Over the next several weeks, we’re spotlighting the top 20 3D Jam experiences chosen by the jury and community votes. These spotlights will focus on game design, interaction design, and the big ideas driving our community forward.
Finishing in 7th place, Tran;section is a multi-layer experience for the Oculus Rift with an Inception-style game-within-a-game. Starting off in an alienating office environment, you escape the boredom of your surroundings with a 2D platformer. But then the borders between the two worlds start to blur. We caught up with Han-Yu Wang, one of six developers on the project.
When you started developing, you were inspired by the game ATUM. What was the appeal of this approach to you?
There were several facts guiding us to a multi-layer game design. First, the Leap Motion Controller can provide intuitive hand interactions, but not necessarily intuitive player movement controls. Second, the 3D environment motion flows in immersive VR often cause “simulator sickness” and negative game experience. Third, most players would be playing the game in front of their PC or laptop.
Based on the multi-layer game design from ATUM, we increased the immersion by recreating the screen and keyboard in front of the player, matching the “real world” setting. The keyboard in VR provides intuitive character movement controls, namely WASD and the arrow keys. The game progression moves forward on the 2D screen, which decreases 3D motion flows and helps to avoid simulator sickness.
What advice do you have for developers looking to combine Unity with Leap Motion and Oculus?
The Leap Motion assets for Unity are quite convenient and easy to use. We were able to focus on the high-level game design without considering the low-level dirty work. We’d advise developers of two tips. First, too many 3D motion flows will cause simulator sickness. Second, too many in-air hand interactions cause hand fatigue.
Your experience requires a lot of critical thinking, with clues spread around the room. Do you think designing for 3D motion control leaves room for more conscious game mechanics?
I love puzzle games and I designed Tran;section as a hard-core critical thinking game due to my personal game preference. I think you can always find a way to design different game genres for 3D motion control.
The full team behind Tran;section is Han-Yu Wang, Tony Y. Tung, Jhe-Wei Lin, Po-Wei Lee, Chia-Sheng Hsu, and Silvia Chyou.