Update #3

Been making some really cool shit lately. Built an Arcade Machine, added some home grown games to it, published the first phase of Virtual Window on the app store and play store, started work on a multiplayer AR room-sized last-stand zombie shooter with positional tracking for University of Pretoria’s VR centre, and made some unity demos.

Arcado Potato

Stephan put together most of the shell for the arcade machine along with some help from the rest of us in the office, so it was up to me to fill it with some guts, ie: a PC that was not an ancient mac with a crappy video card. The purpose of the arcade machine is for displaying student work and due to its awesome wheels, it’s great for events like the Open Day recently. We managed to get 4 homebrewed games on it, all working with the custom controller Jens had built for it using an Arduino, some mechanical parts and some kick-ass code.

So the 4 games we finally got on the machine were Stupid Humans, the really addictive Nyan Cat Attack, Mars Missions and a quick 2 player space shooter that a student made.

Virtual Window

Open day was on the 20th of May at Open Window and we managed to get the first phase of Virtual Window out onto the Apple App Store and Google Play Store just in time. The first phase included an interactive map of the campus using live information from an online source, allowing us to set up event-specific points of interest and other various changes.  I also integrated an AR system with custom marker recognition to allow users to scan markers around the campus and see their location on the map. Imagine that kind of functionality in a mall, university or airport.

Kumba VR Centre

The folks over at the mining department at University of Pretoria have created a virtual reality centre with a 360 degree 3D capable VR space. We’ve come up with an idea to create a room-sized multiplayer stand-off zombie-shooter game for the space to demonstrate some of the possibilities of the centre. We’ve begun 3D printing a gun with which your smart phone could be inserted and the gyro and compass information sent from the device to the game on a local network. I’ve then gone and integrated colour tracking using a webcam which will be mounted above the cylinder to spatially track the players within the space. This combined with the gyro data will get the gun direction and allow the player to accurately shoot virtual entities on the screen.

Prototyping

I put together a prototype for a hover car in unity. I wasn’t sure how to approach it at first and thought of a few possible methods (spring, configurable joint, adding force at multiple points, invisible wheel colliders). But the final method works on casting 4 raycasts on each of the corners of the vehicle towards the ground. Upward force is then added at the point where the raycast hits the ground. The amount of force is then applied as a percentage based on the distance between the hit point and raycast origin and the desired hover height then taken into account. Also, the illusion of centrifugal force was created by reading the force in the local Z (forward and backward) and the angular force (rotation on the Y – yaw) then the vehicle submesh rotated in an opposite way. This is the final result:

Made a hover car prototype. #prototype #madewithunity #gamedevelopment #hover #playmaker

A post shared by Jared Brandjes – Game Designer (@4t0m1c) on

The other prototype I quickly put together was a networking test for spawning entities / shooting. Working out the basics in an isolated manner allows me to understand the basic requirements and optimise along the way, hopefully avoiding any future problems.

Quick network spawning test #prototype #madewithunity #gamedevelopment #networking

A post shared by Jared Brandjes – Game Designer (@4t0m1c) on

Codename: Peace Pipe

Progress has been very slow as I haven’t been able to allocate much time to this project but I’ve got some interns (Reder & Andale) working on some of the art assets pictured below.

Reder has been busy on creating some kickass acacia trees as well as starting on a larger fig tree. He’s also got a cool new workflow for creating the trees and roots entangling the floating islands.

Andale has been working on the first boss, a scorpion, that’s looking quite badass as well as a leopard boss creature.  She also experimented with some cool grass/wind.

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