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The Hidden Design Behind the Ingenious Room-Scale Gameplay in ‘Eye of the Temple’


Eye of the Temple is likely one of the uncommon VR video games that focuses on not simply on pure room-scale motion, however dynamic room-scale motion. The result’s a uniquely immersive expertise that required some intelligent design behind the scenes to make all of it work. This visitor article by developer Rune Skovbo Johansen explains the method.

Visitor Article by Rune Skovbo Johansen

Rune Skovbo Johansen is a Danish impartial recreation developer based mostly in Turku, Finland. His work spans video games and different interactive experiences, centered on tech, surprise, and exploration. After optimistic reception of the 2016 VR recreation jam recreation Chrysalis Pyramid, he began engaged on a extra formidable religious successor, Eye of the Temple, and on the finish of 2020 he give up his day job to pursue indie recreation growth full-time.

In Eye of the Temple, you progress by way of an enormous surroundings, not by teleportation or synthetic locomotion, however by utilizing your individual ft. It makes distinctive use of room-scale VR to ship an expertise of navigating an expansive house.

In Eye of the Temple you progress round massive environments utilizing your individual ft

However how does it work behind the scenes? To mark the upcoming launch of Eye of the Temple on Quest 2, I needed to take the time to clarify these features of the sport’s design that I’ve by no means totally gone into element with earlier than. On this article we’ll go over a wide range of the methods the sport makes use of to make all of it work. Let’s begin with the fundamentals of conserving the participant within the play space

Holding the Participant within the Play Space

Say you should go from one tall pillar within the recreation to a different through a transferring platform. You step ahead onto the platform, the platform strikes, and then you definately step ahead onto the subsequent pillar. However now you’re outdoors your bodily play space.

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Transferring platforms are positioned in a solution to preserve gamers contained in the play space

If we as an alternative place the transferring platform to the facet, it goes like this: You sidestep onto the platform, it strikes, and also you sidestep onto the subsequent pillar. Because you took a step proper, after which left, you’re again the place you began within the middle of the play space. So the sport’s methods are all about how the platforms are positioned relative to one another.

Now, to get a greater sense for it, let’s have a look at some blended actuality footage (courtesy of Naysy) the place a grid representing the play space is overlaid on high.

Combined actuality footage with a grid overlaid on high which represents the play space

Holding an Overview within the Degree Design

Now that we’ve seen how the trick works, let’s check out how I preserve observe of all of it when doing the extent design for the sport. First issues first – I made this sample, which represents the participant’s whole play space – or the a part of it the sport takes benefit of anyway:

A sample representing the bodily play space

As you may see, there’s a thick white border alongside the sting, and a thick circle within the middle.

Each platform within the recreation has a chosen spot within the play space and a sample overlay that exhibits what that spot is. For platforms which can be a single tile massive, it’s usually one in all 9 positions. The overlay makes it straightforward to see if a given platform is positioned within the middle of the play space, or at an edge or nook.

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The play space sample overlaid on every platform and its finish positions make it straightforward to see if they’re lined up appropriately within the degree design

Further overlays present a ghostly model of the sample at each the beginning and finish positions of a transferring platform. That is the actual trick of conserving observe of how the platforms join collectively, as a result of these ghostly overlays on the finish positions make it trivial to see if the platforms are lined up appropriately within the degree design once they contact one another. If the adjoining ghostly patterns are steady like puzzle items that match collectively, then the platforms work appropriately collectively.

It nonetheless took a variety of ingenuity to work out the best way to place all of the platforms in order that they each match appropriately collectively and likewise take the participant the place they should go within the digital world, however now you understand how I saved the complexity of it manageable.

Getting the Participant’s Cooperation

The entire premise of getting world wide through these transferring platforms relies on an understanding that the participant ought to step from one platform to a different once they’re lined up, and never at different instances. Probably the most fundamental means the sport establishes that is by simply telling it outright to the participant in security directions displayed previous to beginning the sport.

One of many security directions proven earlier than the sport begins

This directions is proven for 2 causes:

One is security. You must keep away from leaping over gaps, in any other case you’d threat leaping proper out of your play space and right into a wall, for instance.

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The opposite is that the sport’s system of traversal solely works appropriately when stepping from one platform to a different once they line up. This isn’t as essential – I’ll get again to later what occurs if stepping onto a platform that’s misaligned – but it surely nonetheless supplies one of the best play expertise.

Other than the express directions, the sport additionally employs extra refined methods to assist make sure the participant solely steps over when blocks are appropriately aligned. Contemplate the next instance of a bigger 2 x 2 tile static platform the participant can step onto. A transferring platform arrives from the facet in a means that may enable the participant to step off properly earlier than the platform has stopped transferring, however that may break the sport’s traversal logic.

On this room, ‘foot fences’ are used to discourage the participant from stepping from one platform to a different when they aren’t appropriately aligned

To keep away from this, “foot fences” have been positioned to discourage the participant from stepping over onto the static platform (or away from it) at incorrect positions. The fences are purely visible and don’t technically stop something. The participant can nonetheless step over them if they struggle, or proper by way of them for that matter. Nonetheless, psychologically it appears like much less effort to not step over or by way of a fence and as an alternative step onto the static platform the place there’s a spot within the fence. On this means, a purely non-technical resolution is used as a part of the sport’s arsenal of methods.

Continued on Web page 2: Correcting for Unaligned Platforms »


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