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Why VR game developers need to "sacrifice creativity for comfort"

Player Research on the lessons developers have learned in VR
Why VR game developers need to

At Develop:Brighton 2016, Graham McAllister, founder of Player Research, gave a talk on developing for VR, and the lessons he learned from leaders in the field.

McAllister asked seven developers for their views on VR, what they've learned from developing for it, and if VR will be a "success".

When it comes to which VR platform the developers target, the reasons behind their choices largely came down to the type of game they want to develop, and what the technology offers them.

But it can also come from existing relationships with the hardware providers, which can help the developers gain access to the hardware and support to release the game.

Technology and illness

As for which tech they use, the majority of developers use Unity, particularly in mobile, although some developers alter the base engine to suit their own needs.

Talking about specific issues when developing for VR, some developers found the process slow because it requires a lot of playtesting, guesswork, and iterating to get the experience working.

There's also the human element, where VR can negatively affect different people different ways, but also the actual audience available per platform and whether the game will be able to make money.

And with no market yet, there's no "biz intel" to show developers trends that will help shape design decisions.

Design and success

As for design choices, there was a near-unanimous decision that games need to be scaled back, in order to "sacrifice creativity for comfort" and avoid players from feeling nauseous.

Finally, as to whether or not VR will be a success, the developers all agreed that it will, but it may take time to reach real market appeal.

Though, as McAllister pointed out, "I did ask people who work in VR."