VR motion sickness

It seems moving in VR is likely to cause motion sickness which is really limiting in terms of VR experiences. Has any game developer tried flipping to a 2D cinema mode for motion - so you are just looking at a big virtual monitor while in motion - and then flipping back to full VR when at rest?

I’ve never tried VR, but I’ve heard that when the accelerometer is good enough and latency is low, motion sickness isn’t common.
I like the idea of a 2d world, do you mean a 2d top down world or side scroller style view?
One thing I read is that the detail in a 3d VR game needs to be much higher than a normal fps since people can get really close to the objects and walls if they want, which is hard to maintain with high fps games

The thing about VR is that it is immersive, you feel like you are really there, a good way to break the immersion would be to constantly switch between first person and a cinema view.

Moving in VR only causes motion sickness when you are using a traditional game movement ( wasd or joystick ). A fair few games offer various ways for the player to move, one is teleporting, which gives no motion sickness, there have been variations to the teleporting, where you see a ghost image of your character moving when you attempt to move (From Other Suns does this).

You would have to be really sensitive to motion sickness to get motion sick from VR from just moving your head / walking around in real life without using controller input to move the character (and without teleportation).

It also varies from games, I played Pavlov for 1-2 hours and I felt fairly sick after it. I played another game Echo Arena, which is based in zero gravity, where I barely got any motion sickness.

@CommanderKeither Level of Detail is important for VR because you can get so close. At the same time, things in the distance can be of less quality, so the things that you are currently close to for sure need to be high quality (if you are aiming for realistic graphics).

I think its an strategic error, to always push using actual 3D (different picture for each eye) for games using a VR headset, instead of first concentrating on the other advantage VR headsets have:
the much larger field of view compared to a classic monitor.

If I would make a game for such a headset, I would project the gameworld flat on a larger virtual screen, similar to I-Max,
while keeping the virtual screen stable relative to the realworld-projection-position. Then turning the rendered scene classically using the controller/mouse.
(eg: its simply simulating having a gigantic 120 degree curved monitor in you livingroom)

That would avoid motion sickness, while giving the player the ability to enjoy the game on a much larger screen.
(and not force the player to turn his head all the time)

Even with perfect technology (optics, speed, resolution, weight), that can make the player feel like standing on a holodeck, you will never get around one essential problem:
to appreciate the scene, and not get motionsick, the player needs to actively move his body. Either standing in his living-room, or in some fancy rig that can simulate acceleration.
And thats the problem: Not everyone wants to have to move actively when playing a game for hours.
I think that the market for games that you can play sitting lazily on the sofa, will always have a larger market than games where you have to move.

I used to play a lot of counterstrike in highschool. When oculus first game out, I spent awhile and got it working with it. Played with it for many hours at a time and never felt motion sick.

Guess it’s just in the person using it.

I think that people who get motion sick often wont even be using a VR headset, as they’ll just always be motion sick. So I don’t think you should have to plan your game around that, if you know your audience is already going to be limited.

I wonder if motion sickness is most likely a problem if there is a mismatch between the view and one’s body position. If the scene makes it look like you are moving, when you aren’t personally moving, that is when the problems are most likely?

It is okay to see scenary moving outside a car window because you have the frame of the car as a steady reference. Similarly, if the 3D motion is framed by a console or window frame (e.g., you are jet pilot, car driver, etc.) things will probably be okay?

But maybe and exception to that would be if the horizon line is bobbing about and you are stationary, as the horizon line strongly implies gravity’s direction and its movement implies momentum/acceleration.

Part of the problem of using a WASD or joystick is that it allows motion to occur that does not match body movements. Hence this is more likely to cause motion sickness?

I was working on a VR/AR where we wanted to have a mousing option for desktop users (have the app work in both headset and as desktop). I ran into trouble in “teleports” between scenes if the head angle wasn’t maintained from scene to scene–but it was more a coding issue than a motion sickness issue. Each teleport that went to a standard straight on view (even if the previous view was at an angle) would cause an accumulation of mismatch between internals that track and limit up/down to +/- 90 degrees, and portions of the ceiling or floor would become unviewable.

[quote]I wonder if motion sickness is most likely a problem if there is a mismatch between the view and one’s body position. If the scene makes it look like you are moving, when you aren’t personally moving, that is when the problems are most likely?
What I’ve read on the subject is that if there is a mismatch between what your eyes see, and what your other senses perceive, the brain assumes you’ve been poisoned and attempts to expel whatever is in your stomach.

I, for example, tend to get motion sickness in vehicles, like cars or trains, particularly if I’m reading. My guess is that, in a train, my brain assumes I’m stationary, but when focusing on something like reading a page, small vibrations are noticeable and the eyes inform of movement.
As for the car, looking out the window calms the motion sickness, possibly because the inertia of whatever movement the car has matches what I’m seeing, while looking down at the inside of the car gets me sick because I feel the inertia of the turns, starts and stops, buy my eyes are saying “we’re sitting still!”

Regarding simulation sickness, which is not exactly the same as motion sickness, I’ve read that with training it can be improved… But I guess there are physiological factors that will have some people be more sensitive regardless, just as some people can get motion sickness from watching TV or playing certain games.

I personally really want to get into VR (I’ve kind of tried Subnautica VR by streaming it into my phone, and despite the low quality, it is very cool), but the risk of being too sensitive to simulation sickness makes it hard to justify the price tag on a decent headset.

Which is why vehicle simulators and the like should really be getting into the whole VR thing. I had the chance to try a Playstation racing game in VR once, and it was pretty awesome to be able to look around while driving.

I wonder why there’s no official Battletech VR game yet (Mechwarrior).


Stranglehold on licensing I imagine.

Though I’m curious how copyright Vs patent works here; would the design (3D model?) for a fictitious mechanical war robot constitute a patentable work?!
Or are they relying only on copyrighting of the various mech likenesses, and MechWarrior brand?

There are plenty of mech games out there, so they hardly patented the concept of giant stompy robots.

You can’t use the specific robots they use, just as you can’t make an unauthorized game with the specific robots from Pacific Rim.