The State of VR Survey: How does your VR room compare?

The results of our survey are in! With the help of the SWCTN we had some proper time to sit and seriously research, and this time is all about where VR games are played.

We wanted to know how your rooms are setup as we want to make sure many more people can play Unseen Diplomacy 2. The first Unseen Diplomacy required 3m x 4m play space which at the time was only 3% of launch Vive users. We asked;

Is your VR device permanently setup?

This is quite important question! We needed this to get an understanding on the numbers that we see in the Steam Hardware Survey. This allowed me to calculate roughly how many people may own each VR device using the SteamVR survey and a series of other numbers I found. From our rough estimates we believe the PC market looks something like this;

Total PC Hardware ~2,650,868
Oculus Rift 1,229,738
HTC Vive 1,131,920
Windows MR 204,117
HTC Vive Pro 60,175
Oculus DK2 23,593

And Sony said back in August that they have sold over 3 million PSVRs.

It’s also good to know how permanent VR setups are so that we get a good understanding of how much effort it would be for some people to set up a headset, so how ‘good’ the content needs to be to make it worth someones while to do so!

 

What type of room do you play in?

It’s good for us to get an understanding what sort of bits of furniture or people may get in your way while you are playing Unseen Diplomacy 2. It’s also useful to see how many VR dedicated spaces/arcades there are out there. Was quite amazing to see 16.4% of you having a dedicated VR room!

 

What shape is that room?

SteamVR and Oculus let you set odd shaped chaperones and fit playspaces within those. We wanted to see what actual room shapes you had to see how common square based rooms are. Here in the UK we get some odd shapes as we squish into the tiny plots of land we have. It’s good to see most people (91%) have nice square/rectangular shaped rooms where you do your VR thing.

 

What’s your current playspace size?

Obviously this question is key when UD1 needed that 3m x 4m. Not only did I look at Unseen Diplomacy players, but also Oculus Rift & Touch players, and Steam VR (so Rift, Vive and Windows MR users). To do this there was lots of formatting data so it all matches! All our measurements are in meters.

Here, each number in the table is a percent of users with that playspace currently set.

For our Unseen Diplomacy survey I wanted to know how high we could really go.The Vive Pro can support 10m x 10m with two base stations, and could theoretically go up to 40mx40m with 16 base stations (but most likely wouldn’t!).

So from the above figures it’s quite hard to see the fact that obviously if you have a 10m x 10m space, you could fit all the other sized games smaller than 10×10 in your play space. We changed all the numbers to be cumulative, so a given number now is the number of users that can support that play space. The highlighted numbers are where over half of users can play content at that size.

The main takeaway from looking at this is that at 2m x 2m developers can support 50% of users, but actually that the size of play spaces are getting really diverse – and should also be considering those much bigger sizes too though for a smaller percentage of users.

As for the UK players like ourselves, we also found out that our living rooms are the smallest by floor area in Europe, and our newly built British homes are nearly a third smaller than 1970s homes! That means we have to be careful making assumptions based on UK players and applying that to the rest of the world.

What sized play area can you make temporarily?

Something that we saw with a lot of fans of Unseen diplomacy was having “VR evenings”. When the partner was “out of town” they would empty a room or go in the garden and make enough space just to play Unseen Diplomacy! We wanted to capture that data and see how the size of “temporary playspace” you could make.

You can see that playspaces do get bigger. The 3m x 3m darker highlights was where our permanent space 50% of players range was, and the lighter highlight is our new 50% of players space – at 3m x 4m. This is unsurprising considering it’s based off Unseen Diplomacy fans, but really cool to see how far people could stretch to.

What does this mean for Unseen Diplomacy 2?

We’ve known for a while about the low numbers of you that could support Unseen Diplomacy play areas – it was never a concern as we were just originally making it for a game jam and one off event. So we have been spending time coding a few prototypes. What the numbers did show us is that us developers are never going to be able to support all room sizes if we try and hand create lots of different variants of our games for each type of play space. Developers need to focus on more automated solutions. We’re really happy with what we’ve come up with, and we’re looking forward to sharing more about it soon.

 

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