RGB Haptics is a new Unity-based tool that aims to make it easier for developers to create and implement haptic effects in VR games.

Haptics are important in games in general, but especially in VR—because the medium gives players significantly more agency than non-VR, haptics are critical for helping the player understand what’s happening to them and how they can interact with the world. Used correctly, haptics make VR games more playable and immersive. Unfortunately, haptics often go underutilized beyond the most basic rumble because creating, testing, and refining ‘haptic effects’ (unique haptic sensations) is a tedious process.

Understanding the importance of haptics in VR, studio RGB Schemes has developed a tool called RGB Haptics which aims to simplify the creation and implementation of haptic effects in VR games. Available now on the Unity Asset Store, the plugin eschews manual programming of frequency and amplitude in favor of a waveform-based approach which provides developers with a familiar pipeline when it comes to creating, implementing, and triggering haptic events.

Image courtesy RGB Schemes

Here’s a rundown of the features, according to RGB Schemes:

  • Raw waveform and audio file support across all types of haptics.
  • Custom waveform editor window, allowing you to design waveforms without ever leaving Unity.
  • Looping haptic playback support, as well as granular controls for the haptics. This includes playing, pausing, and stopping of haptics.
  • Automatically slices sampled data to target the controllers refresh rate, providing smooth haptics on supported platforms.
  • Supports Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality headsets, and more. Anything supported by the Unity XR platform should be supported by this.
  • Supports both Android based VR devices as well as PC based VR devices.
  • Collision-based haptics scripts included, allowing for users to feel ice cubes in a glass.

The developer has also released a free PC VR and Oculus Quest demo to feel what kind of haptic sensations can be created with the tool.

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RGB Schemes says the haptics plugin grew out of an internal tool which the studio created to streamline the use of haptics in its own VR projects.

“We were very surprised that other developers were not making better use of this technology, and after deep diving into the software support, we realized that doing so was incredibly difficult,” the studio said. “So we began building an internal tool for more easily building better haptics solutions, and decided to allow others to purchase this technology to use in their projects!”

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  • We need someone to re-write the playmaker plugin for Oculus, I can’t get the old thing that someone wrote and put on the Asset Store to work.

  • Sven Viking

    Great! I was wanting something just like that.

  • Bamux

    Hopefully at some point it will become the standard that the players will be able to adjust the strength of the vibrations themselves.

    There are currently so many different controllers from the different VR headsets with different strong vibration motors that one fixed setting is no longer sufficient for all. There are also differences within the same model series. In addition, players have different preferences. For example I have the problem that I often play in a room where there are other people who are annoyed by the standard vibration noises.

    Audica, Pistol Whip and Synth Riders have already integrated a haptics menu to adjust the rumble effect. I wish all developers would integrate something similar into their games.