One of my favourite VR applications is called “Bogo”, because it seems like a very active game where users can interact with a virtual pet, which is a very expressive character with many different emotions. It is very engaging because users are free to pet or touch the virtual character anytime, and the character will respond accordingly with clear expressions on its face.
There are features which were well done. Besides the character itself, there are many other things occuring in the background, which includes preparing food to feed the character and throwing sticks or balls to play games with the pet character.
- Despite the fact that the little alien pet character was evidently artificial, as it could feed on the food even if the user chooses not to give it directly to the pet but throws it on the ground instead, it seemed to have a mind of its own, which builds onto the level of subjective reality in the game.
- The character has many ways of communicating with the user. For example, feeding the character also causes the character to change its own colour and sometimes, new architectures will evolve in the environment, which is fascinating and evokes positive emotions in the user, and elevates a sense of immersion and presence.
- A good point is that the pet character is always close to the user and responds immediately to the user’s actions accordingly, which is a key and shining feature of the game as it has the potential to make users feel appreciated.
- This feature where the pet character changes its colour also allows the user to see traits of the character that are unique to it, and helps to build a sense of personal bond between the user and the character.
- Another element which I found was good, was that the character comes to the user, instead of the user having to walk over to the character, which can be an important feature in the game as it has the potential to be built on with some other traits of the character, to provide emotional support to the user and make the user feel much closer to the game character.
“Bogo” is an application that uses Oculus Quest Headset, along with Oculus Rift. It is developed by Oculus.
There were also some features which could be further improved to make the experience to the user much more pleasurable by further elevating the sense of presence of the user.
- I thought it could be improved by elevating the aspect of social communication. Since it is an application involving virtual pets, it could be more fun to include more opportunities for users to communicate with other humans in the VR game who could be taking their virtual pets on a camp or a walk in the environment.
- Alternatively, there could instead be a storyline on the virtual pet embarking on a quest to fulfil some missions, to help users immerse in the nature of the virtual pet in its natural environment and be able to see more facets of the traits of the virtual character, in order to build a much more immersive experience.