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What are your Immersion Breaking Mechanics?

Zenbane
Level 15
A decent video came out discussing 5 mechanics in VR that essentially work against immersion.
In particular:
  • Bad Audio (too quiet, too loud)
  • Motion Blur / Tunnel Vision when running
  • Going Through Walls
  • Non-interactable objects
  • Snap Turning
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNkx7D8oou0


There are many aspects that define a good VR Game, and I believe that realism is essential. Defining realism is a bit tricky. Some people relate it to "graphic quality," but I do not. For example, the game, Pixel Ripped, intentionally has low-grade pixelated graphics, but it is a fantastic experience that doesn't suffer any of the 5 issues listed above. A good example of how irrelevant graphics are in VR, is to think of standing in two places in real-life: you could stand in the middle of the most beautiful Art Museum in the world, or you could stand in the the middle of a all white padded-cell. You will feel 100% immersed in both!

However, things like "motion blur" and "bad audio" will most definitely impact your senses, thus taking you out of the immersive experience. The issue of "snap turning" is an odd one, since even I tend to rely on it for some games that give me too much motion sickness. But for some people, I can understand how snap-turning can be immersion-breaking.

Of all the items listed, I personally can relate to the problem of
"going through walls." This has always bothered me. And it's usually the
first thing I check for in a good VR Game. Especially in puzzle/adventure games! There is nothing worse than being able to peak through a wall to essentially cheat your way through a puzzle (e.g. getting a clue from another room, or unlocking a door from the other side). Probably the one game that did this the best was: Wilson's Heart. Any time you put your head through the wall, the visuals became haunting as did the audio. This was not only a great feature, but it added to the overall theme and tone of the experience. Very few other VR experiences have matched what Wilson's Heart achieved in this regard.

I am interested in hearing anyone else's immersion breaking mechanics!
21 REPLIES 21

nalex66
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
For me it’s “press A to interact” rather than physically (virtually) grabbing things. More generally, games like FO4VR and SkyrimVR that rely too much on button presses and pancake UI design rather than playing to the strengths of VR motion controllers. I have virtual hands, let me use them to interact with the virtual world!
Guns that are perma-glued to your hand rather than picked up and held (and can’t be dropped) can also fall into this category, especially if they’re forced to be held in the right hand only. 

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Zenbane
Level 15

nalex66 said:

For me it’s “press A to interact” rather than physically (virtually) grabbing things. More generally, games like FO4VR and SkyrimVR that rely too much on button presses and pancake UI design rather than playing to the strengths of VR motion controllers. I have virtual hands, let me use them to interact with the virtual world!
Guns that are perma-glued to your hand rather than picked up and held (and can’t be dropped) can also fall into this category, especially if they’re forced to be held in the right hand only. 



Completely agree. That was the big beef I had with Skyrim VR (as I noted in my review). There was a sword on the wall and I just couldn't grab it! lol

Going a bit further with what you describe... I actually wish that all games used the Touch's "grab" button for grabbing. Some games let you do it with the Trigger button, which throws everything off. I assume that in those games there was the ability to re-map the controls. But having to re-map is annoying. I feel that all software titles for VR should standardize which button is going to be used to grab. I mean hell, it is literally called the "grab button" lol

Digikid1
Level 12
broken tracking.

Zenbane
Level 15
Anything broken definitely sucks. I was thinking more in terms of when things are actually working, yet ruin the immersive experience.

nalex66
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
Games that use the trigger for grab were generally developed on/for the Vive. The “grab” button on those wands was so poorly implemented that devs gave up on using them for the purpose. 

A dev recently asked on the Quest subreddit what mechanic Oculus users wanted for picking up guns. He was a Vive-focused developer, and had used a trigger click to lock the gun to the hand (and a grab click to drop it). Just about every reply said they preferred “grab and hold” using the grab button. 

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Anonymous
Not applicable
Personally I think that games grabbing things need the option of the Grip button toggling the grab of an object AND the option of holding the Grip button to grab and keep hold of an object. Some people prefer the former, some prefer the latter. That's what I'm planning on doing if I ever get around to working on my game ever again 😄

Zenbane
Level 15
Agreed. Vader Immortal is a good example. I can squeeze the grip button to hold my light saber, but if I let go of the grip, my Saber stays in my hand. I find this odd. I end up keeping the grip button squeeze naturally, because my mind understands that if I want to continue gripping then I must continue squeezing!

Being table to toggle is great. Options for users is the key to successful VR software implementations.
🙂

kojack
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
Technically, it's called the "Hand Trigger".
🙂

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Zenbane
Level 15

kojack said:

Technically, it's called the "Hand Trigger".




The hand trigger, yes. But there's also the "grip button" - at least that's how I've ready it over the Dev site.

“Map the grip button to grab actions.”
https://developer.oculus.com/documentation/pcsdk/latest/concepts/dg-input-touch-overview/

Although I guess if we're being purely Technical, it's referred to as the IndexTrigger
typedefenum ovrTouch_ {
ovrTouch_A = ovrButton_A,
ovrTouch_B = ovrButton_B,
ovrTouch_RThumb = ovrButton_RThumb,
ovrTouch_RThumbRest = 0x00000008,
ovrTouch_RIndexTrigger = 0x00000010,
https://developer.oculus.com/reference/libovr/1.39/o_v_r_c_a_p_i_8h/