Production | Team of 15 | Lead UX Designer/User Researcher
Shen is a VR survival horror game with a unique take on locomotion movement as the player is bound to a wheelchair. In Shen, you find yourself in an abandoned, haunted theatre house inspired by traditional east Asian culture. Your goal is to appease the spirit that haunts the theater, while ensuring your own survival from the angry spirit. Currently, we are in the production phase as we plan to complete the project by April 2019.
What makes Shen stand out amongst other titles in the genre is our unique locomotion movement system. In Shen, the player is bound to a wheelchair. As such, players use each oculus controller to control a different wheel. From the research that I have gathered through playtests, this reduces cognitive dissonance in virtual reality as players are seated both in real life and within the game. Through minimizing this dissonance, simulation sickness is also reduced.
For our pause menu, we have been working towards implementing a book that the player picks up to view their options as well as current objectives. The book is found on a tray that is attached to the player’s wheelchair at all times. The player can pick up the book with one hand, and it will automatically open up. Below are wireframes made using Axure RP.
Simulation Sickness Research
As mentioned above, I conducted a research study on nausea reduction in a virtual reality environment to find diegetic UX solutions for our movement system. Using a random sample of 16 participants, results showed that players vastly preferred the prototyped wheelchair movement system over the traditional walking locomotion system.
Below are two word clouds that show the common descriptions participants responded with when asked to describe each movement system. “Intuitive”,”Smooth”, and “Unique” are the most common words used to describe the wheelchair system, whereas the traditional locomotion system was described as “Simple” and is noticeably more “uncomfortable” compared to the wheelchair system.