Most of my time spent post-Oculus has been housekeeping and research. I tried a few games and experiences mostly looking to see how they deal with UI/UX issues.
I was kind of surprised that there was no way to re-center the camera position from within the Samsung VR application and was specifically looking for applications that would implement this feature. More generally I was looking for a satisfying user experience.
This actually led down a path of VR porn research – yeah, I know – but it’s also a logical source of information because pornography is heavily invested in the user experience. It’s critical that such an application does not make the user sick, is comfortable to navigate, and does not break the illusion of the experience. In game theory we’d call this “flow,” and it’s a vitally important concept. I did learn some things, but I’ll go into that in a later post.
I want to do so many things in VR (and perhaps I can), but I know how easy it is to get lost in concepts so I decided to go with the initial concept I pitched. When I started to lay out the scope of this simple, straightforward project I realized it consisted entirely of things I’d never done before. Yaaaaay :/
The big To-Do for this week (done):
- Figure out the easiest way to get human characters modeled, rigged and animated in Unity. Done. I used a combination of Makehuman, Fuse/Mixamo, Blender and Bastioni Labs along with the extensive Mocap data available in both Unity and Mixamo. I’ve collected the links and instructions in the VRGN facebook group – but I’ll try to dig them up and add them to this post.
- Design and model a 3D environment for import into Unity. I tried a few things and decided to learn SketchUp. It’s simple but also frustrating. I’ve been messing with it for a few days and starting to get an understanding of the best workflow. I’ve attached a video – don’t make fun of me.
- As not to waste too much effort and make everything count, I went ahead and wrote a Game Design Document as well as an Asset Checklist. Because I know I’m really good at generating ideas I wanted something to hold myself accountable to the goals of the project – the pillars, I think Bernie called them? I gotta check my notes. But yeah, even my sandboxing and sketching will ideally be something useful toward the end project. If I’m doing a tutorial why not work on an asset I know needs to be in the game?
Upcoming Goals and Deadlines:
- Next week I’m going out of town for two weeks so I won’t be able to build many assets on my laptop. No environment modeling for sure…oh well that prioritizes things doesn’t it?
- Model the environment to scale with all buildings/terrain/obstacles. Whitebox everything – don’t worry about details but get all the physical components in the space. You can model humanoids from your laptop so don’t worry about that.
- For the two weeks you’re gone you can work on scripting and choreography between the players and NPCs. The level design and the timing of character interactions is critical to your project.