Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Game Jam Game I Worked On - Gravity Battle

This past Christmas I was lucky enough to be able to get an Oculus Rift and I have been doing some developing with it since then.  Once you try on the Rift it is truly an experience like none other and I definitely believe it will be "the next big thing".  John Carmack has something interesting things to say about it here in relation to the Oculus versus the next iteration of consoles and where he sees the Oculus going in the future. He puts things in perspective nicely.

So I had to take the Rift to the Global Game Jam.  It wasn't even a question for me.  The GGJ site I went to was at Montgomery County Community College where I teach and I got to work on the game above, Gravity Battle, with two of my former students, Mark Black and Daniel Andre who I thought did a great job on the game.  The Montco site all around was fantastic and Jason Wertz should be thanked for setting it up and taking care of everything.  One of the coolest parts of the weekend for me, there were many, was being able to introduce the Rift to so many people, 20-30, for the first time and getting to see their reaction to it. One woman felt compelled to bring in her husband to try on the Rift and I think the experience impacted Jason enough to look into getting a few Rifts for the Montco Computer Science Department.

As far as the game, it was a great learning experience for me in getting a player controller setup with certain physics or controller options and having it work with the Oculus.  I also got to design and try out an art style that has been in my head a bit since getting the Rift.  One of the issues with the Rift is that sometimes, if you focus, you can see the individual pixels on the screen.  Michael Abrash has a lot of interesting information on resolution and latency here.  What I attempted to do was to see if I couldn't help correct that problem by using a setting, space, where it would be fairly dark anyway and that way the image would come across cleaner and hopefully cause less motion sickness, which can be an issue when first starting out with the Oculus.  Hopefully, the attempt at zero gravity also helps ease new users into the virtual reality experience since you move very slowly in the game.  As a side bonus, the space setting fit in nicely with the GGJ theme, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."

You can download and try out the game here.

You can leave some feedback on the game here or in the comments below.

No comments:

Post a Comment