I guess in the gaming industry everybody will have his or her own understanding of what makes a great VR fitness training game good. Let me share some of what we have done to try to make our Virtual Reality fitness game exceptional.
VR fitness training is all about simulating specific game mechanics to help people achieve real-world fitness results. And virtual reality focuses on immersing the senses by transporting players out of the ordinary into fictional environments. Combining both always seemed to us the most common sense approach for making fitness training a more engaging experience. But we noticed there was still a huge gap between better and exceptional. And that’s part of the reason why VIRO MOVE was created.
My real gym smells pretty good these days. And some days even the view can be pretty good too -if you know what I mean. Perks aside -most days going to the gym feels like a chore. Something I must do to keep myself fit, healthy and agile as I race towards my golden years.
My Virtual gym, on the other hand, puts me in a whole different mood. And that has a lot to do with immersion. Its one of the key reasons why virtual reality is so amazing. Immersing yourself inside a virtual world instantly changes the signals your brain is sending your body.
My aches and pains from yesterday’s brutal workouts are no longer as prominent as they are in the real world. Also, during immersive gameplay, my brain feels more engaged in the workout. It’s no longer telling me “you are too fat and old, please stop this madness, lets both go eat something”.
So immersion positively changes my perspective on training each day. But just like the real world, it’s easy for immersion to become stale if the environments don’t inspire.
To combat this we created five intricately detailed environments for our workouts. Each has a special place in my heart because they inspire certain moods on certain days. Selecting the right environment really does play a big part in how well you perform your exercise routine.
In general, being immersed in an amazing experience. But it’s substantially more so in Viro Move. Maybe because I am standing inside a beautiful 360-degree world. It might be because I am biased, but I hope not.
I really do love our environments, because no detail has been ignored. While training at the pier -at some point, I will see a flock of birds flying above the mountain. Or if I look behind me I will notice that the volcano seems eerily close to an eruption.
Each environment is alive, in its own small but significant way. All five environments feel about as real as possible. And that’s why I spend much of my life raving about the detail that has gone into all our products. Without question, each one gives me “the feels”.
Our team wanted to inspire each players’ moods. Our environments keep players feeling inspired, interested but mostly will keep them returning day after day.
By dropping some features and many of the atmospheric elements the team had the option to deliver the game early. But the answer was a resounding no. They wanted this game to have a soul. And that’s exactly what they have achieved. Anytime I get a moment to look past the fast-moving gameplay I can feel our world has a soul. Am I biased? Oh yeah, you better believe I am. Is it true? Hell yeah, you better believe it is.
Viro Move Game Mechanics
The game was built with one fundamental goal – to get more from a VR fitness training game. To do that we had to learn how we can use game mechanics to really stretch our players. And to learn which game elements would help us achieve specific aerobics movements. We started by creating stretching and flexibility movements with our physiotherapists. Once we learned how to incorporate upper body movements, we evolved our mechanics to engage lower body aerobics movements.
Our next step was to develop weapons which would help make the gameplay feel more natural. Sword striking was an obvious place to begin and it instantly highlighted cardio gains.
We also learned that shadow boxing movements played a major part in strengthening the core. And as gamers, we have always been aware of the hand-eye coordination benefits we get from VR shooting games. So the three-game mechanics together made a lot of sense for a fitness game.
But we still wanted more movement. So we began to test various objects for dodging, ducking, blocking and diving. Also at this point, we introduced the game to personal trainers. This helped us to mimic a wide range of fitness movements. Across many fitness, dancing and fighting disciplines.
Are VR Fitness Training Games Safe To Play
According to the physiotherapists whom we cooperate with. If I use tutorials and easy levels for my warm-up and cool down I will be fine. At least fine from a muscle perspective. If asking about the safety of your physical environment i.e. computer, TV, and family. Yes, it’s safe, once you correctly map out the game area you are golden.
Our developers have been able to build in several mechanisms to keep the world around us save too. For example – when I am moving about the game zone like a bat out of hell. I sometimes begin to drift too far forward or backward. Viro Move detects when this is happening and will signal me by flashing red warnings into my headset. This is how the game requests me to reposition my Ninja boots with minimal interruption to the game.
If I fail to reposition and stray even further out of the mapped training zone -as I often do. The game will pause until I reposition, and then training automatically begins again without any further actions on my part.
As I do tend to go all-out psycho Ninja during my routines. I am prone to unusual events which our developers have already planned for – thanks, guys. For example -on one occasion during an exhibition, I tripped over my feet and started to fall sideways. The game stopped, and our safety algorithms trigger the headset to turn on the forward view camera. This meant I could land safely, and see my spectators laughing on my way down.
I don’t believe anybody else in the history of VIRO has fallen during the game. But I have helped the team to proactively test for any similar player scenarios. A win-win, which also leads me nicely to my next question…
Will you look funny playing virtual reality fitness training games?
Yeah! Sorry, there is no way to sugar coat this, people will laugh at you – in the beginning. After some practice, you will look and feel like the superhero you really are.
You will move, punch and sweat like a superhero. And the morning after a good “MOVE” workout you should even have that tingly superhero feeling in your muscles. Although, after a while of practicing stances and maneuvers with each weapon. You will begin to look like the warrior you were always meant to be.
I am a 45-year-old, reasonably well-built guy with a bit of a belly. Even though these are my Clooney years -meaning I should be getting more suave and sophisticated. When I play in the office I look as though I’m happily swatting an invisible hornets’ nest.
But here’s why I don’t care. I already feel twenty times fitter than I was before I looked funny jumping around the office. And that’s a price I am willing to pay to feel healthy – and entertain the troops.
Everybody can be a Viro Ninja. Our gameplay is simple to pick up. After five minutes of playing you will be inflicting some serious Ninja damage to your excess fat cells.
We have everything you need to become a master Ninja in minutes. Virtual tutorials, voice instructions and in-game animations designed to show you the basic elements of the game.
So simple, my four-year-old can play it in minutes. Although he was more interested in the volcano 😊 than the Ninja moves.
The stance and movements come with time, that part is all on you and the work you put in. In the beginning, if you work on finding the right stance for each weapon -it will all come together much faster.
Viro Move was never meant to be about high scores only. The game is designed to encourage you to adopt the correct physical movements for each particular weapon. But that doesn’t mean that only experts gain from playing. A hornet swatter will burn more calories than precision-guided Ninja any day of the week. But the Ninja will work for more muscle groups every time. So the game is really about building stamina and experience. Irrespective of your fitness level – just like traditional training.
Viro Move was created to incentivize us -as gamers, to move more and move more regularly. We also plan to promote immersive technologies to the fitness industry. As a key tool to support health and wellbeing across the globe. At our core, we really want to inspire people who are like us to stay healthy. And move just a little bit more every day.
VIRO MOVE – VIRO.FIT VR Fitness Solutions by Fit Reality, “change the world” he said. Let’s do it we said!