Where To Start? 

Whether you’ve worked on a non-VR game before, or whether you haven’t, let’s be honest: the prospect of creating a Virtual Reality game can be daunting to say the least! This is particularly true if this is your first attempt at Virtual Reality game creation, as the process can seem highly detailed and overwhelming. Never fear – Novity is here to help. 

When designing your game, there are lots of things that you might forget to consider or include: from the mechanics, to the sound and even in relation to testing – but if you want to make a fun, successful VR game, keep on reading for our top tips. 

Testing is a vital part of VR game creation!

What do you need to keep in mind when designing your VR game?

1. Mechanical Consistency 

If you’ve played VR before, then you’ll know how frustrating it is when game mechanics are inconsistent. Players want to interact with objects the same way they would in the real world, to make sure that the experience is as immersive as it can be! For example, in Rags to Dishes, when the player is given a knife, they expect to be able to chop things up with it and will expect a reaction if it’s thrown at a customer (as you might expect…) so, guess what? We meet their expectations! Chopping works the same way it does in the real world, thanks to our careful and clever animators, and characters certainly have a reaction when a knife is thrown at them – you’ll have to see what happens! 


2. Size-Wise 

Correct scaling is important in all types of games, but it’s crucial when it comes to Virtual Reality. If characters and assets feel too big or too small, this will not only look very strange, but it will almost definitely break the immersion of VR. 

It can take some time to make sure everything within the game is scaled correctly, but it’s easy to spot when something doesn’t feel right. Even here at Novity we sometimes forget to scale. When we initially imported our characters to Rags to Dishes, they towered over us like giants! 

A useful tip when it comes to scaling in VR is to measure real-life objects which are the same size as whatever your model should be, and adjust your model height to match. 

Just remember: it’s very important to keep note of scale throughout the entirety of game development, in order to have consistent and immersive gameplay. Another point to note, in regards to size, is the height of the player. Unfortunately for the developer, not everyone is the same height! This means that interactive assets in the game need to be accessible, in order to accommodate people of all heights. Items shouldn’t be placed out of reach, and, unless your game was designed to include crouching, you should avoid anything which makes people bend down, as this will soon get tiring in VR! To combat height differences in our very own VR game, Rags to Dishes, we’ve added a feature into the main menu which allows you to change the height of the kitchen to where it’s comfortable for you.


3. Attenuated Audio 

When creating their Virtual Reality game, many developers don’t realise how important audio is within the gameplay. We’re all so fascinated by the actual VR experience itself, and seeing the visual aspects, we can easily forget about audio. I’m not just talking about soundtracks and theme tunes, but in particular Directional Sound. 

Directional Sound (or attenuated sound, if you want to be fancy), is sound which can be focused in one area. In our game, Rags to Dishes, gameplay features a bird which sometimes swoops in and steals your money. In order for this to be effective and immersive, we had to use Directional Sound for the bird’s SFX, so that when it flies in from the left, for example, the sound is heard from the left too. When a player is immersed in Virtual Reality, it would be confusing and a potential break in immersion if the sound was not attenuated. If you want your VR game to feel alive, Directional Sound is an incredibly powerful tool! 

4.Don’t Forget to Test! 

One of the best tips I can give you when it comes to creating a game in VR is to test! It is best practice to test your VR game yourself or within the team throughout the duration of game creation. This is the best way to make sure the game is still fun and to detect bugs early on. At Novity, we test every week (sometimes even twice a week!) which allows us to see the game’s progression and make changes to anything that needs altering. 

Once the game gets to a point where it’s playable and only requires a few tweaks, then you can begin alpha testing. Ideally, this phase should be undertaken with experienced testers, as they’ll be able to provide useful feedback. This is where you’ll be able to get an outsider’s perspective to see where the game is lacking and what could be improved before the game launch. If you want some more information on playtesting, then check out our article on Game Testing & PlayTesting Tips. Here at Novity, we will be beginning our external testing sessions for Rags to Dishes in the next couple of months, so sign up to our mailing list on our website if you’d like the chance to test out our game!

5. Make the Most of VR 

In general, most people that play VR games are both experienced in and keen on the immersive virtual aspects, so in order to impress and entertain, it’s important to take advantage of the full possibilities of the platform! You need to make sure your game has a fun narrative in order for people to actually buy it, but the immersive experience had by the player of navigating throughout the game should be just as fun too. 

Rags to Dishes takes advantage of Virtual Reality by adding physics to most assets in the game (clever, right?) to make it as interactive and immersive as possible. The mechanics in the game require physical movements that couldn’t be emulated through any other kind of device. 

Our game will not only be targeted at experienced gamers looking for something new and exciting to try, we’ve also created it with new VR gamers in mind. We want to be an ambassador for VR and represent it as well as we can. At the end of the day, we want everyone to love VR as much as we do! 

What’s Next? 

Now that you’re armed with some top tips for Virtual Reality game creation, you can begin designing your very own VR game. A good place to start the design process would be to think of as many different ideas as possible and narrow it down, so that you’re left with the best. That’s exactly what we did when we started working on Rags to Dishes: we came up with all sorts of fun and crazy ideas, but of course, our medieval style cooking game had to be the winner!