The start time of the game — the problem in VR

The start time of the game — the problem in VR

The time and effort that is required in order to begin to do anything in virtual reality, remains a major obstacle to wider adoption of VR. At that time, as enhancements of equipment have and will continue to reduce them still have a “problem area”, which is a pure software part of the equation: select and download VR games.


One thing that is more understandable, is that small window of time between when the players put on the headset and when they really start to get pleasure from, can make this game a virtual reality much more attractive. This is one reason why such a steady Beat Saber audience — she has very little time before the start of the game; it is literally about 20 seconds between menus and select the song you want to play.


On the other hand, a game like Robo Recall: Unplugged, is busy showing logos of players and headpieces by the time when the player Beat Saber was already immersed in the gameplay. Robo Recall takes about a half minute(!), in the best case, to allow the gamer to play. It is more than four times longer. Here is a comparison in real time:



Thus, you can say, “Well, even in games without virtual reality there is a menu and loading time”. A distinctive feature is that while in virtual reality, you put on the headset on the eye in the real world. Therefore, waiting for the download non-VR games on your computer, for example you can check your smartphone or go to the kitchen and pour yourself a Cup of tea, while in VR, you’re just standing, doing nothing.


Thus, the fix for this problem here seems pretty obvious, and it allows you to separate the boring downloading and selection from the actual wearing of the headset. Ideally, players should be able to run and control their game without a headset until, until the game is ready to start.


This does not mean that each game should be or even can be like Beat Saber; it is an easy arcade game that does not need to download complicated levels such as Robo Recall. But it’s not that boot time should be less. The fact that many games can significantly reduce the waiting time, being structured in such a way that the initial “administrative” tasks, and loading to happen before the player wearing the headset.


Running games outside of the headset is already possible on all platforms, and this can reduce the waiting time. But what should be possible is for the players many primaries before the game, via the phone or computer long before they really need to wear the headset. Instead of having to wear a headset and get the message “Press any key to see boot menu”, players should be asked to “Press any button to begin play.”


And Yes, it’s understandable that a game like Robo Recall, uses his scope advanced level (office) as a means of immersing players in a virtual world, and it’s great. But the download this space can definitely happen before the headset is worn, and perhaps it could be optional to players who know exactly what they want to do in the game (i.e., load a certain level), could do this out of the headset is as easy as wearing it.


In addition, if it is the time of choice and the boot was separated from the actual wearing the headset, it could be distributed with the other, “preparing for virtual reality”, which inevitably must be made, for example, moving items out of the play space, the closure of other PC applications. (if you’re using a PC VR), checking the phone for important notices before diving into a long session.


When it comes to the scale of a minute or two, it is easy to dismiss this as “unimportant”, but it really makes a difference. Imagine for a moment that every time you want to check or send a text message from your phone, messenger downloaded 60 seconds instead of 1 second. Uncomfortable, isn’t it?!


There is a nonlinear relationship between how much time something needs to be done, and how people will use it. It is therefore important to ask: if, from the moment when the user puts on headset to when it actually plays, it takes 60 to 120 seconds, how often he will do it than if it was 10 seconds. Or 5. Or 1?


Rethinking the user experience before the users wear the headset, and how the game should be built around it — is a key area with huge untapped potential to solve this problem.



Go to our cases Get a free quote