Our aim for this VR project was to create multiple applications focused on immersion, interaction, and accessibility, that could educate its users. Throughout the project, we had constant communication with The Daniel Adamson charity in order to understand what exactly it is they wanted to be developed. The charity wanted an app to inspire a new generation and pique their interest in engineering. They also wanted to ensure that the older engineers who volunteer at the Daniel Adamson could use the app, which became a key aspect of our development.
This project began with communication between Scenegraph Studios and the engineers who volunteer for The Daniel Adamson. They wanted a VR experience of the steamships engine room, as it is not available to the general public. Their goal was to intrigue the younger generation in engineering and the ship’s history.
Through testing the 360 Tour, it was quickly clear that the app needed to become more accessible. At first, we thought that the younger generation would have issues with controls, but it was in fact the older generation. Due to this we completely removed the need for controllers and implemented eyesight movement, allowing a much larger user base for the app.
The development of this tour led to further development, making the learning experience and the steering experience. These apps were gamified, allowing them to keep the younger engineers interested, whilst educating them throughout.
Unfortunately, the menu system that we implemented connecting the three experiences became an issue for accessibility, as some users were either confused on how to navigate the menu, or physically unable to press the correct buttons. To fix this we separated the three experience, removing the menu completely. This allowed the user to immediately load into the application of their choice.
Another challenge we faced was the locomotion from the steering experience. Locomotion and moving the camera is a prominent issue for VR, as this can induce motion sickness and headaches. To overcome this we decreased the speed of the ship. This fixed the motion sickness issue, but also needed to be tweaked to ensure that the movement wasn’t too slow, as this could make the experience too dull.