The RPG Scrollbars: Making the RPG genre work in VR

About a year ago, I bought myself a HTC Vive. Since then, it’s gathered a fair bit of dust. I swear, it’s not that I’m a VR skeptic, so much as someone without a whole lot of space to play with who prefers being able to go to the toilet at night without tripping over what I’m going to call ‘a Maplin’ of expensive cabling. Of late though, I’ve been feeling the urge to go back in, largely I must say inspired by stuff I can’t actually play, like the intro to I Expect You To Die (Vive version is coming, I can’t be arsed with Revive) and watching the new Psychonauts and Arkham VR experiences from the PSVR.

So, I did. And I had some fun playing around with some new stuff.

My RPG based dreams though feel further away than ever.

Honestly, at the moment they seem to sit squarely with Fallout 4 VR, which is problematic because I don’t actually like Fallout 4 as a game and really wish Bethesda was upgrading Skyrim instead, minus the giant spiders obviously. I don’t want to be too down on the Steam games that are trying to be RPGs, not least because a) most of them are indie efforts, b) most are experiments, and c) making an RPG is a veritable crap-ton of work even when you’re not trying to invent a whole new experience from the ground up. Something like, say, Vanishing Realms deserves its positive reviews for what it accomplishes, and it’s unfair to expect that to be some glorious AAA experience. It’s pretty cool, and easy to get lost in while it lasts.

The catch for me is more that the solutions to problems are only feeling more tenuous and jarring rather than starting to feel natural. If you’ve not played a ‘room scale’ game, the solution to the fact that most of us don’t have a dungeon sized playfield to walk around is to allow more or less free movement within whatever space you do have, with getting from A to B done by pointing your controller at a patch of ground away from it and hitting a button to teleport there. It can be a bit stomach churning if done in overly quick-succession, but a definite improvement on moving with the controller (producing a motion sickness effect due to your eyes telling you you’re moving while your body doesn’t), or every game having to find some excuse to strap you into a chair or stand still for the duration. In practice, recent stats show that a full quarter of SteamVR users are stuck using a standing only set up, with just about everyone else stuck with a tiny amount of space squeezed between bookcases and sofas and whatever.

But while it works, in the sense that it’s a familiar interaction method that everyone uses, it’s still a complete stop-gap measure that takes you out of most experiences every time you tap the button. Something like Google Earth VR, fine. If you’re specifically playing a wizard, fine. Anything else and it’s a magic power that goes so far beyond the bounds of suspension of disbelief as to be crazy, like playing a Call of Duty game where your guy just happens to be able to fly. And rather than the industry go ‘we’re working on something better’, the current path is just to keep doing it until it finally somehow seems normal. That’s a hell of a lie to swallow when in most cases the solution nobody wants to accept is ‘just don’t make games that expect players to walk around huge playfields because the technology isn’t up to that’.

The second problem is the same one that Nintendo demonstrated with the Wii – a lack of feedback. To VR’s credit, interacting with the space can be a shockingly tactile experience even with a little rumble and psychological cues. Valve’s own The Lab for instance features poking and prodding with the controllers that feel close enough to using your hands. When combat rears its head though, there’s just no way to pretend you’re actually in a sword-fight or taking hits from enemies. By making the scene more realistic, it feels fake. Oh yeah, and with RPGs though, there’s the additional problem that much of what you’re fighting is likely going to be fucking disgusting. It’s bad enough to have rabid rats leaping for your throat on a screen without them trying to do it in quasi-real-life, to say nothing of bloatflies and radscorpions big and solid enough for you to reach out and touch them when Fallout 4 comes along. Brrr.

“Wait!” you say, possibly preparing that Jackie Chan ‘head explosion’ GIF, “Are you really complaining that things are too realistic for you and yet not realistic enough?” Well, yes. But crucially, different things and for different reasons. Hold that thought.

The third problem of course is the length of time it’s comfortable to use the gear. My Vive headset gets overly warm and sweaty in a manner of minutes, and eyes sore after an hour or so. Not exactly conducive to having a great quest.

I realise this sounds like I just don’t like VR, but that’s not true. What I tend to think works better though are shorter experiences built with it and its limitations in mind, and those limitations just aren’t great news for RPGs. To give an example of something I think works well – there’s a Star Wars demo called Trials on Tatooine which is only about five minutes long, but offers the best ‘actually play with a lightsaber’ sequence I’ve ever played. It replaces a controller, hums in your hand, cuts through the ground, etc. The genius of the sequence though is that the designer clearly accepted that fighting a Sith Lord wasn’t going to work, so instead the simulation is something that actually can – lots of Stormtroopers popping up and shooting, with you returning their shots. It feels pretty much perfect, and as bad as an ass can be without actively joining the Hell’s Angels as a hard-driving pair of buttocks with nothing to lose.

