We’ve been very very busy preparing the final build… now that the camera is free to roam, we thought we’d better upgrade the exterior. Here she is, v1.0:
..inspired by the original matte painting:
With Hydra, we get to use BOTH our hands in VR,
just like Madame Hydra here…
and here are the hydras at play:
When we design spaces, we want our worlds to be *alive*.
A key component of this sense of vitality is dynamic audio. In a nutshell, dynamic audio is physics-based, player-generative audio signals. The two challenges we are working on are:
1. the sound of the lightsaber as the player swooshes it around them in the environment. buzzzzzzz…. hmmmmm… zap! Obviously, this is dynamic, based on the velocity and acceleration of the ‘blade’.
2. the sound of wind in the player’s hair as they fly high above the city… modulated by airspeed, gusts, and hopefully, near-miss-objects.
Solution? Hard work, creative sample bases, and sweet code. I’ve found this awesome resource: Programming Sound with Pure Data, by Tony Hillerson.
PS – here’s a little extra on the actual components of the original lightsaber sounds, circa 1977: doppler microphone swinging
Well, the port to Unity 5 took a bit longer than expected. Then again, what port doesn’t? Overall, we’re very happy with the more robust namespace support in code, and the physically based shader model. It took quite some time to re-tool all our custom shaders into a PBR model, but once done, the results are spectacular, no pun intended.
And, we finally solved the mascara issue with all our character models, which we created in Mixamo’s excellent Fuse product. For those techies / artists out there: the trick is to duplicate the existing Legacy/Diffuse-Bump shader for each character, keep the textures and normals, and set the shader model to “Standard / Specular / Fade” with a smoothness of 1.0. Do the same with the eyes, and you’ll have that beautiful “twinkle in the eyes” that all pseudo-living avatars should properly exhibit.
In other news, our friends at Magic Leap released their first actual concept video. Just single-player for now, but fun stuff nonetheless.
That’s all for today.
I realised many months ago that the make or break of our VR experience will be the veracity and feel of the lightsaber. To this end, I’ve developed a wishlist of features:
Yeah. That should about do it.