Sorry for the shitpost, but I'm super SUPER excited. I could barely sleep last night. I've made a REALLY awesome discovery in VR which... kind of changes everything. I don't quite know how to describe it, but I know its effects already. I can't stop thinking about it. I'm obsessed. I'm excited. I know what it's going to be, and it I can't wait. If VR is a drug, I think, I've effectively doubled the potency of my formula. If I'm a generally reserved personality and I'm this excited, I can only imagine how other people will react.
"Well, okay! what is it?!?" you ask.
It's this fricken bird! He is like... your companion, your magical familiar. He sits on your shoulders, similar to a pirate captains parrot. You're new to this VR world, but he's here to guide you through the world. But, he's also an intelligent being and has his own little birdy desires. He does more than just sit on your shoulder like a static character would, he'll actually fly next to something of interest and tell you about it. But that's not all, and here's the coolest part... you can extend your left arm out and he'll fly and perch on your forearm, and then you can use your right hand to magically conjur some bird seeds and feed him, or you can use your hand to pet him and he'll make little birdy warbling sounds of happiness. Since this is also VR, he can make direct eye contact with you when you look at him or if he's talking to you. I know this doesn't sound very interesting or compelling when you're experiencing it by reading about it on a dev blog, but trust me. It's magical unlike anything else I've ever experienced in my life long gaming habit. Magical is the best word to describe it. VR itself is 'pretty cool' when you try it. Using your hands to throw fireballs is also a bit more than just 'pretty cool'. But to use your hands to play with an intelligent, virtual creature who reacts to what you do... WOW!!! I had Dan, my artist, try it out. When I told him my idea a few weeks back, he wasn't very keen on it. But now, he's so sold that he wants to make our game about crow caretaking. EEEEEK! This is going to be the coolest thing in the world! I think if we nail this, we will lead the industry -- no shit!
These are BOTH of my hands and I'm doing this in VR. How did I take a screenshot?! I had to create a timer which takes screen shots every five seconds.
This particular crow is very tame, but the wild crows in the game will behave a lot more like crows. They'll sit in trees and caw at you, and if you get too close, you'll frighten them away and they'll fly to another nearby perch and caw angrily at you. If you kill a zombie though, the crows will fly from their perches and come feast on the corpse. Nom! Nom! Nom! Also, if one of your spells enters their 'fright' zone, they'll get scared off and fly away. So, the end effect is you walking through a forest and birds flying out of the trees as you approach them.
This bird incorporates good sound effects, hand gesture response, good visuals for VR, pretty good AI, acknowledges player presence, and has good animations. He's still a work in progress though... you can tell the foot IK's haven't been done yet ;)