We managed to get our hands on a Rift and spent a bit of studio time trying to work out some interesting applications for this awesome technology.
After a bit of brainstorming we decided to explore potential rift projects that didn’t need a controller. As the experience is so immersive we felt having spectatorial style experiences might be an interesting way for non gamers to also enjoy the technology but would also give us space to build in control systems further down the line and keep production time down for initial demo’s.
So we landed on the idea of being a diver, descending into the depths of the ocean and attracting attention from a myriad of sea creatures, some inquisitive and friendly and others a little bit too hungry.
A brief note on the video. The screen cap on my machine is pretty rubbish and we filmed our tester with an iphone so everything is a bit out of sync.
Karl (@karlmaddix), one of the Masters of Pie directors, seems to have a bit of a phobia for the deep sea, which may have been caused from being thrown into shark infested waters as a child. So we wanted to capture the feeling of both vulnerability and wonder that one has when they go diving into such an alien environment as the deep sea. Also, as we are in water, we can take advantage of the rift’s 360 3D visual range, allowing us to have marine animals passing directly over head or right next to the users.
Tim James (@cubed2d) ,who is a bit of a Unity3D ninja, helped us with development and we managed to turn around the demo in 5 days. The Rift SDK for Unity is incredibly easy to implement (takes a few hours tops) and allows you to easily test your build.
What we did find challenging, which I’m sure other rift developers have come across, is getting people to look in the right direction. We added audio queues from the “captain” but also animations that are triggered by us looking in a certain direction. We cast a ray from the camera (that we look through) out into the scene, enabling us to time the entrances of all the marine animals so they appear in the right areas. There might be something interesting here with movie making…
The demo turned out much better than expected within the time frame and we will certainly be exploring more Rift based projects soon so stay tuned.
If you have a rift and would like to try out the demo you can download them from the links below:
To start the game, press return on your keyboard. This will begin the instructions section. After he asks you to nod your head, press return again to summon creatures from the deep.
This is just a demo so it will have bugs and glitches, if it makes your computer explode it is not our fault etc so download at your own risk etc etc…
Enjoy, let us know what you think in the comments.