Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 12.8 Lynch model. © Project Iparla, LaBRI-Inria
Environmental indices
Beyond the structure of virtual worlds, the addition of environmental elements can
help wayfinding in a virtual environment. For example, in the real world, sun rays
signify variable light on different objects. Similarly, phenomena of shade are seen and
they provide indices to the observers for a better perception of the latter (orientation,
depth ... ). The integration of these natural phenomena in a virtual environment could
be of immense help to observers in their wayfinding tasks. Indeed, it will be much
more difficult to orient oneself in a virtual world integrating light indices than to
orient oneself in a scene corresponding to a simple collection of 3D objects devoid of
environmental indices.
Several environmental elements may be used in a virtual environment. This is
particularly the case for sky lines, atmospheric colours or fog. An increase in the
number of these elements provides indices for understanding the environment.
We just saw that wayfinding is often more difficult in a virtual environment than
in a real environment. The real environment provides several indices that we have
learnt to analyse. Copying the real world can thus be a good solution for facilitating
wayfinding in a virtual environment. On the other hand, the virtual world makes
it possible to use techniques that do not exist in the real world. These techniques
described later help observers in their movement tasks.
12.3.3.3 Addition of software aids
Maps
Maps and location plans help observers construct the cognitive map. Amap contributes
to the topological knowledge of an environment thanks to an exocentric representa-
tion. In a virtual environment, there are mainly two ways of presenting a map to an
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