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Video: Valve's advice for designing great VR game interactions

At GDC Europe 2015 Valve's Yasser Malaika shares what Valve has figured out about how to create VR experiences that are fun to interact with, noting some surprising lessons learned along the way.

“Interaction is turning out to be an essential part of VR, as a medium,” stated Valve engineer Yasser Malaika during a presentation at GDC Europe 2015 earlier this year. "It is profoundly satisfying for users to interact with VR content."

In the course of his hour-long talk Malaika went on to explain what Valve has figured out about how to create VR experiences that are satisfying to interact with, noting some surprising lessons learned along the way. Overly realistic visual styles are often worse than believably abstract representations of real objects, for example, as are overly complex control schemes.

"In VR, you don’t have a keyboard full of hotkeys,” said Malaika. “The buttons on a controller are much more limited, so you have to think about how to provide the same number of choices…and manage the number of choices a user has.”

His presentation was filled with similar VR game design insights, and if you happened to miss it in person you can now watch the whole thing for free via the GDC Vault.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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