Thursday, April 14, 2016

Vive Game Punch List

Initial Game Punch List

Whenever I start a project, I need a to-do list. I've built a game before using Blender and UDK so I am somewhat familiar with what I need to do. Because I am switching tool sets, I will need to invest time into learning those. Attempting to run forward without footing in these would be foolhardy.

As I learn more, I will adjust the list, but this is my first go at it:

[ ] install unity
    [ ] learn unity basics - digital tutors (62 hours)
        [ ] Quick Start (3 hours)
        [ ] Indie Game Development Pipeline (29 hours)
        [ ] How to get started in Unity (21 hours)
        [ ] Programming in Unity (9 hours)
[ ] Get Vive working in Unity
    [ ] Setting HMD and controllers
    [ ] Vive VR Tutorial
        [ ] (VR Dev School)
    [ ] Install Seam VR
        Version: 1.0.8 (Mar 07, 2016) Size: 3.8 MB!/content/32647

3D Studio Max
[ ] start 1 month trial (about $185/mo after that)
[ ] learn basics - digital tutors (17 hours)
[ ] Creating game art in 3DS Max: (105 hours)
Maya (not using this)
The alternative to 3DS Max is Maya. It appears to be more powerful but more difficult to use. Since many games are made with 3DS Max, I'm going that route. If I went the Maya Route, it would look similar to 3DS Max:
[ ] start 1 month trial (about $185/mo after that)
[ ] learn basics - digital tutors (55 hours)

[ ] Study "The Lab" Teleport
[ ] Implement Teleport
    [ ] show (X) at teleport spot
    [ ] move position at press of button
[ ] Polish Teleport
    [ ] fade into new spot
    [ ] create arch to new teleport spot
    [ ] show current place space outline at teleport
    [ ] make arch into a 'tube'
    [ ] define a teleport boundary (X cannot go outside of it)
    [ ] define a teleport distance limit (arch cannot go beyond this from you)
    [ ] add sound to teleport

Flying Platform
[ ] circular platform
[ ] land below (approximately 10,000 feet)
    [ ] land should be grids that can be randomly put together
    [ ] land should slowly move under platform
    [ ] new grids added ahead and old grids delete behind
    [ ] each grid has different components
        [ ] farmland
        [ ] buildings
        [ ] roads
        [ ] rivers
        [ ] trees
    [ ] each grid should connect correctly with the neighbouring ones
[ ] clouds
    [ ] clouds move slowly
    [ ] clouds are fog volumes
    [ ] clouds have a shadow on ground
    [ ] platform has a shadow on the ground
    [ ] clouds below, at eye level, and above
    [ ] clouds obscure ground so add/remove of grids cannot be seen
[ ] day/night cycle
    [ ] afternoon/evening/night/sunrise/morning
    [ ] moon
    [ ] stars
    [ ] sun

[ ] Birds should fly by
[ ] Birds fly in a group
[ ] Birds land on and leave platform

[ ] put sound at a spot in space and hear it correctly
[ ] wind outside

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

HTC Vive Development

I got the HTC Vive last week.

I must say, it is everything they hyped it to be. Very immersive and there is no substitute for room-scale experiences in VR. Oculus has made a huge blunder not understanding this and designing for it from the get-go.


There are some cool experiences in the Steam store but I want more.

I am going to shift gears and use a different toolset for development. I would have loved to learn Source 2 but that is still not available. Valve has used Unity and has been happy with it so I am going to learn Unity.

I also experienced a lot of challenges with Blender in the past. It is a great tool but it requires a bit more effort for game development than 3DS Max.

I am going to spend this summer learning those two tools. 3DS Max comes with a hefty month fee (around $200/month). I am going to watch some videos on it first before forking out that kind of money.

I already have a game in mind. I've been thinking about it for a year or so. I want the hub of the game to be a flying house with a trophy room. My first goal will to be to build something like this:

That is what I want to experience in VR, so I'm going to build it. Not Howl's Flying Castle per-se, but something in this vein where you have a house on a flying platform with trees and grass on the patio.

I want to have clouds flying past and birds perching on the platform. I want to look over the railing and see a landscape slowly passing by below.

These images all capture the feel I am going for: