VR Project

On this post, I will discuss my idea for this project, which platforms and softwares I will be using and my inspirations. Although a lot of it may change during the creative process, I hope to still have a stimulating final result.

First and foremost, I want to work with Unity3D and the Oculus Rift to create a fantastical environment where there are small interactions stimulated by the movement of the user. I’ve used Unity3D before, but only on a basic level, so I will run into many issues which I will share as part of the tutorial aspect of the project. Coding will be needed to manipulate things (should I use characters and what not), from what I remember it might be Javascript, so it will be a techy project.

Contextually, I am not sure what the point of the game will be but I had a few people I  the class suggest looking at horror and how people react to it, or film different people’s reactions. I quite like this idea, but I want to use this project to extend my skills in Unity3D too. That being said, I might merge those ideas together. Making people sit through a simulation and seeing what they react to the most, then using those aspects in my simulation would be useful. Studying people then taking notes is the best way of learning, but whether I want to make horror is something I am deliberating.

Aesthetically, there are already several games (virtual reality and regular) which I take inspiration from. I enjoy good aesthetics a bit more than the next person so my simulation will look to get some compliments in that area. The first game is called Journey.

Journey trailer

Journey was released in 2012 by indie game developers, thatgamecompany. It is available on the PS3 and won awards for aesthetics from VGX and BAFTA. In this game, players play as a hooded figure who travels through a desert alone and goes through scenic settings such as temples and other ancient buildings. The character runs and flies through, occasionally leaving trails of ribbons behind. The player can interact with other players and assist them on their journey, however they cannot communicate verbally nor see each other’s names.

From the trailer alone, the aesthetics are incredible. Things I like in particular are the colours and how everything seems to blend in so well. The game is beautiful and I want to take that side of fantasy from it, entice my players with an other-worldly experience. To come close to the technical standards on Journey is quite impossible as I do not have an entire team of game engineers with me. What I can create though would be a much smaller version. A tiny environment. If it isn’t a full simulation in which the player can move around in, then it will be a 360 environment, reactive to the user no less.

Abzu Trailer

My second inspiration is Abzu released in 2016 by Giant Squid, using Unreal Engine. This game shares similarities with Journey in that the aesthetics are also beautiful. In this game, the user is a scuba diver swimming through a magical, hyper-reactive underwater world where the animals interact with you and lead you through the game. Different environments have different colour schemes; soft blues with greens, harsh reds, the vivid indigo of the twilight zone. What I will take away from this game is the same as what I will take from Journey which is the aesthetics. From both example, it is clear that shaping the environment properly and colour scheme are imperative to a successful visual game.

My presentation is still a few weeks away, but by that point I hope to have something up on its feet so that I could record the screen to demonstrate my idea visually to my peers. I hope to discuss my idea, development and what I am attempting to gain from the project with them. I imagine this will raise a debate about what makes a game successful visually and strategically, which will help me and also them in future projects.

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