Plank Setup Guide
How to make a Richie’s Plank Experience certified plank
Using a real plank creates a much more immersive experience for users. See below 4 steps on how to create your very own plank.
We recommend using a plank size of 2 m long by 18 cm wide. Note: The plank dimensions and orientation (including height) are customisable within Richie’s Plank Experience’s “plank setup”.
What you need:
1 x Plank: The size of the plank will depend on your room size. Keep in mind you will need a small space at the beginning of your plank for the elevator. The minimum plank length is 3ft (approx 1m).
1 x Thick book or something similar: Have something strong and steady to hold your weight. A block of wood or a book will keep the plank slightly elevated at the start of the plank. The player will step up on the plank and feel a slight drop when walking toward the middle of the plank.
2 x Sponges or foam: This will soften the impact between the plank and the ground. When you walk on the plank, it will move side to side slightly.
Step 1: Position your plank.
Position the plank roughly in the middle of the room and choose in which direction people will walk the plank. Ensure there is enough room for the elevator at the start of the plank.
– Check that all possible obstacles are clear within the VR playing space, things like operating ceiling fans, loose furniture items, sharp objects, plants and pets.
– Ensure your setup is not near open windows, balconies, stairs and stairwells.
Always test the experience before sharing with others. For more information, please read our demo and safety guide here.
Step 2: Place something sturdy under the start of the plank.
It’s important for users to feel safe for their first step onto the plank. As such, at our office, we’ve screwed in a block of wood to act as the support for that first step. Under that, we’ve cut and glued a grip mat on to the block to ensure the plank doesn’t slip on smooth surfaces.
You can also use a book at the start of the plank and tape it down to avoid slippage.
Step 3: Place sponges under the middle and end of the plank.
Padding the plank will introduce another level of immersion – the plank actually moves up and down as people walk along it. The sponge placed at the end of the plank will prevent the board from hitting the ground when the board wobbles side to side.
Step 4: That’s it! Now you can customise the look of the plank and get into the game.
At Toast, we’ve sanded, stained, and added the Richie’s Plank sticker on to the plank. If you’d like to purchase the stickers, you can contact us here.
Depending on which headset you own, the plank setup will differ. The most important part is to ensure that your real plank is lined up with your virtual plank… and we do that in a variety of ways: peeking under the headset, feeling the sides with our feet, etc.
– The first step from the elevator on to the plank is often the scariest. Don’t start the experience already standing on the plank!
– A slight dip in the middle of the plank makes for a scarier experience.
– If possible, mark out the plank position and save your measurements for next time.
– Add a real-world wind effect and position a fan at the end of the plank! Switch it on when the elevator doors open.
There are plenty of variations of materials you can use for a real-world plank. When we began creating Richie’s Plank Experience we used an old table-top with thongs (flip-flops) underneath to make it wobble. It still had a great effect – Although it was too wide to have your feet feel the edge of the plank, if you dare to do that!
Please share your plank setup on Instagram and tag us @richiesplank !