Creating a game in virtual reality includes a series of unique challenges, but, as the Skyrim VR team can testify, the VR adaptation of an existing game is even more difficult. The main producer of Bethesda Game Studios, Andrew Scharf, in an interview with VR Focus, shared some of the ways in which the development team had to modify or introduce functionality to make the game, old, of 6 years, natural and realistic.
Like many VR developers, the team knew that finding a way to manage the game movement would be a significant challenge. The original DualShock controller scheme can be used in the game and Scharf says the team decided that the best way to present Skyrim as a motion sickness free experience is to give players additional control over things like the field of view.
VR is a very personal experience, so it's important to allow players that flexibility: if you want to relax on the couch, you can play using the DualShock controller. We offer both teleportation movement for those who are susceptible to motion sickness as well as direct movement for those who prefer fluid movements, while optional FOV filters are available to alleviate any discomfort while turning or moving fast.
Another challenge the developers faced was the limitation of the PlayStation VR configuration itself. While some PC virtual reality configurations offer multi-camera video terminals, PlayStation VR uses only one camera and can only track objects that appear in its visual cone.
So while players may want to turn their bodies around to see something in the game, that movement would cause VR not to track the PlayStation Move controllers used for movement. After some adjustments, the team found that making some parts of the UI stationary helps overcome this obstacle.
In the beginning we found out that it was a bit of a challenge that the players would wear the headphones and then turn around to start moving in a random direction. A solution to help players get on the right track is to anchor important elements of the user interface, so if you can see the compass in front of you, you're going in the right direction.