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Twilight Pioneers Producer Talks the 3 Challenges of Making a Mobile VR Game

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Twilight Pioneers is one of the launch titles for Daydream VR and the game was featured by Google in the collection 'Get in the game'. Game Producer Yu Kai talked about how his team addressed motion sickness, combat skill designed for Daydream Controllers, and game narrative in VR, the 3 challenges in creating a mobile VR game.
 

The first challenge was how they combated motion sickness. The team wasn't aware of significance and prevalence of motion sickness at first for this was the first VR project they worked on. "Later we performed a user test, and seven out of nine users reported motion sickness. After that we started to analyze the motion sickness problem more seriously," he said.

"We added portal locomotion and dynamic FOV into our title. For this version update, we also made some new scenes for teaching skills. Then we performed the second round user test. We have confidence since we have implemented two techniques. However, five out of six users got motion sickness this time. And seems the result is even worse."
 
After a careful analysis to the players' feedback, the team avoided alternately bright and dark in the game, and they lowered the speed of hacking and chopping as well. "We kept improving our game after the third user test. After we launched our game on Daydream, we found great comments from reddit.com," he said.
 

The second challenge was how to design combat skills for Daydream Controllers. There are 3 different skills in the game and players can use throw, touch and tilt to perform these skills, and they can interact with different objects around them in three different ways: pulling, lifting, and cutting. It's recommended to play the game on a swivel chair or standing in the middle of a room. However, not everyone can do that.
 
The team didn't seriously consider the scenarios in which people would play mobile VR games until a later on-site review. "In order to allow more people to play our game, we should have made the game playable even without a swivel chair," Yu Kai said.

And the third challenge was help players catch the key points of the game narrative. Yu Kai presented a video that featured a Youtuber who paid too much attention to a female NPC and ignored the dragon, and therefore didn't realize that he was saved by the NPC from the dragon.
 
"This lesson taught us that while permanent guides help players to take the next step in the game, they may not prevent players from missing important parts of the game narrative. So that players can both follow the story and understand what step to take next, we think that we should combine navigation cues with triggered story events," he stated.
 

Yu Kai believes that the more work the developers put into combating motion sickness, the less likely players are to suffer from it. And the developers should be aware of the practical scenarios in which mobile VR games are likely to be played. Finally, try combining navigation cues with triggered story events so that players don’t miss key points of the game narrative.
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