Wayfinding in Virtual Reality: Wayfinding Through the Lens of Virtual Reality in Videogame Design
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This thesis, Virtual Architecture: application of architectural design within the realm of video games and virtual realities, examines and challenges how architecture is viewed in a simulated setting by its users as well as how its creation can be an aid or detriment. These virtual environments are just as important to people within the realm of video games as their tangible counterparts, and are expected to have similar interactions with each. In the future, it may also be the case that humans find themselves in a constant virtual reality in which they live their lives. It is important for architects and other designers to start early in designing these interfaces to improve their quality and ability to be interactive and as close to real world interaction and tangibility as possible. Architects are the key to these looming possibilities and can make for virtual realities that are well designed, dynamic, realistic, and are as interactive as seemingly possible with the technology that we are already possess. The location for these virtual realistic spaces could be anywhere that already exists or somewhere that is completely fictional. For the purposes of this thesis though, the location will be in Los Angeles, California. The intent of this video game is to show how architecture can influence and be the complete framework for a video game by using it to create levels within a building which also represent the advancing levels. Architecture can influence how people feel within cities and with the use of virtual reality, this can be in complete control of the designer to create spaces that can range from comfortable to uncomfortable and safe to frightening. After much work and contemplation, the abstract of this thesis has been changed. This thesis aims to design an experience of wayfinding throughout interior architectural spaces using the platform of virtual reality as applied to a videogame. Finding the intended route through a videogame using simple architectural cues becomes the objective just like finding the way through a casino or a museum exhibition. Instead of designing a space to fit within a defined building form, this thesis looks at designing from the inside based on user experience. This process involves looking at a space from interior perspective views as an overall, and in turn, can become more formal architectural drawings such as floor plans and elevations rather than traditional design methods which usually are designed in an opposite order. Designing in this way allows for fruition of an architectural experience that can be explored through the virtual reality of a videogame, creating a crossover of wayfinding in architecture, videogames, and virtual reality design.