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VR Jam winner avoids the perils of nausea

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The winner of the Oculus Rift VR Jam said that he set out to design a game that would specifically avoid inducing any motion sickness in the player.

San Diego-based E McNeill's Ciess won the VR Jam, which Oculus organized to show off indie development projects for its headset-based gaming system. The VR Jam attracted more than 220 teams and nearly 1,000 developers since it began on Aug. 2.

Virtual reality games immerse the player in a fully enveloped visual environment, which can cause feelings of nausea. McNeill said that he wanted to experiment with a world that ignored physical norms, in order to avoid motion sickness.

"One of the advantages of going with abstract is that I could go with whatever rules of physics or control schemes that I wanted," he told Polygon. "In my personal experience, games in which you walk around are either too slow or they make me nauseous, so I threw in some glowing spheres and traveling around by zooming backwards and forwards.

"Nausea is absolutely a huge concern in VR. With that said, it's entirely possible to avoid it. In Ciess, I tried to get around it by using an abstract setting and limiting the player's movement in very specific ways."

McNeill's VR Jam prize includes a visit to the Oculus HQ, a chance to demo his game at IndieCade and $10,000. You can check out the list of winners and finalists at the Oculus IndieCade VR Jam's official site.