Businesses, educational institutions, and individuals are using virtual reality in one way or another. VR technology has grown to a point where anyone can create their own VR experience. Whether you are a salesperson, instructor, or a person working for a new creative agency, here are some tips for creating an intensely immersive VR experience.
1. Create a Compelling Story
Firstly, you need to create a compelling story. Just like writing a novel, a script for film or stage, a robust and persuasive story captures the imagination of the reader. With VR, you are making the viewer a part of your story, so you want them to want to be part of the story you created. It is akin to an actor reading a script that is so compelling that they will kill to be part of it.
VR storytelling combines two elements from literature and film. Like literature, a VR story needs visual cues, and like in a movie, your story needs audio signals.
To build your compelling VR story, begin with a storyboard. A storyboard helps you get ideas together and focuses you on your subject matter.
Also, a storyboard becomes your blueprint for any prototypes you build. Storyboards will also have visual references for your visual and audio cues.
To provide a powerfully immersive VR experience, use spatial audio cues. Spatial audio manipulates sound signals to mimic auditory actions in the real world. Creating an exact sonic depiction of a virtual world provides your viewer with the full immersion of your story.
The placement of visual cues plays a vital role in fully immersing your viewer in your content. The smallest viewing distance while wearing a headset before your viewer starts getting crossed is 0.5 meters. Anything that is past 10 meters, depth perception quickly declines. At 20-meters visual objects go nearly unrecognizable. For visual cues and other essential visual content, aim for a distance between 0.5 to 10 meters.
2. Write a Killer Narrative
When writing your story, you need to create a narrative that permits your viewer to see things they would not see or feel every day. For an out of this world VR experience, you need to create an inspiring narrative. Here is a description of how to do this.
First, as mentioned above, writing a VR story is like writing any other story. That means your story should show, not tell your story. Create a narrative is discoverable. In other words, help your viewer discover your story with visuals. For instance, you want to take your viewer snowboarding. Place them on a snowy mountain, with snow falling, and show people on snowboards and skies. Without saying a word, your viewer will know your story is about snowboarding.
Allowing your viewer to see the narrative, intensifies their emotional pleasure of getting familiar with their surroundings and using this understanding to interact with your story.
Next, hone your emotional goals. Determine your desired emotional response from your viewer. Do you want your viewer to feel happy, inspired, safe and secure, or dread, fearful?
Use speech or dialogue and the performance of your character(s) to get your intended emotional response. These two components of your narrative help your viewer remember “why” it is essential that they watch your VR content.
3. Create Natural Interactions
Creating natural interactions enhance your viewer’s immersive experience. Interaction makes a person feel present in a place. Your story needs to not only resemble reality, but it also has to act like it too. Both reality and virtual reality are active realms. Therefore, to create an intense VR experience, you need much interactions. Here are some tips to help you enhance the interaction of your story.
Create intuitive actions
Make each action user friendly. These easy to do activities let them enjoy being present instead of how to be present.
Establish One-on-One Experiences
To be more impactful, create one-on-one adventures. Tone down animations and reduce your use of non-human characters. These two elements can create an uncanny valley. In other words, your viewers can have an adverse reaction to particular lifelike robots.
Create Purposeful Interactions
Help your viewers complete an action naturally. Also, do not use unimportant details or tiresome parts during the interaction.
4. Organize and Test
It will be best if you studied every feasible outcome. Choreographed and organized scenes eliminate clumsiness. In other words, make sure your characters do not appear in two places simultaneously. Watch playtests to refine the VR experience.
5. Don’t Embellish
Lastly, keep everything simple. Move your camera slowly, stay away from pans, artificial horizons, and don’t worry about replicating perfect walking motion. Also, refrain from overfilling your 360-degree field; this may frustrate your viewers.
It is a challenge to keep the attention of your viewers, but when done right, you can create an intense VR experience.