Since i started experimenting in Virtual Reality i thought about what i could experiment with to learn more about VR. In the end i made it my goal to look at game mechanics that currently exist on consoles/mobile and thinking of how to transition different gameplay methods over to VR.
These demos focus on particular mechanics and are using basic geometical shapes. Video demos are attached and some APK's will be available. With installation instructions for the Oculus Quest 1+2 further down the page.
Inventory Demo V.1
This idea is to explore how to create an inventory system similar to any adventure game with an inventory system.
Example: The Resident Evil PS1 titles allowed the user to essentially pause what was happening in the game world to look at the inventory/menu system.
Though a lot of VR experiences allow the user to pick up objects in the game world and i fully support that idea, i do wonder about the long term effects on the Oculus controllers which enables the grab effect.
So as a result this system works on minimizing the usage of those triggers to save on long term usage.
The demo works as a simple 2 room scenario.
1 room is the "game" world which live events would be happening around the player. The other being an "inventory" system.
The inventory room will have a table with 3 items and 4 green cubes. The 4 cubes are allocated to the left thumbstick (pressed in and shifted a direction). This allows the user to switch their left hand out for items they wish to equip. Switching out the hand for an item saves on the user continuously holding down the trigger to interact with that item.
Additionally i look at other VR titles at the moment that incorporate different inventory system that requires the user to interact with it on the fly while dealing with the VR world around them.
And that implementation of UI i personally feel leads to the user feeling like they are less in control and not as engaged with the experience as a whole.
Where as creating an inventory space for the user to visit, it gives them that moment to breath and think about their strategy as any game player would in normal console games when heading to the equipment menu, it also gives that user a sense of control still, Though its not immersive to be teleported out into a safe room, it is immersive by giving the user a sense of greater control.
This system would only be in use for key items or usable items/quest items. All interactable items would be a bit of a stretch as a lot of interactable items could have no use like a plate or a chair, its just there for the extra VR immersiveness.
Overall point to demo:
To explore 1 inventory method that differs from standard VR inventory systems, to look at potential effect to the user and long term usability.
Left Thumb stick - Move
Right Thumbstick - rotate around
A + B - Switch between "game" space and Inventory space.
Secondary controller triggers (near the middle finger) - Grab objects in Inventory.
left thumbstick Pressed + direction - Change between Equipped items
How to install Software onto the Oculus Quest 1+2
If you are uncertain about how to install files into your Oculus Quest 1 or 2 then follow these steps.
1. Unlock your headset so it is in "Dev mode". This should take about 5 minutes depending how used to technology you are. Putting the headset into Dev Mode allows you to install software outside of the Oculus store which includes testing apps. For full instructions see "Enable Developer Mode" On this hyperlink.
2. Once your headset is unlocked, Plug in your headset to your PC using a USB 3 cable (specifically USB 3 due to heavy data traffic the headset needs).
3. When the headset is plugged in, quickly pop it on and a small window asking to "access your headsets files" will appear, Yes we want to accept this as thats you trying to access the headset from your PC.
4. Download the .APK of the VR demo you wish to Install.
5. Sideloader software. With the Oculus Quest and its mobile Operating System nature it is kinda hard to directly install development builds of software to a headset. So sideloader software exists to allow the users and developers to bypass the commercial limits of the VR headset.
I would highly recommend "SideQuest" which is a useful piece of software that allows other features to happen including direct video streaming from the headset to the PC.
6. After installing your sideloading software to your PC. Open and find the function that allows you to install the APK. And proceed to install the APK. The window should indicate if there was any issues, if not then we move back to the headset.
7. With your headset back on, go to the "Apps" window. Look for the drop down menu in the top right which tells you what catagory of software you are looking at: "All" "Oculus Apps" Installed" Demos" and the catagory we want to see "Unknown software" which is where our demo software will be. Click on the software to open and enjoy. Feel free to keep the demos.