Game Development Reference
Figure 12.7 Reference points (Images from a student project, Master Multimedia - University of
This reference point separation is well known in the domain of video games where
rendering of some scenes is calculated from the viewpoint of the observer whereas the
rendering of other scenes is calculated from an external viewpoint.
The reference point in virtual reality plays an important role for wayfinding. The
relevance of the reference point depends on the cognitive style of the observer and on
the movement task to be performed. The passage from one reference point to another
is often a source of disorientation for the observer.
The perception of a virtual environment is done through sensory interfaces. For exam-
ple, an observer will visualise a virtual object through a 3D representation displayed
on a screen. The indispensable introduction of hardware and software interfaces for
the perception of a virtual environment leads to technological constraints, which may
make wayfinding processes difficult. The different technological components that will
influence wayfinding processes are given below.
Field of vision. Several sensory interfaces of visualisation facilitate observing a vir-
tual environment only through a reduced field of vision. This is mainly the case for
standard computer screens or head-mounted displays. As a result, several move-
ments from the viewpoint of the observer are necessary for the spatial knowledge
which is useful in wayfinding. These movements imply cognitive overload that
mainly hampers the performances of the observer.
Peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is directly linked to the field of vision of the
visualisation interface used. In humans, the peripheral vision is the place where
detection of movement takes place. As a result, the absence of peripheral vision
related to technological constraints leads to an absence of movement indices during
movements in a virtual environment. This absence of index makes the perception
of movement difficult and, consequently, wayfinding is hampered.
Vestibular indices. Peripheral vision is not the only factor that comes into the
picture for detecting movement. Vestibular indices related to real movement play
an important role. Thus, a behavioural motor interface based on the real walk of