“Bad virtual reality games are like rotten food”

Tommy Palm shares VR design tricks to avoid nausea

“Bad virtual reality games are like rotten food”

Bad virtual reality games are like rotten food, says Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm.

Speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2016, the former King Games Guru said if a game makes a player feel nauseous, their brain will remember how they got into that situation and they may be reluctant to try it again.

To alleviate symptoms like sickness and to improve immersion, Palm offered a number of VR design tricks.

Virtual design

Firstly, he said developers should not move the camera. Players can become sick easily in the virtual world if they are being moved around too much. He noted that once you get a game that shakes you around, you can be nauseous for hours.

He used one possible example of movement in VR games to help with this issue: teleportation, which is becoming increasingly standardised in the space.

Secondly, he advised developers to take into consideration phone heating for mobile VR. To fix this, dark scenes can be better where possible as they don’t consume as much energy.

Thirdly, Palm pushed the importance of immersive sound. He said it was important to create presence in a VR game, and advised developers demoing their games to make sure players are using headphones to get the full experience.

Palm also said that characters can be crucial for immersion. “Something special happens if you have a well implemented character,” he said.

He added that users can form an emotional bond with characters that you don’t get on other platforms.

Palm also offered up a design dilemma for many VR developers – whether to design for 360-degree or 120-degree gameplay.

He said while it can be easier to design for swivel chair use, it’s not a likely scenario. Palm suggested it is better to design for 120-degree gameplay, as users will typically be stationary on a chair, and therefore you typically don’t want the gameplay to go on behind them.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.