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SillyCow

Virtual Reality Weapons

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Posted (edited)

After spending some time with my Oculus Rift  I would like to create a combat game.

I am looking for weapon designs which would translate well into VR.

The current problematic weapons that I've seen are:

1. Regular Swords: You have no feedback with swords. Eventually I find in sword games that I just tend to stick them "inside" my opponent, and flail them around until I kill them. They will just go through the body of your opponents breaking immersion.

2. Guns (and ranged weapons with a trigger) : Quite disappointing to see so many "virtua cop" clones (I love virtua cop!) . This is becoming the FPS cliche` style for VR combat. And what does using your hands for pointing add over a non VR experience (point with the mouse)?

So I am looking for better weapons. Ones that would feel right when you use them.

For example: A flail - The swinging balls would not require you to hit your hand against something. Their bounce would also provide good feedback to how hard something was hit. 

I have also seen archery done well (although I have mixed feelings about it because it is really tiring to hold up both hands [ In the same way real archery is tiring!] )

So I was wondering, what kind of good VR weapons can you think of which "feel" right, and be special in VR?

PS: I was impressed with how well "Super hot" manages this feeling by turning all characters into glass. That way it makes sense when you effortlessly cut through them. That's a really cool game design hack 🙂 .

63370.jpg

 

Edited by SillyCow

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5 hours ago, SillyCow said:

And what does using your hands for pointing add over a non VR experience (point with the mouse)?

Pretty sure this was rhetorical, but to answer anyway... The whole realistic shooter genre can benefit greatly:

* All the moving parts can be interacted with two hands, making actions like reloading a real skill rather than an animation. An unskilled player might operate the M16 and AK the same way, while a skilled player can reload the M16 twice as fast by exploiting its design (empty the mag so the bolt locks open, hit the mag release lever with the right hand while simultaneously grabbing a new mag with the left, insert it immediately after gravity ejects the first, simply nudge the held-open bolt free to automatically slam closed instead of fully operating the cocking handle). This also adds opportunities for player error, like re-cocking a loaded gun and ejecting rounds on the floor, forgetting to chamber a round at all and being unable to shoot despite having a full magazine, etc... The difference between speed reloads, tactical reloads, full reloads becomes player responsibility instead of animations, and the detail of whether a particular gun has an open bolt, or bolt hold open device, etc, becomes an interesting differentiation capability of the weapon instead of just background/lore.
* Sights become interesting. There's a major difference between iron sights and modern optics, and different styles of modern optics, such as reflector vs holographic can actually make a difference. In most shooters, a reflex-sight just gives you a red-dot crosshair, and a holo-sight gives you a circle crosshair. In reality and VR, the red-dot should be projected at an infinite depth, which can create large parallax aiming errors at close range / the holo-circle should be projected at about 100 yards depth, with parallax aiming errors greater or less than that range. In the general case, if the user is unable to actually position the crosshair into the middle of the glass viewing area, the bullet won't land where the crosshair indicates. If aiming at targets that are 100 yards away however, the holo sight does not require the user to accurately place the crosshair in the center of the glass to achieve accuracy, making it superior. Normal "TV" shooters can't / don't express this difference, not can they portray the difference between iron-sights vs optics as well as VR does.
* hard cover gets a lot more interesting. Peeking around a left-hand-side corner as a right-handed shooter is disadvantageous in VR as in real life. Blind-firing from cover, by keeping your head down but poking your arms up, while ill-advised, is great fun :) 

So, sorry for the tangent -- but treating the gun as a complicated machine, and/or something that can be pointed independently of your head are great reasons for them to stand out in VR-games comapred to "TV-game" guns.
An example of that could be twin laser pistols that do more damage if they're pointed in opposite directions, encouraging players to attack enemies on two sides of themselves, etc... This would be awkward on a monitor (constantly flipping the view 180 degrees) but is natural in VR.

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Posted (edited)

You are right. That started out being rhetorical. It was more of a statement on how repetitive VR shooting games are becoming,

The game you are describing would actually be pretty interesting. Dead and Burried already has the sight mechanic nailed down pretty good. Also the cover mechanic. I'd be sceptical if someone could create a good reloading experience though. If you've ever fired a gun (which It seems like you have) I would think that reloading is a tactile action. You feel the cartrige, you don't really look at it. That's why all the games I've played just have you "shaking" the barrel out of the gun to reload. Which is does not feel realistic, or more complex than pressing a reload button.

Putting that aside, a realistic gun game would actually be fun to play (so would be a good idea!). But I don't really see how you can make guns more "tactile" then they already are in Dead and Buried or Robo Recall. I value tactility over "realism" because I think that's what makes the weapon feel good.

But really, how many shooters can a guy play? I'm really looking for something other than a gun 

Edited by SillyCow

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