The same goes for most of the seated experiences, and most of the best games I’ve tried on the system – Serious Sam VR, Cloudlands, Valkyrie, Holopoint, Audioshield, etc – are primarily marked by their simplicity. There’s exceptions like Elite Dangerous, and goodness, is that a gorgeous looking chunk of space, but they’re rare exceptions. It’s not hard to imagine how fantasy games in general could work, like spell-slinging wizard battle games or more exploratory affairs like Obduction. But would those be RPGs?

I’m not saying any of this is an insurmountable problem, just that I don’t think it’s one on the way to being fixed yet, at least for what I think we all see as the traditional VR paradigm of being a first-person hero kicking arse for gold and glory. I’d love to be proven wrong, because I get the dream. Honest. I remember it from before Legend Quest was a thing, and when magazines were desperately trying to say that Doom VR was perfect except for the part about having the rocket launcher sticking out of your face. I’d love to be proven wrong because I want to have that experience as well.

However, as it stands it feels like the best path for RPGs in VR is the one that nobody really wants to admit is probably the only one that’s going to work. Give up on that dream for now, and like the best games, figure out what VR can do well rather than what we all want it to do well. For something like a shooter, obviously, that’s classic first-person immersion. For RPGs though, it’s to stick with the third person, taking inspiration from the likes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age rather than Skyrim and Fallout 4. Interactive alien banging optional. No, wait. The other thing. Mandatory.

Far from being defeatist, this actually solves most of the problems in one fell swoop. The haptic issue is no longer a problem because you’re not the one clashing swords with anything. You still get the scope for being surrounded by gorgeous worlds in all their 3D glory and the ability to explore them at will – perhaps limited to a circle around your party. The teleportation has a focus, which helps cut down on the motion sickness of just beaming here there and everywhere and constantly changing action. And in a third-person setting, it feels more natural to be able to hit the pause button for some of those things that RPG players generally like, such as ‘tactics’ and ‘battlefield awareness’ and ‘not just swinging wildly until someone dies’. There’s even scope to occasionally go into the first person for the occasional cool thing, like archery, or perspective changes like the start of Batman: Arkham Knight. If there are icky monsters, you can also walk away, content in the knowledge that they’re not going to come after you personally, since you’re not technically there.

Or in a pinch, I guess you can close your eyes.

The sweaty headset and eye-strain problem? Those are hardware issues for another time, along with other annoyances like the screen-door effect (the gaps between pixels, reduced the higher the resolution becomes). A ten hour session in third person isn’t going to be any more comfortable than in the first person. It is though likely to be more satisfying while it lasts, and more satisfying than Lucky’s Tale. Both good starting points if you ask me. Which you didn’t. But never mind, we’re all done now.

44 Comments

  1. reformedniceguy says:

    “as bad as an ass can be without actively joining the Hell’s Angels as a hard-driving pair of buttocks with nothing to lose.” Absolute comedy gold. Please begin writing Douglas Adams or Pratchett stylee comedy Scifi or fantasy books immediately. You know you want to.

  2. Michael Anson says:

    First person RPGs are probably not possible for the reasons you’ve mentioned, but perhaps you need to think a bit differently. Think… tabletop.

    A virtual tabletop setup where you play with friends (online), moving across a virtual table with miniature representations of characters and monsters that you move around. Less immersive, perhaps, but significantly more social, and given the right tools, it can be much more flexible.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      That’s pretty clearly doable though. I was thinking more of the RPG experience in a way that fits VR’s strengths, versus the current (or motion control) era where people got obsessed about trying to browbeat the weaknesses. Hence the lightsaber example – I don’t think we’ll ever get a genuinely good game that can convey the swordfighting experience using anything approaching existing modern technology, but going “Okay, so what can we do that’s still awesome,” allows for the reflecting shot part of the combat to feel pretty much perfect. And making that one bit feel good versus doing something else out of expectation even if it feels crap is why I walked off feeling good about it, even though it’s the simplest Star Wars experience since Yoda Stories.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      Also came to say tabletop or tactics RPG. There’s a lot of flexibility there. You can scale the board up a little. You can place the player in an environment that matches that which the board is an abstraction. You can even beautifully animate the battle in full scale in that environment, but keeping the controls of the game on the board itself.

