Problem to solve
As I’ve mentioned in my article, Transitioning to XR Design, instead of designing for 2D screens with a limited screen size, we are designing for another dimension in which 3D spaces and the world around us are the canvas.
The rules of how we grab a person’s attention also shift and expand, since with 360 experiences you have to take into account that they may look anywhere at any time.
How do we get people to look where we want without breaking immersion?
Moss is an immersive story and puzzle game created by Polyarc.
One of the methods Moss uses to direct your attention is through NPC (non-player character) behaviors and body language. Quill (the mouse main character of the story) looks at you and then down at the water – compelling you to look down as well.
If there is a pause in gameplay, Quill will point at things to get you to look at them and try to communicate what you’re supposed to help her do next.
In this specific example, she waves at you, then points at the wheel and starts looking at it intently – letting you know there’s something about the wheel you need to figure out.
This feeds on our natural instincts and abilities to read behaviors to communicate and understand intent without having to rely on words or UI panels that may break immersion.
If you go this route, very careful study of behaviors is important to get the rigging and animation right. Otherwise, it will feel unnatural and potentially be off-putting. When done well, it’s magical.
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.
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