Bluetooth Microcontroller to Google Cardboard

The development of this prototype spanned over the course of several weeks.

The goal was to make a Virtual Reality game that connects to a custom made physical controller.

Step 1 – Connection between Arduino & Unity Android app

This was pretty straightforward, using a Bluetooth chip, I was able to connect my Android phone to the Arduino board. The simple input was a potentiometer.

cavemen1

Step 2 – Build a custom controller prototype

For this next step I wanted to create a more durable, portable prototype that could be carried around and had two buttons to press.

Step 3 – Ideate core mechanics of gameplay

Next, I wanted to find the core loop of the game.

You can control the time of day in a prehistoric environment with a physical interface (potentiometer). When you make it daytime the population (cavemen) will start gathering wood. When itโ€™s night, they will retreat to their cave and burn wood to stay warm, as well as reproduce. The goal of the experience is to balance resource gathering and risking being eaten by tigers (if they chop wood for too long).

Bluetooth Microcontroller to Google Cardboard

I am currently researching Goal Oriented Action Planning as a way to build AI that’s capable of relatively emergent behavior.
Based on the world and objects around it, the AI decides the best strategy to fulfill its’ goal (in this case, gathering wood).

Each action it has available carries a certain cost and precondition. Collecting logs has no preconditions but is more costly than chopping wood.

Chopping wood requires picking up an axe first, though.

Over the course of several prototypes, performance and control over the AI was improved. I am using Unity 3D and C# for these prototypes.

Link to research paper.

Goal oriented AI

Objective: The typical museum visitor looks at a single work of art for less than 30 seconds. Utilizing a specific work of art on display at the Getty Center, create a playful experience that helps the player discover something interesting about the art that s/he might have missed in a 30-second look. 48 Hours to create the experience.

Made at the #GettyJam, 27-28. February 2016

Work of Art in focus:

โ€œA Walk at Duskโ€ – 1835

Caspar David Friedrich

(Germany, 1774 – 1840)

This painting is about divinity of nature and meditation of mortality. References to german philosopher Schelling (Eternal cycle of life & death in nature)

Our approach

Interpret the meaning and intention of an artwork – Recreate a version of the environment – Convey the meaning through game-mechanics

Mobile Experience, that can be used by everyone in the museum on their Android devices.

A Walk At Dusk

A level in Unreal Engine based on Marcel Duchamp’s fountain and famous signature “R.Mutt”. Flushing coins and projected cones.

R. Mutt

I am currently exploring working with splines and spline-meshes in Unreal Engine 4. They enable a level designer to sketch out advanced level designs in real-time, in the editor without ever touching 3D software. I was able to create this small scene in about half an hour. I will continue exploring this exciting area of game design.

In theory this method could be expanded to create entire cities with blueprints.

Real-time mesh deformation along splines

Experimenting with new techniques in 3ds max and Unity3D to achieve a lowpoly-style. Local multiplayer.

Local Multiplayer Prototype

Due to the lack of Virtual Reality Flight Simulators, I started experimented with building one. I think that Virtual Reality offers itself perfectly for making a flight simulation project, as the effects of gravity are turned on its’ head when we travel by plane. Just imagine a sharp turn when you approach your airport; something seems off! Shouldn’t gravity be pulling you down?

I started with the cockpit and controls, showing all the data to the player on small screens.

In later versions, I started scripting actual physics to control the plane:

VR Airplane

This project stands as my result at the end of this semester, where I worked on implementing a natural user interface (Kinect) in an immersive space (Fulldome). The goal of this installation is to present a perspective that focuses on the perceptual experience inside a Fulldome. The user can control the protagonist  with his/her body; its movements are registered and sent to the computer. The user is able to move forward, backwards and sideways a digital protagonist, who copies his/her movements.

concept1

You can collect objects that distort the image permanently. Once you collected a specified amount of them you can plant trees or houses at a spot of your choice. When the next user enters the installation and the environment is reset, the trees of the previous users are still standing. Also the amount of coins collected in total can be seen by a huge counter in-game. Therefore a permanent artifact is created, co-designed by every user. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction โ€“ in this case it is possible โ€“ once a tree is planted it will generate collectables that can be used to temporarily apply real-time visual effects. The direct representation of hands on the screen gives a haptic sense and a direct feel to it. The composition of the environment, the visual, audible and temporal characteristics (abstract, reduced) represent an  aesthetic intrinsic to the artist.

Fulldome Concept

A 6 minute gameplay video of the early version of a from-scratch game prototype from 2014. The game started with ideas about resource gathering, transportation and travel.

Later, a purchase system was added. The shop dialogue allows the player to buy useful objects like cars and planes, weapons or magnets.

There were also rudimentary optimization techniques being used. Complex objects are being replaced with simple cubes, based on the distance to the player.