VR User experience
When playing a VR game that involves movement, it should run at ideally 90fps so as to avoid motion sickness. When playing a game in VR that has a low frame rate, the parts of the brain that deal with vision and movement get mismatched signals between the two, causing Motion sickness (Feyerabend, 2017).
Static 360 videos are generally different though, with the refresh rate of the device you’re using being more important than the actual fps of the video. As there is no movement other than head rotation the user is less likely to get motion sick in the same way you wouldn’t get motion sick looking at a still image.
When designing my experience I initially had to consider between having a fully interactable VR game experience or a more static 360 video experience. In the game experience the player would be able to move around and interact with the environment, adding an extra layer of interaction while sacrificing the extra time required to make it. Ultimately I decided to go with a 360 video experience for a few specific reasons.
Extra time would have to be spent on setting up a scene in Unreal, making objects interactable and potentially doing some programming for movement and triggering certain events. Ultimately I decided going with a 360 experience would allow me to focus more on the artistic experience over interaction.
I originally wanted to have the player go through a portal into the ‘Other side’, moving slowly at a constant speed to avoid movement sickness, however, having experienced it myself, I know that for a lot of people new to VR, smooth movement can easily induce motion sickness.
In the end I decided to make the camera location static and put emphasis on influencing the viewer’s gaze instead.
Feyerabend L. (2017) VR’s motion sickness problem — and how to hack it (with the help of your cat). Available online: https://medium.com/dangeroustech/vrs-motion-sickness-problem-and-how-to-hack-it-with-the-help-of-your-cat-a040cf72a7f3#:~:text=Sickness%20induced%20by%20a%20virtual,movement%2C%20and%20our%20visual%20perception.&text=The%20higher%20the%20framerate%20 [Accessed 10/05/2021].