      The only limitation is time. RPGs can be short, but they really come into their own given enough time. And turn based slows things down even more.

  3. King_Rocket says:

    Artificial locomotion only causes nausea in some people, I myself much prefer it to the teleportation method.

    I really wish teleportation would die already.

    • Sakkura says:

      Most people can handle smooth backwards/forwards fine. It’s really strafing and especially turning that makes more people green in the face.

      Turning is easily fixed with an optional comfort turning mode (probably best turned on by default).

    • Bishop51 says:

      I don’t know where you’re getting that information. We’re a launch title bundled with the Vive (Call of the Starseed) and we’ve seen the metrics. The vast majority are sensitive to the degree that they become nauseated or disoriented from “stick move” type locomotion. This is not a minority issue. There’s a very sound reason that developers are using this method and it has to do with ensuring simple things like people not puking on their shoes. Not great for sales or VR adoption.

      Now that being said, even though Cloudhead Games created Blink locomotion (the first to introduce the concept to the market), we don’t think its the be-all-and-end-all of VR locomotion either. Its a baby step to something better. There is definitely a way to gate peripheral accelerations and artificial rotational acceleration while using smooth traversal but its going to take time to tune out all of the vestibular issues associated with that. Its not a single fix or solution but many. It will come though and when it does it still wont be what you are accustomed to in terms of standard locomotion. But it will still be AWESOME!

      Bottom line though, you can’t wish away teleportation. Nor can you just hope people acclimate to smooth traversal. Its here for awhile until better solutions come to the surface. User comfort in VR is King because if it isn’t you’re putting a stake right into the heart of VR’s rebirth.

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    Bozzley says:

    Forgive my ignorance, cos I don’t have a VR thingy. Would a Dungeon Master / Legend of Grimrock style game work for VR? Still first person, but rotation only done in 90 degree increments? Would that cut down on the vom-inducing elements of first person virtual gubbins?

    • Sakkura says:

      It works alright, I’ve tried Crystal Rift which is a very basic game of that type. But in the long run the reasons for 90 degree turns are not that compelling in VR. Comfort turning, where your view blinks left/right in smaller increments, is already widely used in VR games and works better IMO.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Rotation isn’t that big of a deal – it’s more lateral movement where your eyes tell your body they’re moving but your ears don’t.

      The other killer – now fixed – was headsets not supporting head motion like tilting and peering and looking in at things. That was a MASSIVE cause of sickness in the first generation. Luckily now you can basically do anything you want with your head and the VR can track it, save sticking it up a cow’s bottom.

  5. Sakkura says:

    The lack of tactile feedback is not an issue if you’re casting spells. You expect a lot of resistance when your sword hits someone, but how is a fireball supposed to feel when it leaves your hand? It’s magic, you can imagine whatever you like, and a typical controller rumble makes as much sense as anything.

    On that note, you might check out the upcoming Mage’s Tale from InXile, set in the same universe as The Bard’s Tale. They’re apparently even reusing some assets between the two games.

    The comfort issues with the Vive are not really universally applicable. It’s the least comfortable of the three high-quality VR headsets currently on the market. The Rift is significantly more comfortable (so much that HTC is releasing a Rift-style headstrap accessory), and the PSVR is even better. I have no issues with long play sessions in my Rift.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Yeah, I said that spellcasting was its own thing. Personally, I love mage games, but some folks will demand their sword-and-board.

      I’ve tried all the major consumer headsets available now, and my tolerance is about an hour before my eyes start to feel crusted over and my head in a furnace. Especially when moving around instead of just sitting down.

  6. N'Al says:

    That’s a very long article just to say we want women with oversized breasts and inappropriate battle dress, like every RPG ever?

  7. DEspresso says:

    Good Article, although the Trailer for I ‘expect you to die’ followed by wanting more feedback is a little ill-placed.

    Watching a car accident followed by saws didn’t really make me think ‘I want to experience this sensations more tactile’ ;)

    That said the best application I can think of would be a Star Trek captain game. (Not the strange MP bridge thing announced)
    The player sits most of the time and most Rooms have the same size ie Officers Conference room.

    Could work.

