The Design of the Portal Locomotion
Freya Holmér
19511

Forgot to comment on the article itself…

Not only is BC so much fun to play, but it’s very innovative in terms of UX for all the reasons you mentioned. I’d like to mention a couple other ways your locomotion solves problems.

Many people feel that teleportation in VR is “cheating” or “easy mode” or breaks immersion, but BC makes it part of the game’s fiction. By doing that, by making it an involved process and not a meta-motion, you preserve and even enhance immersion in the game. The teleporting player no longer has that split-second idea of “oh right, this is just a game and now I need to tell the game where my player avatar needs to be set down”, instead he/she is thinking “now I need to shoot this cool gizmo in my hand and relocate myself” and the player’s mind remains within the game’s fiction.

The other benefit in BC’s locomotion is that it allows for scoping out an area before porting, and this is very helpful in a stealth game. Often I’ll lob a ball just for scouting, and not use it to port.

Budget Cuts demo remains of my favourite VR experiences. The first time I lobbed a ball and ported, I remembered the translocator. I even tried doing a mid-air port like I used to do in UT, and when it didn’t work, I was like “well of course not, it would be a bad idea.” You guys really did an awesome job in terms of UX and other areas. Little details like how the (+) sphere turns red when the inventory is full. Or how wall textures fade in when you approach a wall. The subtle fizzing sound that the “pick stuff up” tool makes, how it looks and sounds like a stove burner.

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