TraGect VR is a flying game that invites players to navigate a beautiful and dangerous sky world. Storming past or into clouds, the player's adrenaline rises after finding a path through the glass superstructure. Every trajectory taken offers a different set of routes. These routes challenge the player to progress through without hitting anything. Of course, higher speeds make the trajection much more exhilarating!
Milestone 4 Update
- Gaze to steer direction of flight
- Touchpad, swipe to activate boost when stopped
- Touchpad, tap to dismiss dialogs
TraGect game play involves:
- Flight navigation through glass tunnels and structures, or outside
- Collecting flow energy orbs
- Finding and activating flow projection rings (requires 20 orbs)
- Finding points in and out of a structure
- Increasing speed upon collection of flow energy
- Five difficulty levels: Beginner, Normal, Hard, Expert, and King
The same number of orbs are collected in each difficulty level, but they boost the player faster according to the difficulty factor. Beginner mode allows any number of crashes. Normal allows two before getting placed at the last checkpoint. Hard only allows one crash, Expert and King will kick the player back to the checkpoint after only one crash. Upon going back to a checkpoint, the player loses all progression that was beyond that checkpoint.
In order to complete a level, the player must activate all flow projection rings, which act as barriers until activated. Flow strips show a path to each ring. Energy is collected from orbs which is used to activate a flow projection ring. In some cases the player will be able to activate a ring following a single path. In other cases, a ring may be of higher energy and require exploration of different paths or areas. Additionally, traversal through a previously visited area may be used to collect all the orbs. The player must balance ambition versus caution when collecting orbs, since each one increases speed. A plan needs to be created that allows the player to make it through the level according to their abilities.
The main goal for developing TraGect is to deliver a strong experience of presence on the Gear VR hardware that is unique to first person flight gameplay. The experience must both excite and engage the player, while avoiding anything that can lead to a passive experience in the design. This form of presence is best achieved when wearing headphones and playing at higher difficulty levels. The audio greatly augments the Gear VR's visual immersion to the point where the player becomes lost in the virtual world.
- Simple but powerful control system. The control system takes a "pure" approach linking movement to head direction in a natural way. There are few controls the player needs to learn, but they will have to master them to play on higher levels.
- First person perspective allows the player to better judge the environment. Discerning distance and scale quickly and accurately is required to play the game.
Audio cues match the visual cues wherever possible, including:
- Wind pitch proportional to movement speed
- Large surface sound reflection detection
- Small surface sound reflection emitters (for rods)
- Altering sound effects according to speed
- Large amounts of transparent level geometry improves comfort
- Cube map reflections show off high geometric detail, with little shader performance cost
- Limited speed near the beginning of the experience allows the player to adjust to the experience over time
- Difficulty levels that reduce speed to a comfortable factor to each player individually
- Momentary HUD updates that get out of the way quickly to avoid disrupting presence
This game is an example of how VR excels as both an interface device and a presentation device. The level of precision and ability to complete courses through complex structures at speed compared to any other device is unmatched. This is a testament to VR in games, as well as real world applications that require similar interactions, such as piloting an aircraft through a complex environment. This is only the beginning for TraGect.