    Or the most obvious solution to no-space-users:
    Player Character is in a Wheelchair.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Honestly, I just wanted to share the song :-)

    • theblazeuk says:

      Oo. Disabled protagonists. Can’t even think of one off the top of my head and seems like a good narrative fit for some of the issues of VR.

      • DEspresso says:

        Been wrecking my brain all day.

        I guess Snake qualifies and technically Adam Jensen is a quadruple amputee? There have to be others beside the occasional pirate.

    • asmodemus says:

      Professor Xavier the game.

      Wheelchair *check*
      Excuse for cool telepathic lifting of objects *check*

      That would be one cool game!

  8. Shiloh says:

    I don’t know if this is being done already, but why does VR have to be based on movements we make in the real world? Why not just use a mouse and keyboard to move/fight/interact etc, but have the environment wrapped around your head and fully traversable?

    It might require some sort of “look down at your keyboard occasionally” technology in the headset (I’m not a marketer so someone can come up with a better name for it than that) but surely that would be a way forward?

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      That’s how plenty of games work, especially on the Rift (via an Xbox One controller). The Vive just focuses on hand-held controllers.

      The main problem with keyboards is that there’s no way to look down and check buttons, so you have to be pretty good at touch-typing to get away with that. Also, a lot of the movements they allow, like strafing and ludicrously fast turns are some of the biggest contributors to nausea.

      • Shiloh says:

        Shows how much I know! Thanks Richard, I’m one of those who can’t use VR anyway because of motion sickness, plus I’ve got a bad case of the Emperor’s New Clothes about the whole thing, seems to me like a technology looking for a reason to exist, rather than genuinely fulfilling a demand.

        That being said, I guess in 200 years’ time it’ll be all the rage, not that I’ll care – unless there’s a VR version of me somewhere the world of course. Sort of like Cold Lazarus, except in skimpy RPG lady-clothes natch.

        • Richard Cobbett says:

          The frustrating thing is that when VR works, it’s amazing. But far too many games I try do things because it’s clear they think they HAVE to, not because that’s what’s best.

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        Damocles says:

        I have found out that fast rotation is actually more comfortable than slow turning. As long as the speed crosses certain threshold, something switches off in my brain and I don’t sense it any more as physically turning, more like a film on fast forward. Too bad most games don’t offer an option to control turning speed; The Vanishing of Ethan Charter is a good test case to try this.

        Another game that I would recommend to anyone interested in VR locomotion is Windlands. It features some extreme movement (being essentially a Spiderman simulator) but there are plenty of comfort options and I never found the game uncomfortable.

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    Drib says:

    You know, I often sit here and think things like “I’ve just got my tax return back, I suppose I could buy a Vive” and then I give it thought for a while and I’m nearly up to doing it…

    And then something like the first paragraph of this article reminds me of reality and stops my hand.

    I have a ton of game consoles I don’t use, because it’s a hassle. I imagine VR is more of a hassle. I could make the room for it, stumble around in my living room or whatever, but with no games, what’s the point?

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      I like to think that VR will work, though my suspicion is that its future is more like IMAX etc, where high-end gear is available in specific places rather than at the home (rollercoasters for instance using VR to put you on a dragon and the like). I wouldn’t recommend buying into the kit at the moment either way though. It’s at least a generation and a lot of developer experimentation away from being ready, with both main sets now having a fair amount of fun stuff, but fun in the ‘Wii Sports’ sense of fun more than anything I suspect most people will be hooked on longterm.

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        Drib says:

        Sounds about right to me. I even got a Wii way back when, after playing Wii Sports on someone else’s. Then I played for a couple hours and packed it away, other than occasional virtual console duties.

        Waiting for the next generation of hardware sounds good, but I never seem to hear anything about that actually being on the way. Plus the way the market is split (Rift, Vive, PSVR, etc) I’m never quite sure which to get, and that only further wrecks up the budding field.

        I dunno. I like the idea of VR, just doesn’t seem like it has quite found its place.

  10. mgardner says:

    I haven’t played it yet, but will eventually check out Mervils (available from Steam and PSN). On the surface, this seems to be experimenting in the right direction. The Steam blurb:

    ‘Mervils is an open world RPG platformer built specifically for third-person VR with over 6-8 hours of gameplay.’

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      I saw that one, but it looks more of a Zelda style RPG than PC style one. Do mean to check it out though, once I’ve played the new Zelda.

