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SOMIT Episode #02 (04-1992) Developer Log
in Gaming | Sunday, April 10, 2022 | 21:20

From the progress of my VR project "Stone Oakvalley's Moment In Time" I will start to post some updates on the scenes behind developing this VR experience called "Escape The Hedron", also known as Episode #02.

Episode #02 [04-1992]
"Escape The Hedron"

Note: The "Stone Oakvalley's Moment In Time" project deals with 10 episodes, I just randomly chosen Episode #02 as my second focus after Episode #07 which are also still in production.

Introduction - 10 Apr 2022

As this Episode deals with an single scene environment mostly, this VR project might be quicker in production that for example some other VR episodes. The main object in this VR episode revolves you are inside an ball, but more specifically its actually called an "Goldberg polyhedron", also known as "Truncated Icosahedron sphere", "Geodesic Polyhedron - Goldberg/Clinton Truncated Icosahedron" etc

I actually stared experimenting with the object itself on 21st of May 2021 (about 1 month before I actually got an Oculus Quest 2 headset, as you may already know, I started learning Unity in January 2021 or so).

The amount of single objects for this experience involves 2252 blocks that can be touched. As with all my other episodes they draw inspiration from a specific time period, movie, game, event or just something that stuck out in my childhood memories, hence the "Moment in Time" nameing of this 10-episode project.

From May 2021 until 1st of March of 2022, not much was done, other than gathering research material and working on Episode #7 regarding coding in Unity and more. From 3rd of April 2022 things evolved and was worked on for about 1 week, from doing a lot of manual work with the "dome", trying different importing techniques in Unity and how to detect each block as a unique gameobject. After that code and stuff was more or less figured out of, I started working on the overall graphics and feel of this project. You may seen some resemblence to something that has to do with Virtual Reality and a story that is mostly forgotten these days (but not on my watch!) I intend to honor my thoughts and experience with that story in my own way.

For those who know what story I'm looking to re-create, well, enjoy the developing show in the form of posts and pictures from this project as it evolves.

The software used to far to get to this point of today was:
- Lightwave Modeler / Layout 11.5
- "enumerate_surfaces.py" / SaveSurf_20.zip for Lighwave Modeler
- Blender to create that original polyhedron object
- Photoshop CS4
- Accutrans 3D
- Unity setup with URP/VR/XR/Quest2.

Other research reveals that this experience/game will have an single level, 1 out of 2252 chances to get out (win the game), but only 8 or 15 minutes to solve it/get out. It's probably gonna be one of the most challenging mini-games you'd ever had to play if you really want to win. But, again, my projects isn't about gaming, its more VR experimentation and experiences salted with a game-like approach. After all, make your own life a happy game and you'll live longer than you'd expect.

27 Apr 2022:

All available time since 10 Apr was used only on Episode #2, as I needed to code, design and finalize the key element of this VR Experience in which I can now select a random block in the dome and this extractor is spawned out with some polygon animation (in Lightwave, called Morph, but in Unity called BlendScapes) which work fantastic. I have also implemented sound effects and more interraction. There isn't much visually to show since last time, but quite a lot of details at the end of that Extractor tube is shown below.

Until next time, I will probably work a bit on Episode #3 (which was posted today), but also come back to Episode #2 to try to clone the extractor so that players can have 2, maybe more selected and animated at the same time. But, there is a problem that the source of my original inspiration ever showed: No objects came from the same place, thus leaving out the logic of how to explain/show collisions between these Extractor tubes?!!

Oh well, I'll have to figure something out, or I will just leave it alone with only 1 tube available at the same time. In addition, I think I must configure a "hands only" for this VR Experience, as its meant to be played/experienced that way to be true to the original source. Right now, naturally I use only the Oculus Hand Controllers during programming and testing.

6 April 2022:
It was a real headache to work with this object, lots of manual mouse/hand work needed.

6 April 2022:
It was a real headache to work with this object, lots of manual mouse/hand work needed.

6 April 2022:
Each of these single objects had to be identifed 1-by-1.

6 April 2022:
This is the border, which is luckily just a single mesh object.

8 April 2022:
Ahh, using some code from my Episode #7, to get some VR hands and some rays (using controllers at the moment), beeing able to mark each unique block with an Raycast :-)

8 April 2022:
Out of each unique block a cylinder will appear and go against the player (which is always in center of dome).

That black panel is just for debugging while in VR mode.

8 April 2022:
Checking that hand vs end of cylinder is consistent with the original concept.

9 April 2022:
It appears that the cylinder can not be the same size in both ends, as this would cause the end to be quite big to the VR player, it needs to fit the hand, but also the far away block it came out of. So, the model ended up like a narrow spear :-)

9 April 2022:
Got some code running making a random variation of every unique block to mimic the original concept. Also, I started with some texturing and adding more details to the cylinder.

At this point one can get the chills of the VR expierence, its quite thrilling to be inside and finally (after 30 years) be able to do this myself....hinting at a very specific VR movie from that area :-)

27 April 2022:
More details now visually designed and coded. Some adjustements have been made to the overall graphics as well, but also sound has started to appear :-)

29 Apr 2022:
Some more improvements for the graphics performed and just checking if the hand to extractor distance is appropriate :-)

Posted by: GameDeveloper, Stone Oakvalley | Publisher: Website Designer, Stone Oakvalley
Last revised: August 25, 2022 - 21:12 | Page views: 129

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