In the field at the intersection of virtual reality and video games right now there is significant research going on trying to establish new control conventions for the video games of the future that leverage virtual reality headsets. In We Are Cubed we employ a new control scheme designed with virtual reality headsets in mind. The controls allow maneuvering of an avatar in all 3 dimensions within a 3D world by having the player simply gaze at the position he/she wants their avatar to go to. We accomplished this while retaining the ability to use more traditional control hardware, like a smartphone touch screen or a console controller, and while maintaining the same degrees of freedom on all 3 axis of movement. We think that our original control scheme accomplishes 2 important goals: 1. It provides the ability to control an avatar within a 3D world using only the player's gaze: this is an enhancement compared to current gaze based schemes that only allow 2D movements, and that anyway usually require the additional pairing of a console controller, or of a PC keyboard+mouse combination; 2. It permits the exclusive use of more traditional controllers without any loss of functionality for those players that are either not interested in VR or that have not yet considered purchasing a VR headset. We feel that the latter point is practically important because it creatively frees game designers that want to experiment with VR, but that also need to keep into account the reality of the marketplace, and the need to reach the largest possible number of potential buyers. The game starts asking whether we want to play by directly touching the screen of our phone (Non-VR mode) or using a Google Cardboard headset (VR mode.)
For every game world a book keeps track of what levels we have solved so far.
The player controls a cube with five green faces and a single red face, and can make the cube follow a path of yellow tiles, by selecting a yellow tile as a target destination.
When a cube's face touches the platform it is standing on, the tile underneath assumes the same color as the face that rolled over it. The goal of the game is to make the tiles of the right platform match the color of the tiles of the left platform: once all colors match, the game moves to the next level.
*Important* The player has to maintain the selection of a yellow tile for about half a second in order to commit the selection: visually the tile will start spinning as soon as it has been selected and its color will gradually turn to orange, and only then the cube will start moving towards the selected tile. The same applies to the buttons on the book interface: the player has to maintain the selection until the green bar is complete, and only then the button is considered pressed.