  11. theWillennium says:

    100% this. I’ve been saying ever since we got a Vive at the office that first-person VR was going to be a trap, and that third-person experiences would sidestep a whole host of our current design issues. I would also love to see more roomscale god games or strategy games with a giant perspective, since that was such a compelling part of Final Approach.

  12. Shazbut says:

    Surely there’s a way to force a deeper experience into the mechanics of something like Space Pirate Trainer or Job Simulator. My flatmate and I have killed about 5 hours each on a Playstation VR game where you basically just sit down and head footballs. If the game mechanics are fun then surely someone smart can add a plot and characters and multiple choice and all the other stuff. I’m confused as to why this doesn’t seem to be happening.

    I think VR needs writers.

  13. ScottTFrazer says:

    Honestly, I Expect You To Die is a bit too ambitious in scope. It ends up being VERY fiddly and gets pretty repetitive.

    You might try Please Don’t Touch Anything instead. Similar “escape the room” type feel but with better puzzles. Less time-based.

    • panda says:

      It must be subjective; I Expect You To Die is one of my favorite VR games! I haven’t felt any of the fiddliness you mention, instead I’ve been really impressed at how well VR tracks my hands. It’s nice to be finally able to interact with game worlds naturally like that, pulling or turning or throwing or breaking directly instead of through the ancient abstraction of the computer mouse.

      It has lots of character and the puzzles are just right – enough to be a challenge but short & logical enough that when you figure it out you don’t feel cheated.

      I haven’t yet tried Please Don’t Touch Anything and I’m pretty sure I will… once I tire of Robot Recall.

  14. Gothnak says:

    The problem with VR is that it is more expensive to develop for and the market is currently tiny. Therefore the main games you will see are easy and cheap to implement, exactly what a good RPG is not.

  15. SanguineAngel says:

    “I’m not saying any of this is an insurmountable problem, just that I don’t think it’s one on the way to being fixed yet, at least for what I think we all see as the traditional VR paradigm of being a first-person hero kicking arse for gold and glory.”

    Honestly, I’m more interested in more characterful experiences. I’d like to see some hard-boiled detective games, I want to interact with characters and environments not in some meaningless mini-games but in a game that makes me part of a greater narrative.

    For so long games have been about being kick-ass action heroes (predominently) because it’s the easiest way to provide the player a direct method of interacting with the game world and receiving real feedback. Now with decent VR we could interact in many more interesting ways and get that feedback.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      I would love to see that too. Here though, specifically talking about RPGs because it’s an RPG column. I actually think the problems are easier with something like, say, a Tex Murphy because the feedback issues are much simpler and you’re not teleporting around more than Ganon in the old Legend of Zelda cartoon while going through drawers and stuff.

  16. Therandus93 says:

    I will respectfully disagree with the majority of your statements. I think when Fallout 4 VR comes out, it will prove how successfull RPGVR can be. Having the headset myself, those that frequently use it, me being one of those, have no issue’s with motion sickness, because i actually use it. So having a game worth playing will eventually remove these issue’s. As for it getting hot and stuffy, for those that want to really use VR, it hasnt stopped them from working out in VR and getting very very sweaty, but still having fun. Not only that but anyone who knows this would play in a cool environment with breathable clothing, in fact exercise clothes feel very comfortable for VR.

    Having tried Fallout 4 in Vorpx and playing essentially any good VR games to date, I see no issue’s playing this game in VR. Also, it seems a lot of people dont understand why Bethesda started with Fallout 4 for VR. Fallout 4 includes both ranged and melee mechanics, the only ranged mechanics for example the elder scrolls series is magic and bows, however the VR industry already has a tone of experience with those, what they fail in a lot of cases is shooting feeling right and especially melee. I can see clearly they chose fallout 4 as it really was the best game to delve first into VR for at this time. Fallout 4 has always kinda been a test bench for new things and trying things that other AAA game dev’s do.

    Anyway having played a bit in Vorpx its obviously it’ll be really fun and easy to control. Note this is using the vive controllers as gamepads. Of course but with the gun being locked to your looking direction, that takes away the fun of it, especially as you cant interact actually using your hands. interaction is probably the main thing Bethesda is working on, and all the different possible ways you can interact more with mechanics to make use of VR.

    And as another note, right now, no VR games come close to any decent game standards. But being in VR makes even some of the worst games enjoyable. Saying that i loved Fallout 4, i appreciated what they added and removed and understood why, I dont expect a company to stay the same, but branch out in order to improve, so the fact they did something different was a delightful surprise to me, and gives me hope for better games in their future.

