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Things to consider when porting to VR

VR creates a very different user experience compared to other application types. This means that some things that work for a non-VR application or game do not work for VR.

Test the application on a few different users to determine their comfort levels and adjust the code so that they find the experience comfortable.

Camera animations that are comfortable in a non-VR game might be uncomfortable in a VR version of the game. For example, the Ice Cave demo without VR has an animation mode for the camera. Some users find this uncomfortable and suffer motion sickness, especially when the camera moves backwards. Removing this mode prevents this unsettling experience.

A non-VR application can be controlled using the touch screen of the phone or by tilting the phone. These control mechanisms might not be possible in a VR application. For example, the original Ice Cave demo uses two virtual joysticks to control the camera, this does not work on a VR device because the touchscreen is not accessible. The Ice Cave VR demo is designed to run on Samsung Gear VR, which has a touchpad on the side of the headset. Using the touchpad instead of the touch screen solves this problem.

The following figure shows the touchpad on a Samsung Gear VR headset.

Figure 9-4 A Samsung Gear VR headset showing the touchpad

A photo showing the touchpad on a Samsung Gear VR headset

Users can find some visual effects that work in a non-VR application look wrong in a VR application. For example, the non-VR Ice Cave demo uses a dirty lens effect that changes its intensity based on the camera alignment with the Sun. Users testing this effect in VR found it looked wrong, so it was removed.

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