Synoptic Project – Pitch Preparation (part 4)

I think the first few days after our last day in college were tough, since I was getting back into Unity and programming in a way I hadn’t really thought about the entire time I was programming for Imagined World. I spent a lot of time watching tutorials (both on YouTube and Pluralsight) so I could familiarise myself with the intricacies of coding for VR. Thankfully, I think the light bulb clicked yesterday finally and it felt like I was getting the gist of it again.

The hardest part about making a VR game – in my opinion – is the movement. As a developer, you need to make sure that your movement system isn’t going to make your player nauseous or unable to move around comfortably. I think that’s why we decided to incorporate the SteamVR package into our game. It already has a fully functioning teleportation system (why reinvent the wheel) and a few other features I’ll be able to continue cannibalising while I continue to learn.

I knew I wanted to show at least three different things in this prototype: the teleportation, interaction, and a very simple proof-of-concept puzzle that could reveal a hidden drawer. With these in mind, it took me a day to fully adapt the teleportation system into the nearly-empty room. I checked that I understood the way it worked before moving on to making a couple of simple models in Maya: I needed a shelving unit that had drawers and a chess set for the simplistic puzzle example.

I actually don’t like the highlighting that happens with the interactions and it’ll be one of the first things I change for MVP. There were also some collider issues which I managed to fix before finalising the chess puzzle. I was also waiting for some new wall brackets for the Vive lighthouses to arrive from Amazon, so A LOT of the tracking up until today (when we finally got them and put them up in the study) was VERY glitchy. However, I think the video example turned out quite well and we’ll be using it during my part of the presentation.

Meanwhile, I think Marc’s drawings are looking amazing. Sometimes he has issues with 2D drawings and getting precious about his work, which means deadlines are at risk, but today he moved from digital to pen and paper and that seemed to help a lot. He has about three pages worth of concept art, which hopefully will be enough to meet the standards of the grading criteria, but I get the feeling he’ll still do a few more before the actual presentation is done.

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I think the painted ones show off the style he’s going for really well, even though they took up a majority of his time. Going for an “old manor home” sort of feel means going very antique with the furniture, but the stylising means he’s can add extra flourishes he normally wouldn’t be able to.

Next blog post will likely be after the pitch on Monday, to reflect on how things went and to show it off in its entirety!

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