Why we replaced all UI buttons with sliders in our Ruberg game

Here's another weekly peek into our upcoming chain reaction machine game, Ruberg. This time we wanted to show how we've ended up with sliders instead of buttons for our in-game options.

 

 

In our game, players interact with the environment through the use of grabbers. Because building a chain reaction machine often requires a lot of finesse (e.x. placing a domino in the middle of a bunch of placed dominoes), we decided to make the controllers not collide with the environment. This creates an issue, however, when interacting with buttons, which requires you to press down on.

We thought about:

  • Squeezing the trigger button on the controller when the controller intersects the button.

But, Andrew and I didn't like how there was a disconnect between the affordance of the button and the action required to activate it. Our experience in the opening scene of The Lab confirmed this.

  • Using the grabber to grab onto the button and to press down on it.

This felt like too much work for the user.

  • Having the controller collide only with the button but still not with the environment.

This creates two different characteristics for the same controller.

In the end, we decided on using sliders. Using sliders gave us some benefits:

  • Built-in safeguard to prevent accidental activations. Sliders offer this by way of having the user drag the slider across a distance.
  • Built-in ability to allow changing of minds. You can backtrack on your decision while in the process of activating since the slider must travel to the end of the track to activate.
  • A physical and fun way to activate/deactivate options in a fun physics-based game.

Let us know what you think!

Subscribe to our Youtube channel if you'd like to see more sneak peeks of Ruberg.


Here’s a basic interaction in Ruberg: Glueing things onto the wall

A good chain reaction machine is multi-dimensional. The chain reaction moves on top of surfaces, but it also travels vertically.

There's something special when gravity is used to assist the continuation of a ruberg.

vertical-rube-goldberg-machine-magnets-balls

It's for this reason, we've added the ability to glue any gadget onto a static surface such as furnitures and walls in the level.

The ability needed to be easy to use and allows for quick actions. We didn't want players to have to perform rote interactions for something they may be doing often and in succession.

Here's what we came up with,

This is how it works:

  • Quick glue mode by toggling with the top trackpad button
  • Simply toggle-on the 'glue mode' and grab a gadget to put against a wall or furniture to glue

Let us know what you think on our reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/5wp7hr/youve_seen_our_menu_system_last_week_now_heres_a/

PS: We've updated our controller models! Also, an alpha demo will be coming shortly.


We thought cube menus were too restrictive. Here’s our take on a more modular menu system

One of the promises of VR is that everything will be intuitive. No longer will you need to use an unnatural input device like a keyboard and mouse—simply use your hands! But, one of the biggest jabs towards VR UX is that the simplest tasks are convoluted as this clip from the show Community points out,

Most menu/tool systems in virtual reality are flat and fixed in place. We believe they are anachronisms in the VR world. They adopt design decisions that were shaped by limitations in screen estate and 2D interactions that do not exist in VR.

Spending a lot of time on research and discussion, we've come up with a menu UI for Ruberg that has the following features:

  • Menu/tool options are categorized by panels
  • Each panel is attachable or detachable to each other
  • Custom-arrange panels to form any shape the user prefers i.e. cube menu, fan menu, etc.
  • Each panel can be fully detached and left floating in world space
  • Toggle on/off the menu on both hands
  • An additional set of panels (used for system-related options) that spawns a short distance away from the user
  • Above panels are also attachable/detachable so users can add those panels to their hands if they find themselves using those options often

Here's our take on what a menu system can look like in VR,

Follow the discussion thread about this on reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/5vcm1b/we_thought_cube_menus_were_too_restrictive_heres/


A first look at our chain reaction machine VR sandbox game

Happy Valentine's Day everyone,

Instead of spending a romantic day with someone we love, we decided to spend it all by ourselves building this ruberg just for you ;)

Here's a first look at our chain reaction virtual reality sandbox game, Ruberg.

Share your love by joining our mailing list for email updates: http://eepurl.com/cAQOoD

Or on our subreddit, /r/ruberg