Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

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by shole - Jam Entry

The game requires a SteamVR compatible headset and a controller (essentially just HTC Vive at the moment)
As not many people have one, I made a video;

This game is a basic arcadey "collect green, shoot red" kind of deal.
You are free to walk around in SteamVR's play area, and your gravity will always match what you're standing on.
The controller has a gun to shoot red badguys with, and a "gravity gun" that lets you choose which planet to be attracted to.
Badguys spawn at set intervals, and the interval is reduced on every green ball pickup.
This forces the player to go on offensive and clean out the level every once in a while, or they'll be swamped by baddies.
Player dies on first touch with a baddie.
There is no end state, other than death.
The game technically only uses *two buttons*, though SteamVR's six degree of freedom head and controller movements are a bit of a cheat, I admit.
Originally the gun was meant to only *grow* shapes on the spheres and the gameplay was more of a navigation puzzle.
That mechanic did not pan out however due to Vive's limited play area.
I kept walking into objects, punching walls, tripping over the cable, etc. and that's not very nice.

If you have the hardware and want to try it, note that this experiment breaks some golden rules of VR and probably will make you nauseous.

Downloads and Links




graebor says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:36am

Hello! Cool to see some vive games popping up in the jam. I've got the hardware to try it so I'll give you my thoughts.

The short of it is, I couldn't play this game for more than a couple of seconds. The space environment looked cool at first (though my fear of heights kicked in straight away) but as soon as I clicked on something and started moving I had to take the headset off immediately due to completely losing my balance and getting motion sick due to hurtling through space.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh, but I think subjecting people to locomotion like this in VR is really really not a good idea. Artificial locomotion in any form just does not feel good in VR, especially while you're standing up. Maybe you have extremely high tolerance for motion sickness, but I'm certain 99.9% of people who play this will get uncomfortable real fast and not be able to continue - this type of jarring movement can even sour newcomers on VR in general which would be super unfortunate.

My advice for you in your future VR projects is to think about comfort first (what immersive things can you do in the VR space without breaking the player's 1:1 agency over their own body/position/orientation?) and then figure out your mechanics from there. This game feels to me like a non-VR game concept haphazardly attached to a VR camera rig, with nauseating results.

Again, sorry for the harshness but I think with new tech like this it's really important for VR devs to be honest and up-front with each other so we can all learn and improve. That's my brain dump, hope it helps you. Cheers!

shole says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:39am

Yes, this is very much an experiment and not something I would ever do for a proper product :)

graebor says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:12am

Good to hear haha - I only just noticed your disclaimer at the bottom of the description after writing that comment, so I guess you already knew! :)

YM says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:00am

This would be an awful lot better if the movement between spheres was more linear and didn't have that horrible slow down as you land. It works counterintuitive to everything ever. As you fall you speed up not slow down!

Anyway, this made me uncomfortable. I've got good 'VR legs' as they say, I have no problem zipping around like Iron Man, but evidently your spongy landings is where I need to draw the line. I played for maybe 3-4 minutes before stopping.

Walking around the spheres didn't phase me, but it was a little bit lost, I only noticed it was really happening because I have my floor bounds on permanently and they ended up splayed away from the initial sphere. If they'd had a texture it would have been far more obvious that they were rotating beneath me.

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