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Ubisoft’s VR Movement System Looks Incredible

by Ian Hamilton • March 14th, 2016

Eagle Flight, which puts you in the body of an eagle soaring over Paris, was shown today in the main atrium at the Virtual Reality Developers Conference in San Francisco featuring intriguing movement solutions and methods to reduce simulator sickness.

The title from Ubisoft was shown in multiplayer on Oculus Rift with players tilting their heads to their shoulders to navigate their birds to turn through narrow corridors and avoid other eagles trying to swoop in. As the intensity of movement increased in the game — swooping left/right or turning — the field of view narrows so the player only sees a small sliver of the world. Check it out in the video above.

This is the first time we’ve seen Eagle Flight’s approach to allowing players freedom of movement in VR while reducing discomfort. Jason Rubin, head of Oculus Studios, praised the method on Twitter, saying it is “incredibly effective” and calling for praise of Ubisoft’s team.

A variety of methods are being explored to grant players in VR greater freedom of movement while ensuring nobody feels any discomfort as a result of a mismatch between what the body feels and what the eyes see. Methods we’ve seen before include everything from teleporation systems like “Blink” to tiny electrical stimulation to trick the senses into ignoring the mismatch. Another method, depicted below, “tunnels” the person in VR from one spot to another by only showing movement in a small area of a person’s field of view while using a keyboard or controller to move. The view expands when the player settles on a new location.

We’ll report back later with hands-on impressions of Eagle Flight and its movement system.