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Effects of Locomotion Methods on Game Design in Virtual Reality

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Title: Effects of Locomotion Methods on Game Design in Virtual Reality
Author(s): Talonpoika, Ville
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, none
Discipline: none
Degree program: Master's Programme in Computer Science
Specialisation: Software systems
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2020
In recent years, virtual reality devices have entered the mainstream with many gaming-oriented consumer devices. However, the locomotion methods utilized in virtual reality games are yet to gain a standardized form, and different types of games have different requirements for locomotion to optimize player experience. In this thesis, we compare some popular and some uncommon locomotion methods in different game scenarios. We consider their strengths and weaknesses in these scenarios from a game design perspective. We also create suggestions on which kind of locomotion methods would be optimal for different game types. We conducted an experiment with ten participants, seven locomotion methods and five virtual environments to gauge how the locomotion methods compare against each other, utilizing game scenarios requiring timing and precision. Our experiment, while small in scope, produced results we could use to construct useful guidelines for selecting locomotion methods for a virtual reality game. We found that the arm swinger was a favourite for situations where precision and timing was required. Touchpad locomotion was also considered one of the best for its intuitiveness and ease of use. Teleportation is a safe choice for games not requiring a strong feeling of presence.
Keyword(s): virtual reality game design virtual reality locomotion

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