine… as long as you rotate back in the opposite direction. Otherwise you’re soon going to be tied to your chair and screaming for help to untangle yourself.
Apologies for such a large post again - just trying to paint a clearer picture of where I am with it. Nothing is set in stone at all and if a better system presents itself while I’m developing this, then I will definitely jump on it. I shall check out those plugins and see how they feel - I definitely need gravity, so will no doubt end up using an existing system. I just have to be very careful that I don’t stray too far from my original path - of creating something that is designed for everyone and not just gamers. My brother will be THE perfect test subject when I show it to him - he’s a pretty famous horror writer with no gaming or VR experience. If I can drop him in it and immerse him in a horror world he has yet to experience and he comes out smiling… I’ve done my job.
Thanks again for all the help guys - I’ll keep you posted as I delve further into this.