Lost in Space

Virtual Reality Gaming is one of the big topics in 2016. However, this field of research is still in its infancy and yet knowledge about how to design compelling VR game worlds is still limited. Therefore, we are in search of the best design practices in order to create big open game worlds, were players can move and behave freely without being restricted by the technical limitations of the game system. With the help of eight students in the master’s course “Lost in Space: Designing Interactive Stories in Virtual Reality” (Wintersemester 2015/2016) we identified a set of common problems of player navigation, i.e. controlling the movement of the player‘s character from one geographical point in the game world to another, in open VR and non-VR game worlds. From this starting point, we developed an extensive catalogue of 27 design patterns, which help designers of open VR game worlds to address these problems. Further, we developed and applied a methodology to test the validity of the patterns and recommendations empirically. Therefore, we created a tool, which helps us to track, and analysis player behavior in the actual game world.

The design patterns and common problems have been published online under http://blogs.ecg.uni-due.de/lostinspace. The idea is to make our findings available for practitioners and to stimulate discussion and further improvements of the catalogue.

The findings of this project have further been presented and published at the Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology conference 2016 (ACE 16) in Osaka, Japan. The corresponding paper will be available at ACM digital library soon.