The Ninja Run: A VR Movement Experiment

VR is an area that is seeing plenty of DIY experimentation, and [FultonX] has an interesting hack of sorts in that he’s discovered something that meshes well with how we perceive motion and movement. It’s an experimental movement system for VR he calls the Ninja Run, and it somewhat resembles skiing.

ninja-run-analysis-optimizedEven room-scale VR suffers from the fact that the player is more or less stuck in one place. Moving the player from one spot to another isn’t currently a gracefully solved problem, and many existing methods are not immersive or have other drawbacks. One solution in use is a sort of teleportation, another “slides” the player to another area on command (like gliding across ice). [FultonX] found these existing solutions lacking, and prototyped the Ninja Run concept which he found was surprisingly intuitive and effective. Video demo embedded below.

[FultonX] found that using the “Ninja Run” position (head forward, arms swept back) to determine direction and speed of movement was both immersive and intuitive, and didn’t feel unnatural at all; in fact it felt more like having a super power. He has shared a demo and created a Steam community project page in the hopes of seeing if the idea has legs.

VR is an area in which, even as a hobbyist, it is possible to genuinely innovate with not only software projects but also from the hardware side. For example, Vive’s Lighthouse technology has been used to give positioning info to indoor robots.

[via RoadToVR]

16 thoughts on “The Ninja Run: A VR Movement Experiment

  1. Eh, would’ve been funny as satire, as the Video seems to imply. But the asset is not free (not that that’s bad) but it also requires 3 ps moves and a ps move camera.

    funny tho’

      1. This is an asset on the unity store,it could probably be used without the psmove stuff as the steamVR asset package gives you ways to determine controller and head position with a Vive or Rift+touch. They probably devved it and made the video before touch was released. This is aimed at indie game devs for what is essentially a plugin/api for the game engine unity to add this style movement to whatever they are devving.

  2. In case VR helmets don’t make you look stupid enough, here’s the answer!

    No, really, I’ve got nothing against this control scheme (actually looks pretty good) or VR in general, and will probably be getting a VR rig in a year or two when they’re cheaper; if I wanna look stupid in my own living room, that’s nobody’s business but mine. But the headsets do look stupid, and this does compound it.

    1. I remember a piece of software for connecting all kinds of controllers to the pc via the parallel port, rather humorously named PPJoy (a title that had me snickering in middle school.) I’m not sure if it had support for the power glove or not. (also power glove is a better double entendre nowadays.)

    1. Whoa that is so cool! I promise I have never seen that before while developing this, but I am so excited to see it!!! Thanks for the link! This video actually helps establish credibility with the mechanic, as I was limited in my video production abilities, and could not demonstrate what it looks like this well. I see here they were using in one of those old CAVEs. Time for a VR upgrade!

      1. One thing I like about your project is that it demonstrates how — contrary to decades ago — today someone can have an idea and prototype it up with essentially off the shelf VR hardware, software, and desktop machine. It’s never been easier or faster to test out ideas and see if there is any mileage in them, and that’s really exciting to watch.

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