09-18-2017 07:20 AM - edited 09-19-2017 12:14 AM
For a long time, I have had this special idea on how to make real natural locomotion for VR.
I got the idea ½ year before I could afford my Vive (in may), and now that I own it, I am constantly reminded, that there must be a better way.
And yes, there are more than 20 different current VR movement ideas/solutions out there..
- But this is new! (prove me wrong)
Btw - since this is the first time I share this, I would love and appreciate some feedback.
Do you get the idea? does it have potential? will it work? can it be done? is it rubbish? =)
The reason I "waited" to post about it until now, is that I think this idea is so good, that I would be able to actually partner with someone, and maybe earn a little money on this.
But reality is, that I have no knowledge on how to develop it, and I have not been able to find the right people, or get response from those I contacted.
- So I give up on persuing this myself, and now choose to share it here. I hope the idea will work, and benefit all of VR.
- My idea for ingame VR locomotion, to make movement easy, natural and maybe even help a little with reducing nausea.
Disclaimer.. This is just an idea. I have no clue, if the tracking is possible. I expect it to be possible, but I have no way of making and testing it.
My idea is basically based on movement on the spot - "simulate walking".
Yes, others have figured this out - there are some who track head bobbing, by walking on the spot by lifting you feet. But this is too hard to do for a longer period, and running is not an option.
Lets admit it - a lot of VR gamers are not too athletic.. So we cannot make a system that leaves the player sweating and gasping for breath after 5 minutes.. How will he survive Fallout4 open world lol.
Instead, track the head bobbing, by walking on the spot, but BY bending you knees only - left-right-left-right etc. Stand with your feed a little apart, facing forward and shifting the bend. An easy rythimc motion, that anyone can actually do for hours. That is the basic move... - Then we expand:
- Walking: As mentioned, small knee bends, 1 knee at a time, in a walking pace.
- Running: Same motion, but quicker pace.
So ingame you can run and walk. It can be a 2. speed version, or more advanced, pick speed according to the knee movement pace.
- Jumping: Just a simultanious small, but deeper (than walk) bend of both knees. Tracking wise, the deeper "headbob" should be recorded as a jump. And the length of the jump should be based on the speed up to the jump. So 3 versions. Standing jump, walking jump and running jump.
On normal PC, we steer with the mouse. In VR I have 3 solutions. Head, Turning or Controller.
If head-look-steering is possible, it would be great, because that would leave the hands totally free, for like aming in opposite directions while doing advanced movement.
- First thought is of course to just turn your body in the real direction. However that will interrupt the walking/running motion. So I dont know if it can work?
- Head Steering: this is probably not a good version, since I expect it will cause nausea. But it should be tested, if turning should follow where you look.
Alternative for testing could be just tilting your head left or right for turning direction. But that is just me brainstorming options =)
- Controller steering: Probably the best way.. use/push the trackpad for direction. This will also solve walking backwards. - This would be possible, even with items in both hands, like duawielding guns/blades.
- Crouching.. Well if walk/run has the headbobbing at hight X, then let crouch be at a little deeper kneee bend, like jump, but staying down is a crouch. Like hight X-5 inches.
Its a bit harder, but you can still headbob, in this position, it will be a bit more of an ass/hip wiggle.
- Walking stairs - just keep the walk motion.
- Walking ladder - just keep the walk motion, or if a contact is needed, reach arms forward while walking?
- Sidestepping.. If you have controller steering, then tilt head for strafing sideways. If you have head-steering, then use touchpad for sidestepping.
Those are the basic moves of my idea. Hope you like it!
I had this idea long before anyone else picked up on tracking the headbopping. But they use the wrong motion for it.
Originally my idea was also to use 2 trackers, attached on the side right under the knees, for more specialized tracking. But doing it with no trackers will make it more accessible to more players.
With 1-2 trackers however, a lot more options opens up.
I have a bunch of more ideas for this, but you now got the basic idea, and I really hope that someone with the skills can develop it, not just for yourself and your own game, but for all of VR, to make VR movement better for everyone.
I want to see this solution in games like Skyrim and Fallout4 for VR - So Bethesda, if you use it! Send me a nice fat bonus please!
If someone wants more ideas on this from me, feel free to contact me.
Solved! Go to Solution.
09-19-2017 02:18 PM
I like this idea and have not seen it implemented elsewhere. I don't think you see stuff like this commonly becasue it requires custom IK which can be very expensive to develop. I'll run it by some of our teams using the trackers.
Technical Specialist; San Francisco, CA
09-20-2017 12:31 AMSolution
Thank you VN/DavidR for your reply and interest.
If you look at the solution with tracker in mind, then I have a ton of notes and ideas to support and expand on the possibilities. Just contact me.
And of course, if Vive developers takes interest in my idea, I would expect you to make a Vive Tracker solution, because that is in your own tracker-selling interest
Making the solution with 1 tracker (1 is enough) is of course the easy solution, because then you go from tracking headbobbing to the pace of knee bending, or maybe a combination.
Please give me feedback from the teams, if they like the idea, or dismiss it if its bad or too difficult to make work?