Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Interaction in Virtual Worlds

Understanding the value of interactions in a VR experience
Interaction is the final fundamentals topic that we will explore. So let’s begin. Interactions allow users to make changes to the virtual words that they’re in. Without interaction, the user is merely a static observer in their environment. The simplest form of interaction is moving around. Users want to be able to touch, move, or manipulate objects in their virtual world. Interaction can also allow the information state of the world to change. The creator of the virtual world has to provide interactions that make the virtual world experience worthwhile.
There is a balance here between providing the right mechanisms to allow the users to achieve their objective, but ensuring that these mechanisms aren’t too complex that they take the focus away from the virtual world experience. The choice of interactions is also constrained by the input options available to that user. The whack-a-mole exercise depends on the gaze-cursor. The gaze-cursor appears as a circular reticle in the centre of the screen. On a smartphone, the gyroscope controls the behaviour, wherein the scene moves opposite to the movement of the device. The cursor can be configured to fuse with the target. The system checks if an imaginary raycast into the world from the reticle hits a hittable target.
If such an entity exists, then the cursor goes into fuse mode, and this is shown by a shrinking reticle. If the target is still in contact when the fuse delay ends, a click interaction is registered. The fuse time out, the animation delay for a mole popping down, and the delay for a next mole popping up are all interrelated, so remember to test different time durations to achieve a good balance of playability. So in summary, interaction in virtual words is a very important tool for the user. The range of input devices has to be traded off against allowing the user to interact with whatever they have available. And finally, AFrame supports a wide variety of controllers.
So remember to provide a wide range of support for performing the same action.
Interacting with Virtual Worlds

This course video demonstrates the importance of interaction in virtual worlds. We also revisit the Whack-A-Mole virtual world experience to see gaze-cursor interaction in action.

This article is from the free online

Construct a Virtual Reality Experience

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education