Tips and Hints for Creating Great Experiences

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Overview

This page is a collection of ideas for creating great VR experiences in Decentraland.

Much of the original material here is excerpted and adapted from the Sansar Creator's Guide with permission of its author. (-- a shameless plug)

Other References and Articles

WebVR Guidelines

Also, take a look at Discussion About Indoors and Outdoors.

Baking models so they look better on decentraland: Baking Models

Types of Experiences

Some ideas for experiences you can create on your land include:

  • Malls, stores and product showrooms
  • Schools, universities, classrooms, or other learning resources
  • Games, labyrinths, quests, puzzles, mysteries
  • Genre-themed areas (cyberpunk, steampunk, fae, etc.)
  • Art galleries and museums
  • Conference facilities
  • Virtual meeting places for work teams
  • Talks and lectures
  • Concerts, music and dance venues
  • Natural environments, such as forests, gardens, and beaches
  • Events, interactive art installations, and interactive literature
  • Temples, churches, meditation centers
  • Medical facilities e.g. for telemedicine

Texturing

Consider using high quality textures and materials to make your objects look more real.

Dramatic Lighting and Atmospherics

You can increase the drama or set the feel of an experience a lot by your use of lighting and atmospherics.

What kind of lighting can you arrange for your space?

Can you control the lighting to make the space more interesting?

Think about the what effects the following cause in the real world on your senses:

  • A dark and stormy night.
  • A dark room vs a sunny room.
  • A campfire at night vs a fire in bright daylight.
  • Fog, illuminated or with lights shining through it in the distance.
  • Dimmed theater lighting vs house lights on.
  • Light bleeding in through an opened door, only to be cut off as it closes again..
  • Sunsets, Sunrises vs a hot sun overhead.

Think about colors - coordinating them, what feelings they invoke, saturated or pastel, hi-toned or dark, etc.

Effective Use of Space and Visibility

Designing a space requires careful thought about arranging the ground, and arranging views and sound, or intentionally obstructing them, to control what visitors see and hear as they move through the space.

You should give careful consideration to how you use space, visual barriers, paths, etc. You may want a visitor to see things revealed gradually as they move through an experience. You should also think about how they will traverse the space: will they be walking, jumping, flying, or in a vehicle of some sort? Will the ground be level like the physical floor that a VR visitor will be standing on, or will there be steps or other inclines along the path?

Consider what the distance looks like - if you can control what can be seen from various places in your land - sky (or not), neighboring buildings (or not), illusions or realities of mountains, forests, cityscapes, clouds, whatever. Think about how you arrange things in the space to reveal other things gradually as one moves.

Using Sound to Enhance the Experience

Sounds will play a powerful part in the atmospheric setting of your space. They can make it a more immersive and real place to your Visitors. Real world places are full of sounds, some of which you usually don’t consciously notice.

How you use use sounds...

  • Ongoing ambient sound or music
  • Sound emitting objects in different locations, which can play into the ambient sound or music or even draw attention away from it.
  • Should objects emit sounds when you step on or bump into them?

Think about the effect these sounds might add to your Experience:

  • Crickets, Wasps, Birds
  • Rustling of leaves
  • Wind and water sounds
  • Distant conversation, clinking glasses and dinnerware
  • Mechanical and electrical devices, steam
  • Vehicles passing
  • Walking on wood, gravel, gritty concrete

Using the vertical space over your land

Use platforms or enclosed skyboxes to make use of space above the ground level. Put them high enough that they cannot be seen or rezzed from the ground, and to leave flying space above your ground build. Use them for private residences, meeting rooms, building platforms (to assemble a build where you can, on your land, but not yet ready for prime-time on the ground) Use flight, teleportation, or bookmarks to get to them.

Scripting

As scripting becomes available, consider scripting objects to move, to respond to touch, to initiate other changes in the space.

Can your scripts make use of web services external to DCL, to store or obtain information, to access microservices such as AI or media or IoT or mobile devices or communication of messages such as text or email, etc.

Managing Movement and Avoiding Motion Sickness with VR Headsets

Some things are important for visitors wearing VR Headsets to keep them from getting motion sick:

  • You should avoid moving an Avatar. Let the Visitor do the moving. If you must put them on some sort of moving transportation, restrict their view to narrow view, such as just a window in the front of the vehicle.
  • Motion in the environment like a waving horizon can cause motion sickness.
  • Where the Visitors are meant to walk make sure you keep the ground level. Slopes, while they may feel necessary in your experience, will cause problems for your Visitors wearing VR headsets as they try to ‘climb’ when their physical surroundings are more than likely flat..
  • If you need them to go longer distances than they may be able to walk in their real world space you should provide some means for them to get 'over there'. Either make it possible for them to teleport themselves by allowing them to click over there, or provide a teleport disk or portal. This is an excellent way to change height or move your viewer without causing motion sickness..

Desktop and VR Considerations

Visitors will have different experiences when visiting your space, depending on whether they are using the screen on a desktop computer or laptop ("destkop mode"), vs. if they are using a VR Headset.

Desktop Pros

  • You or your visitors can use a much less capable computer (see System Requirements).
  • Your Avatar can walk or run considerable distances (you are not constrained to the limited VR Headset real-world space for walking/running.)
  • Your physical body can have a different position or movement experience than your Avatar. For example, your physical body can sit in a chair even if there isn’t a chair to sit on in the Virtual experience. Or you can sit on a chair in the VR without falling if there is no physical chair in the physical world.
  • You are much less likely to experience motion sickness. You can step up on a step or go up a slope in the VR while seated or standing in the physical world. If the computer has some lag when you turn the camera you won’t get sick like you would while wearing a VR Headset.
  • You don’t have to take your headset off to see your computer keyboard, mouse, or coffee mug.
  • You can wear any headphones/headset that does not need to be compatible with a VR Headset.

Desktop Cons

  • Your experience will be somewhat immersive, but not nearly as much as it could be with a VR Headset.
  • You won’t have the touch controllers that come with headsets, meaning some things like jumping or teleporting or grabbing things will work differently or not at all.