VRemedy Wants To Solve VR’s Movement Problem

by Ryan Winterhalter • August 30th, 2017

Teleportation is quickly becoming the standard VR movement, even in games where it’s not appropriate. Motion sickness remains an unsolved problem, so jumping from location to location is the best option available. It might work for some experiences, but it can undermine the mood and setting of a game like Skyrim, where exploration is a major feature.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based developer VRemedy Labs aims to solve this problem. The company’s website promises their work is “Revolutionizing Locomotion in VR,” and its blog details the efforts taken to create “exciting movement without the nausea.” The company is building their new game, I Hate Heroes, with locomotion that throws out everything we know about designing nausea-free VR play. Flying makes people sick; it has flying. Walking makes many want to vomit. The game has walking. However, a series of subtle tweaks reduces nausea for most players. If the experimental locomotion in I Hate Heroes works, it could add some interesting new options to the range of locomotion alternatives out there. Some of these you’ll have seen before but others are brand new.

VRemedy has also been experimenting with boosted movement- one step to the right translates to meters of in-game traversal- tractor beam guns that work like grappling hooks, and “space fabric” movement where players can “grab” the air and pull themselves in any direction. Various tweaks are applied to all of these locomotion modes to reduce nausea, and players will have the ability to amplify or turn them down to suit their needs.

Boosted Movement

Tractor Beam

Space Fabric Movement

VRemedy Labs cofounder Richard Oates told the MIT Technology Review that the end goal of all this research is to work with headset makers to reduce nausea and provide developers with tools that can control it. “We want to break the mold of having [VR] experiences that are nauseating and awesome or comfortable and boring…And instead make games everybody can play and play at their own pace.” Or, as the VRemedy blog succinctly put it, “Teleportation sucks…and we can do better.”

What's your reaction?
  • Angelo Overmeier

    “Teleportation is quickly becoming the standard VR movement”

    I thought Onward style movement is slowly becoming the new standard that people want and teleportation is only an option if you get motion sick?

    The main stream will never accept teleportation as a standard for games. Only the people who get motion sick but still have an extra ordinary interest in vr can tolerate teleportation, therefor it should be offered as an alternative but not as a standard in games. There are some kind of experience which you can do with teleportation but if vr want’s to succeed we need games like fallout, battlefield etc. Otherwise 4k gaming on a big tv feels more immersive then jumping like a rabbit through some low poly worlds. 😛

    Motion sickness sucks, but Onward has shown that most people can handle it if it’s done right.

    • Bundy

      I’m not sure that’s the case. Most of the games I played default to teleport with locomotion as an option.

      • Mane Vr

        teleport should be the default but options on setting up locomotion as u are comfortable with should be given

    • Mane Vr

      god I hope not. I don’t like the onward locomotion setup I prefer the options serious sam vr gives u I find that WAY better then the setup in onward

  • daveinpublic

    What if you want to move and shoot at the same time?

  • Duane Locsin

    Maybe Vive will need to develop and make their own treadmill since they have the better capabilities to distribute it to consumers as well.

    I have put a lot of investment into VR because I want great immersion, so am willing to pay premium for a device like I did the Vive and PSVR that will have continued support as well.

    • polysix

      treadmills suck. We need something bit more high-concept than that (gforce simulating exoskeletons with total freedom to run, sit, shoot, duck, crawl, jump and not have to worry about falling over in reality). That’s a long way off. Combined with vestibular stimulation we get there sooner.

      • Duane Locsin

        So the next best thing are treadmills than since what you described are a long way off.
        I think only Vive or Valve can make reasonable vr treadmills for consumers.

  • polysix

    this is ‘solving’ nothing ffs, just another twist on the concepts of IN GAME movement we already have!

    To solve VR locomotion is going to take hardware, vestibular stimulation, brain inputs… exoskeletons with rigged g-forces… not nodding your head or leaning forward in game. smh

  • polysix

    Teleportation is a cancer to VR, as needed as it may be currently, it’s really immersion killing. Completely defeating the point of VR. Honestly I’d rather play a VR game that is suited to NON human movement if it means ‘reality’ movement (cars etc) than rely on flash blinking all over the place like the world is of little relevance. I will never pay for any game that has teleportation as it’s only mode of movement. It’s about as VR as an Atari.

    EVerytime.. EVERY single time you teleport in a VR game for that moment ALL immersion is lost, all sense of presence and believability is killed dead. Do that 50 times a minute and what’s the point? to get to the next cool looking ‘gallery’ of a world you don’t really move around in? yuck!

  • Braycen Jackwitz

    I’ll be honest, I’m not really seeing anything new here. These are all already established locomotion methods used in plenty of games already.

  • riceface

    im convinced walking in place and turning while walking is the best dam movement ive ever seen and most natural, play gravity pull.. it demos it.. its intuitive and takes no extra equipment and you can even jump… TELEPORTATION NEEDS TO DIE

  • unreal_ed

    I like how even that gif of “boosted movement” shows the problem of that method as he bumps into the table in front of him in it

  • djkoz78

    First things first didn’t the Mayo Clinic with funding from the government after 11 years claim to have solved VR sickness? They licensed it to a company called vMocion.

    Also VR sickness will lessen the more you use it.

  • Shade Smith

    Make arm-swing an option, coupled with teleportation and thumbstick/analog stick(Onward-style) and you have all the bases covered. Why is this so difficult for VR devs to get?

  • Ok, they want to solve it. But we all want to solve it… have they?