    I have no issue spending 8 hours in Vivecraft or SocialVR applications. You more you use VR the more it doesnt bother you, in fact the more it feels natural. Right now, the VR community needs a game like Fallout 4 brought to VR. It will not only prove many things about the current hardware, but give people a reason to buy headsets, also nudging other developers to keep exploring that area.

    Some people spend $500 a year on games, whether through games themselves, consoles, upgrades, subsciptions, micro-transactions. In fact some people spend that much a month. Why? because they have reason too, if people are giving a reason to want to have VR, money will also not be an issue, not to mention pricing will come down anyway. Anyway, got a bit sidetracked there.

    my final point, i am quite assured VR will be a success in EVERY genre and EVERY consumer. In Gaming,Films,TV,Productivity,OS’s etc. FPS/RPG/MMO/RTS etc. The only thing any technology needs as we’ve seen in the past, is content, and people will buy it.

    I am looking forward to not only Fallout 4 but many future RPG’s and MMO’s in particular too that will be inspired from FO4 being released. Shooting a Molerat at your feet on a monitor is very different to shooting it, at your feet, or turning around and seeing a ghoul in your face. Its fun, very fun. Locomotion wont be an issue either, there are many effective locomotion options now and they have said they are going to include as many as possible. I could go on but hopefully you get the point. As a gamer, programmer, developer, data analyst and tech enthusiast, i cant see it failing but only being a positive boon to the VR platform. :)

  17. laiwm says:

    I’ve recently been getting into pen & paper RPGs like Dungeon World, and oddly I think that’s a style of storytelling that would be a better prospect for VR RPGs. Pen & paper RPGs generally don’t focus on the bits of the story where you’re just walking from place to place, they skip to the interesting bits and present a situation that needs resolving. So a VR RPG could present a brief scene where you’re riding in a wagon, then skip to you taking watch while your party camps by the road. An ogre attacks and you battle it off, then skip to the king’s court at the end of your journey where you’re in the middle of a heated debate about taxes or something. Then a scene upstairs where you’re sneaking around trying to steal some plans, and so on. It’s about breaking a story down into a series of meaningful moments.

    I think VR RPGs are very possible, but I they’ll have to move away from the current CRPG style of presenting a continuous open world to poke around in. Even turn-based combat could work in first person, and it’d be a really cool multiplayer experience.

  18. MrMetlHed says:

    I’d be pretty happy with a Pillars of Eternity / Baldur’s Gate style of game where I can just sit at my desk and use the touch controls to screw with the camera like I’m viewing a giant diorama. Maybe duck into first person when having conversations, but I wouldn’t need much more than that.

    If you must have the first-person experience, I guess I could be talked into standing up and have the camera jump into first-person when engaged in battle and have enemies rushing at me, or casting spells / shooting arrows at long range.

    I actually like the 3rd person perspective in VR. Being able to spin an environment around and zoom in and out with gestures sounds fantastic.

  19. dvorhagen says:

    I’ve got to disagree with you about 1st person RPGs. First of all, I find scrolling to be a perfectly fine means of locomotion. I don’t know what the numbers are, but I suspect there are plenty of people like myself who aren’t affected by VR motion sickness. At least give us the option.. Secondly, having played more than my share of Vanishing Realms, I think the combat is amazing. I’ve done fencing, and I do archery — this feels like swordfighting and arrow-flinging. The ability to parry and riposte with a system that accurately tracks your sword in real time is a game-changer. So maybe *traditional* RPGs, where you incrementally increase the skills of your proxy character are out in VR, but they can give way to a new kind of game where your real-life combat skills map directly to your character. It would be an absolute travesty for third-person RPGs to become the norm in VR. I bought the Vive to provide me with experiences; in-person ones, not a glorified table with moving action figures.

  20. TheCze says:

    eh I’m not sure about that third person approach. I’d really prefer the first person experience. Some other points: While there is a significant number of people that suffer from motion sickness, an Onward style locomotion system seems to work for most people after a couple of minutes of getting used to it and is my preferred way of getting around in VR at the moment. I’m not sure what your problem with the heat of the Vive is, mine does not get hot at all, even after long play. You are right though, the headstrap is something that gets uncomfortable after an hour or so, but I hope that the deluxe strap that will be released in Q2 this year solves this problem. The only real problem I see with long RPGs in VR is that I don’t want to stand around for several hours, but that might be because I’m old and lazy.