Being approached with the task to create a ‘calming’ experience for LiminalVR users was juxtaposing because at first we were absolutely not calm with our approach to research and our aggressive surveys distributed over social media (Which by the way, feel free to take part in here and here). However, a week later the team had a meeting with LiminalVR and were given access to their concentrated psychology documentation which, to say the least, was a lighthouse in the fog of endless research. The research provided to us allowed us to decide on creating the natural setting that we wanted, with factors of detail such as colour and vegetation types that allow for a calming user experience (we hope!)
The terrain itself was generated with World Machine, using a low resolution to ensure its cost remain low for mobile optimisation. The terrain, when translated across into Unity, had some scaling issues and as a result, the long rolling meadows that were seen in World Machine imported much smaller. To fix this issue we doubled the size of the terrain but as a result, we discovered that we had lost a lot of our ability to create finer details when painting textures. However, as this is essentially saving cost and the painted roads will be in the distance, we decided to push forward.
Itween was used to create the curve in which the lantern follows, travelling at an increasing speed as it moves further from point A towards point B. The lantern model is still underway, however this will be one of the final features that will be implemented.
On feedback we changed the initial idea from dusk to dawn and to really harness the colours of an early morning sunrise, we used optimised volumetric lighting beams to simulate the sun rising in the morning. It was extremely challenging to simulate atmospheric fog inside of Unity that is mobile optimised and after research we decided to create a cylinder to surround the terrain with a low alpha material on the inside which gives a low cost effect of fog. This encompassed with Unity’s inbuilt fog feature allowed to create a believable environment.
User Input is required at the start of the experience, the player simply must use their head to turn and look at one of three pieces of paper that represent most how they are feeling, this is a feature that is currently being worked on in a test scene and will be migrated over to the experience on completion.
Next up we will be working on polishing, grass, textures, finalising models and audio.
Stay tuned and watch this space!
Team Tuff Knight
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