Problem to solve
Animation is an integral part of storytelling and can make or break an experience. However, in an immersive environment, motion sickness is a very common negative side-effect of animation.
This can include a feeling of seasickness, headaches, general nausea, dizziness, vertigo or even in some cases, vomiting. This happens when there is a mismatch between what is being seen and what is being felt — or in other words, your eyes perceive that you’re moving, but your body doesn’t feel any motion.
How can we add animation to an experience without making people sick?
Moss is an immersive story and puzzle game created by Polyarc.
Theirs is a unique approach, in which you stay in place and the environment stays in place. You then move around the main character on the surface as you would a character miniature in a tabletop gaming setting.
There are no large, moving objects – only the characters and environmental elements such as leaves and grass in the breeze or water in the river.
Even in the case of the bodies of water, the animation is gentle with subtle ripples and streams of motion instead of massive motion as you would have in a raging river, which could make you sick. They use sound effects and ripples on the surface so that your brain automatically accepts that the water is flowing.
They have also made this setup a part of the story as you are a guiding spirit looking over Quill as you help her on her journey, thus enhancing immersion instead of breaking it.
Download it and try it
Moss is available on Playstation VR, Oculus, Steam, and VIVEPort, and works on the Quest, PSVR, and PC-based VR headsets.