Locomotion By definition, locomotion is the way a living being (or machine) moves from one place to another. In VR, means of locomotion allow you to explore the game world, relocate to better face new challenges or simply gain a new point of view. The ways this is made possible, however, are many and very different from one another, and as technology advances, new ones will be added as the old ones improve. If you want to find out about each of them quickly, then you are in the right place.
Artificial Locomotion happens when you move through the game world using controllers and/or a joystick. While this is the most common means of locomotion in traditional video-games, in VR it presents an important issue: it is the modality that is most likely to cause motion sickness. This is because, while your body is stationary and only turns on the spot if necessary, your head and eyes get the feeling of movement for the whole time you spend playing. This contrast can easily make you sick, and even if it doesn’t, it will still give you some trouble coordinating your movements while in game. That is not to say, of course, that artificial locomotion does not come with its own advantages: it does not require more than the most basic VR equipment and it can be used comfortably even in very narrow spaces (a minimum of 1.5m2), so as long as one can take regular breaks, it allows for a very flexible and fun VR experience.
Free roam is the closest we have gotten, for the moment, to full freedom of movement while playing VR: as long as the surrounding space allows it, players can move freely as if in real life while in game, and a number of sensors will make sure the latter keeps track of where they are, both for them and other players, reflecting this in the virtual world. Needless to say, however, this modality requires more resources and commitment than artificial locomotion: first, a large enough space is not always easy to come by; moreover, additional sensors should be attached to headsets and controllers, and the whole gaming equipment should be made portable in order to avoid loose cables extending through the play-space.
Omnidirectional treadmills / Walking platforms
Omnidirectional treadmills are a combination of the former two means of locomotion, in that they allow full movement through the game world even in a very limited space, but players still use their whole bodies to control said movement: as you turn, walk and even run, the treadmill will roll in a complementary way while a belt keeps you from walking off the platform. If you have ever watched the movie Ready Player One, then you have seen a fictional version of these in action.
Playseats are used to make VR Racing as immersive as possible, and we are proud to have four of them right here at the VRcafe. They are extremely comfortable, yet dynamic racing seats connected to a steering wheel and pedals: this setup as a whole, when paired with a VR headset and the right racing game (in our case, Project Cars 2 VR) will give you full control over your virtual car just like you would drive a real one. VR Racing. Deze stoelen worden ook wel playseats genoemd. Door de playseats voelt het het net alsof je in een echte auto zit. Je beweegt, zoals je bij een normale auto ook doet, door met je voet het gaspedaal ingedrukt te houden.
Teleportation is the only means of locomotion that, for now, does not attempt to reproduce a real life experience. Instead, it exploits the additional possibilities offered by the game world and allows players to move from point A to point B without traversing the space between them. In VR, this usually happens by pointing your controller at a specific spot and pressing a designated button. While the sudden change of location can be disorienting at first, this artificial means of locomotion will keep you very safe from motion sickness. motion sickness verkleint, wordt teleportatie vaak aangeraden als locomotie in VR.