Game Development Reference
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Learning, Increase
in number of visits
Knowledge of
the situation
Cognitive element
Sensory element
Figure 12.6 Decision-making processes in wayfinding
Finally, the movements in the environment and the increase in the number of visits
helps us to change our cognitive map. Our spatial knowledge improves by learning
(Darken& Sibert, 1996), and the selection of paths to be taken becomes more efficient.
12.3.3 Wayfinding in a virtual environment
We are used to getting about in our everyday lives. The choices we make for wayfinding
are based on the analysis of real elements of the world that surrounds us. On the other
hand, movements in the virtual world are much less frequent and different factors may
lead to disorientation of the observer. We have identified below, the characteristics of
the virtual world that make wayfinding difficult in virtual reality. We will later see that
this wayfinding can be encouraged when the virtual environment is based on elements
of the real world that we know. Finally, we will see that the addition of software aids
can help the observer during his movement tasks. Characteristics of the virtual world
Reference points
In the real world, we visualise our environment based from the place where we are.
The perception of this environment can then be egocentred or exocentred as described
above. In virtual reality, there are no longer any constraints on the position from
which the environment may be observed. Two reference points can be distinguished
(definition of Kruijff):
the egocentric reference point where the orientation and movements follow the
position and orientation of the eyes, of the head and of the body (Figure 12.7(a)),
the exocentric reference point in which the position, the orientation and the
movements are defined in the coordinates external to the body (Figure 12.7(b)).
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