The full release of CloudGate Studios’ VR survival game Island 359 is now available, and there’s some special embodiment features for anyone who has 1-3 of HTC’s Vive Trackers. They’ve developed an adaptive system that uses 1 tracking puck on your torso, 2 tracking pucks on your feet, or 3 tracking pucks on your torso and feet. I had a chance to talk with CloudGate’s president Steve Bowler at GDC 2017 to talk about their VirtualSelf Full Body tracking solution, some of the inverse kinematic challenges, and what it feels like to sneak up behind a giant dinosaur and to use kicking as a game play mechanic. Spoiler: it feels pretty awesome.
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Having a full embodied representation in VR can help to invoke the virtual body ownership illusion, and these early experiments of tracking your full body in Island 359 shows that the level of immersion and embodiment increases the more of your body that you’re tracking in VR. It’s actually quite a big difference than being a disembodied ghost.
Here’s a walkthrough of some of the VirtualSelf Full Body tracking features and customization
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