VR Escape Room: Interaction

~ 3:30 Minute Read.

This is the fourth post in a se­ries about the vir­tu­al re­al­i­ty es­cape room project I did to­geth­er with Daniel Bo­gen­rieder and Rox­anne Low at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kon­stanz.

Leap Mo­tion

LeapMotion Grabbing

I am still fas­ci­nat­ed by the Leap Mo­tion and the smooth­ness of in­ter­ac­tion that sim­ply hav­ing your hands in VR prom­ises. Since I had just done a Leap Mo­tion Ex­am­ple for Mag­num and some Mag­num::Ui + Leap Mo­tion Ex­per­i­ments, I re­al­ly want­ed to use the Leap Mo­tion.

Daniel took care of the in­te­gra­tion in­to Uni­ty. The SDK Up­grades ar­rived just in time af­ter he was done, so he ac­tu­al­ly did it twice even. They do have some au­to­mat­ic con­ver­sion that helps you do the tran­si­tion, which made it rather pain­less.

We al­so made use of the in­ter­ac­tion en­gine Leap Mo­tion pro­vides with the Uni­ty SDK, even if on­ly a sim­ple but­ton:

Interaction Engine

Grav­i­ty Gun

We want­ed to com­bine vir­tu­al and phys­i­cal ob­jects some­how. While us­ing the Vive track­ers did not fit in­to the project’s scope, we did use the Vive con­trollers, which re­sem­bled a “Grav­i­ty Gun” in VR.

This gun could be used to pick up huge rocks and throw them at wolves to save a trou­bled cow­boy in a VR desert scene. This was meant to avert the users ex­pec­ta­tion of weight in VR, but in­stead users ex­pect­ed to be able to shoot the wolves with the gun—and then the cow­boy, be­cause shoot­ing the wolves didn’t do any­thing. That didn’t do any­thing ei­ther, but re­al­ly, we should have made play­ers lose for it.

Jokes aside, the gun seems to hold strong af­for­dances that we didn’t fol­low. In the end peo­ple did fig­ure it out, though.

Gravity Gun

Ad­di­tion­al­ly, peo­ple had a hard time grab­bing the gun, since the mod­el was sig­nif­i­cant­ly big­ger than the con­troller and peo­ple didn’t ex­pect to be grip­ping a re­al ob­ject. If we had more time, we would have mod­eled the han­dle of the gun to re­sem­ble the HTC Vive con­troller.

GoGo Hand

This in­ter­ac­tion tech­nique from 1996 re­cent­ly had a re­vival in the Leap Mo­tion In­ter­ac­tion Ex­per­i­ments as “Ex­ten­do Hands” (scroll down to “Ex­per­i­ment #3”).

While we didn’t im­ple­ment this tech­nique us­ing the non-lin­ear map­ping be­tween hand mo­tion and “GoGo Hand”, our ver­sion is still strong­ly in­spired by it.

GoGo Hand

This in­ter­ac­tion tech­nique took a bit to get used to—Leap Mo­tion im­ple­ment snap­ping to grab­bable ob­jects, which is a very handy im­prove­ment up­on just “throw­ing out the hand” like we did. But af­ter you got the hang of it, it was su­per fun to use!

Up Next

The fi­nal blog post to­mor­row will wrap up this se­ries, show­ing off a full playthrough of the game!

Writ­ten in 29 min­utes, gifs in 45 min­utes, ed­it­ed in 10 min­utes.