In this episode, we look at intuitive controls and how your game or application interacts with objects and environments.
I'm Seth Schneider, and this is VR UX. In this episode, we talk about intuitive VR controls.
Intuitive controls means that it should feel natural to interact with objects. There will always be a small learning curve when entering a new VR environment, so it's best to make exploring easy.
Keep in mind that the same precision required in the real world is generally not required in the virtual world. In the real world, in order to manipulate an object, you have to grasp an actual object. In VR, you can generally approximate something (like picking up an object off the ground) by triggering an action within a certain range of that object.
The realism should come from the unique ways objects respond to interactions, for example, the sound effects they make or the way an object moves through the air when thrown. Utilizing features, such as a basin of attraction, can give players more leeway in how they manipulate objects so that they don't get distracted by repeated failures to do simple tasks.
In this context, a basin of attraction represents a set of user inputs that will result in a desired action. For example, if a VR user is attempting to place a bottle upright on a table, you shouldn't apply an extremely realistic physics model to see if the bottle stays upright. The VR application should accept a larger range of orientations that will result in the desired outcome. Basically, close should be good enough.
Finally, it is important to avoid requiring users to make lots of large movements with their arms. This risks the possibility of players getting gorilla arms. This is a phenomena seen in some VR titles where the players are required to play with their arms always extended. Gorilla arms can cause fatigue, discomfort, and take away from the immersive experience.
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