Virtua Walker '87

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Technology: Unity Arduino
Funded: N/A
Showcased: SGDA Play Party 2017, Wandering Conference 2019

Virtua Walker '87

The concept for Virtua Walker '87 was developed as a response to the Global Game Jam 2017 theme 'Waves'. The first experimental prototype was created over 2 days of development time. Further development is currently under way.

The prototype was designed and developed by Robin Sloan (game and controller design, engine development, 2D/3D art, audio) and Paul Robertson (programming, controller design and development, engine development) with support from Grant Clarke (Gear VR development), Dayna Galloway (2D art), Gordon Brown (3D modelling), and Sonia Fizek (audio, controller design). All of the developers are academic staff at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland.


The Virtua Walker 87 prototype is presented as an imagined 1980s  VR walking simulator, which allows users to ‘visit’ and ‘walk’ along famous beaches.

Movement is restricted along a set path. The player has no ability to set or change the path. The player cannot move backwards, only forwards along the set path.

Movement is executed through a physical player step. The player walks on the spot inside a box controller, filled with sand and other materials sourced from the real beaches that are represented in the game (see Fig. 1). Two pressure sensors under the player’s feet detect a shift in player weight, and send a signal to the game on the device (see Fig. 2). Each step corresponds with a single step in the game, which is presented to the player in VR (see Fig. 3). The player must continuously step on the pressure sensors to move through the game environment.

Using the VR headset, the player can look around from their current position.

The player has no other input or controls.