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. 

In 2D game design, cutscenes are the most commonly used way to tell a backstory – complete with panning and zooming of the camera for cinematic effect. However, this is not a good practice in XR since it can cause motion sickness.

How can we add animation to an experience without making people sick?

How can we tell a compelling backstory in VR without making people sick?

Moss’s solution


Moss is an immersive story and puzzle game created by Polyarc.

The experience starts out in a library with you standing in front of an ornate book. When you open the book, the pages come alive with color and the story begins.


A voice over narrates the story, and you progress by turning the pages. The page borders glow as a way to let you know you can turn the page when your controller gets close to it.

This is a good way to tell you a backstory in VR as an alternative to cutscenes you see in 2D video games that pan and zoom on the viewer.


There is much less risk of motion sickness, and as the backstory transitions into the “present” the transition makes it feel like you’re entering the book and becoming part of the story.


Trigger:Quest: Trigger button
PSVR: PS4 DualShock controller – either trigger button
Sound Effects:Page turn sound
Voice Over:Narrator tells the story accompanying the current page spread as the color illustration fills the page.
When the narrator stops, it’s time to continue to the next page.
UI Text:None
Visual Cues:Page border glows as controller gets in proximity to corner.
Page lifts and begins to turn as you “grab” the corner and move the controller.
Controller Interactions:Use the trigger button to “grab” the page. Move the controller while holding down the trigger button to move the page. Let go of the trigger to complete page turn.
Haptic Feedback:Controller vibration when…
– controller is in proximity to the page border
– trigger is pulled to “grab” page

Quest: Short vibration on trigger button
PSVR: PS4 vibration on controller
Environmental Cues:None
Detailed interaction patterns

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.

Moss by Polyarc

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