Teleport – Projected Avatar
Projected Avatar teleportation attempts to suspend the disbelief that teleporting promotes. With this teleport method, you still use a reticule to point out where you would like to move. However, instead of moving directly there, or rushing through the environment to the next location, you get to see a virtual avatar of yourself moving through the area before you decide where you wish to go next.
You still teleport to the selected location, but the animation of the avatar allows you to understand the route you took to get there. It also gives a better explanation of why you can’t teleport past immovable objects, or over a balcony to the ground below.
We’ve seen Projected Avatar teleportation in a handful of games, but the most recent, and perhaps best, example of the movement system comes from Gunfire Games, in its recent Oculus Rift exclusive title From Other Suns.
Thrown Object Teleporter
While many people define VR locomotion as a problem, developers are using it as an excuse to think outside the box to come up with creative solutions.
Thrown Object Teleporter works exactly the way the name implies. You get a throwable object that teleports you to where it lands. Tossing an object isn’t as accurate as pointing a reticle with your motion controller, but it offers movements that aren’t possible with a reticle, such as tossing the object against a wall to bank it around a blind corner.
Spells ‘n’ Stuff offers a great example of how Thrown Object Teleporter locomotion works.
Teleport – Preview Cam
One of the first teleportation methods that we experienced came from Neat Corporation’s Budget Cuts demo. In Budget Cuts, you get a gun that shoots portals that you can move through. The gun’s portal ammo is heavy and affected by gravity. It also bounces off walls like the Thrown Object Teleporter method.
Unlike the Thrown Object Teleporter, Budget Cuts’ portal gun offers a preview camera that lets you see the surroundings before moving to the new location, and nothing is stopping you from taking another shot if the landing zone is undesirable.
Host to Host Teleportation
High Voltage System introduced a unique locomotion system at GDC 2017 when it demonstrated Damaged Core for the first time. The game features a somewhat parasitic movement system in which you take control of different host bodies to move from place to place. When you’ve exhausted your current hosted body’s usefulness, move on to the next one to continue your journey.
Armswinger locomotion is a natural-feeling solution for traversing long distances in VR. To move, press a button on your controller and then swing your arms at your sides like you would when you run. The faster you swing your arms, the faster you’ll move in-game.
Armswinger locomotion works well for non-shooter games, but surprisingly, it works well for FPS games, too. Game Cooks proved as much in September with the release of Vindicta, which lets you move around while swinging one arm at a time, leaving a hand free to handle your weapon.
Tunnelling is an experimental locomotion technique that is supposed to prevent motion sickness. We’ve never seen it used in a game, but a demonstration of the system surfaced on YouTube in 2015.
The Tunnelling locomotion system limits the feeling of movement by confining the moving animation to a focused part of your view. You navigate to the new location within the small window, while the environment around you remains stationary. When there’s no motion in the inner scene, the world around you morphs into the new location.
Head-bobbing locomotion is another movement system that takes advantage of a somewhat natural movement derived from walking or running. When you walk or run, your head naturally bobs up and down, and the team at Archiact took advantage of that motion to create a new locomotion system for its upcoming FPS game Evasion.
Head-bobbing locomotion is similar to armswinger locomotion, though it leaves both your hands free to handle weapons and items. You can activate the motion by bobbing your head up and down, or by running in place.
The Walkabout system allows you to pace back and forth within your physical space while continuing a straight path in the game. When you reach the limitation of your room-scale play area, press a button on the controller to “freeze” the world around you, so that you can turn around without changing directions in the game.
The Walkabout system allows you to pace back and forth within your physical space while continuing a straight path in the game. When you reach the limitation of your room-scale play area, press a button on the controller to “freeze” the world around you so that you can turn around without changing directions in the game.
Superman Locomotion isn’t a popular VR locomotion solution, but it’s already been around for more than two years. The only game that we know of that uses Superman Locomotion is an old Leap Motion-enabled title called Weightless from a developer named Martin Schubert.
Superman Locomotion works exactly how you would expect. Hold out your hands in front of you to move forward, and point your hands in the direction you wish to fly the virtual environment.