Superhero FlightFly like Superman: VR experience
This project was made by Brendan Luu as part of his 2016 STAR Program and it is still a work in progress. He met with the Child Life staff at St. Christopher’s Hospital to discuss ways VR could assist their patient care. They proposed a VR game could distract patients from procedures and block vision while doctors administer I.V.’s or tend to lacerations. Superhero Flight is a first person flight experience He is creating to fulfill this purpose.
The hospital staff’s criteria for the VR experience:
- The experience shouldn’t be too intense — engaging but not frightening.
- Children on gurneys are limited to less than 160° of neck rotation.
- Hospitalized children don’t always have the ability to use there hands.
With this criteria in mind, he began brainstorming games that would be suitable for this circumstance.
One game that inspired him was Reveries: Dream Flight, a third person flying game available on the Oculus Store. It’s fun to play but he wanted to make the flying experience more engaging. He wanted to make a first person POV flight experience where the player’s head direction dictates where they fly. This was a risk because the first person aspect has the potential to induce VR sickness. However, in designing the game he employed a few techniques to help with comfort. One thing that works well for Reveries: Dream Flight’s third person flight is the point of reference that the paper airplane provides to the player.
His first person POV doesn’t allow the same technique, but he added arms to the player’s body to act as a frame of reference. This is similar to a lot of the “cockpit” VR experiences out now. In addition, he added particle effects to reinforce the cockpit effect. Out of the 40+ people he has tried his demo with, only three people had mild VR sickness.
This project is the first time he has created a Unity game from scratch. While creating it he watched a bunch of tutorials, dissected example projects, and began learning how to logically copy and paste c# scripts/write his own.
He showed Superhero Flight to the Child Life staff at St. Christopher’s Hospital on August 24th. They enjoyed it so much that they are looking to do clinical research with it.