Nov 1, 2019

Levels of Room Motion Intensity

For my Steam Curator VR Motion, I have had difficulty expressing the different kinds of Room Motion a game can have within the limited amount of text space available when posting a review. I've been toying around with the idea of different levels of intensity in Room Motion. For me, as the levels increase, the symptoms become more severe, and the less amount of time I can play the game.

If you play VR games, I am interested in feedback regarding these intensity levels. Is there a higher level that your mind can tolerate better than a lower level of Room Motion? Is there something not listed that you think should be? I’d love to hear your input!

Levels of Room Motion Intensity

Level 0: No Room Motion

If the player needs to move to a different location in the game, a translocation device or some sort is used. A common method of this is a “teleport here” selection, with either no travel time between the locations or a short fade to a solid color and fade back transition.
The game Budget Cuts has a neat way of handling this non-locomotion translocation action.

Some games will use an animated zoom effect between two teleported locations to help players understand visually where they are traveling. These usually have comfort blinders that reduce the view to a window for where the player is going. I consider these to be level 1.

Level 1: Basic player Enacted Locomotion

Traveling using a joystick, touchpad, or button press with the controller facing the direction of travel are common actions. There are requirements that when input from the player stops, the movement stops as well. This level allows for deviations in turning (yaw only), but not in roll (falling over), or pitch (walking up a wall). An example would be Rec Room’s default movement option “walkers.”

Level 2: Advanced Player Enacted Locomotion

Much like level 1, but after the player input ends an understandably expected direction of travel continues, such as traveling by vehicle or by maintained momentum. Jet Island is an example of a game that does this.

Level 3: Uncontrolled Locomotion Events Outside of the Player’s Direct Control

These uncontrolled events cause movement of the player’s POV (Point of View), but can reasonably be expected by the player. i.e. a user pushing their head into a wall, and their position is virtually held inside the room. Riding a roller coaster while being able to see the track, or at least having an idea of where the vehicle being ridden is taking you. A player’s room position deciding if they should fall down a cliff ledge.

Level 4: Space like player enacted locomotion

Like level 2, but allows pitch and roll room rotations as well. Generally, this only occurs in zero gravity space like simulations.

Level 5: Uncontrolled unexpected locomotion

Events outside of the player’s direct control causes movement of the player’s POV. An unseen NPC shoving the player around. A vehicle the player doesn’t control moving them. An otherwise level 0 game that has a trigger that pushes the user to a new location.

Level 6: Non-Euclidean

A level upon itself. The majority of players, even the most seasoned veterans of Virtual Reality, will have difficulty playing a non-euclidean game.

Comfort Options

A+: The developers display a clear understanding of Room Motion mitigation options, with options to provide additional room presence, reduce player vision during Room Motion, or remove Room Motion entirely by providing alternate control options.
A: Comfort options are available for the majority of primary gameplay. Room Motion unmitigated sections may exist.
B: Comfort options exist, but large sections of primary gameplay still has unmitigated Room Motion.
F: No comfort options available, and are needed for primary gameplay.

Games I've Reviewed for Room Motion

Check out my Steam Currator VR Motion to see games a list of VR games that have Room Motion, and what kinds of Room Motion they have.

Jul 22, 2019

Pathery Map Generator

This blog post is a help document for Pathery's Map Editor's Map Generator. This document assumes you already know how to use the editor before it had BlockCode. At time of writing, the feature isn't released yet.

The above is an example of Pathery BlockCode. The upper four rows in this example are the base map, declaring a few start locations, an end, and two selector groups. The lower three rows is the block code that manipulates the map for a desired generator outcome. An example outcome of this generator is:

Lets dive into this one line at a time.

ReplacePoint 1 Rock EndOfLine
ReplacePoint [FromBlock{1}] [ToBlock{1 or more}] EndOfLine
The ReplacePoint Command looks for blocks matching the FromBlock type, and randomly replaces them with the ToBlocks. In the example above, the top right 1 selector was replaced with a rock.

(Note to self: Known bug: If a user attempts to place out more blocks then their selector FromBlock has spaces for, the page will bug out due to extra text provided in the AJAX return.)

Fill 2 Rock EndOfLine
Fill [FromBlock{1}] [ToBlock{1}] EndOfLine
The Fill Command looks for blocks matching the FromBlock type, and replaces all of them with the ToBlock's type. In the example above, the six lower rocks are from this fill command.

Empty EndOfLine
Areas without commands are fine. Above these two blocks is an example of empty space existing before a command block. If non-BlockCodes are provided before a command, they will be ignored.

ReplacePoint Start Void Void Void EndOfLine
ReplacePoint [FromBlock{1}] [ToBlock{1 or more}] EndOfLine
FromBlocks are allowed to be any map placeable block (all standard blocks and the selector BlockCode. In the above example, three of the start locations were replaced with void spots.

SurroundPoint 1 Rock EndOfLine
SurroundPoint [FromBlock{1}] [ToBlock{1}] EndOfLine
The Surround Point Command select a random FromBlock and places it's ToBlock type in the four orthogonal directions. This will replace whatever block is on those squares, pre-existing or placed by BlockCode earlier. Blocks to be placed that would be off the map are ignored instead.

(Note to self: Known bug: If a user attempts to use a FromBlock that doesn't exist, the page will bug out due to extra text provided in the AJAX return.)
The last component you need to know to create the majority of maps on Pathery is the OR and Percent BlockCode. The following image and BlockCode is an idea from 是我人 to combine both Normal and Complex into a single map. This includes OR blocks, which are equal chance options of multiple command blocks, as well as percent chance sections appearing after the last ToBlock of a command set, which gives a chance that a given command set won't fire. This also has dynamic waypoints, allowing the 1 section to have 1 or 2 waypoints, allowing the 2 section be the next waypoint (either B or C), then 3 to 5 more waypoints after that, correctly selected starting at C or D based on the previous rolls.

(Note to self: Fix wall count so that it works, allow it to softly fail, document it.)

(Note to self: Document how to view the soft errors via JS's console view, or code it into the UI to naturally view it. Document Multi ORs. Document Last % and NotLast %. Make icons for these two.)

(clicky for big)


[ToAdd: SurroundBlock, OR blocks, Percent block]

Jun 12, 2019

2d10 + the absolute difference between the two dice

I pondered what 2d10 + the absolute difference between the two of them would be. After thinking though a few of the rolls, I realized that 3 isn't a possible outcome. The lowest roll would be 2, at a 1% chance (two back to back 10% chances). The max roll was from either 10 10 or 1 10.

Typed it up into Anydice.
function: sum plus difference of A:n and B:n {
    C: [absolute A - B]
    result: A + B + C

output [highest 1 of 2d20]
output [sum plus difference of d10 and d10]

Turns out, it is really similar to having advantage in DnD 5e, aka Higher 1 of 2d20 (image is the same graph as above, with "at most" selected). If on the advantage though, you "rounded up" odds to evens, it is the same.

I had hoped that this would have resulted in an upper bell curve, seen below in green. Blue is the standard 3d6 bell curve for comparison.