Real & Virtual Worlds — Development Weeks #5 — #9
After the last feedback review, it was strongly encouraged to use this space as a development log for the project, Arctic Rush VR.
The journey so far…
Currently, I have utlilised aspects of the VR template for Unreal Engine 4 of interactable object and locomotion controller movement blueprints. By swapping out the mesh for the simple pickup cube with a simple penguin model for testing purposes, I was able to find a quick method that enabled the pickup and drop using the Oculus Controller triggers. Below is a video example showing the working mechanic:
(apologies, it is slightly out of focus, I’m not sure why but this is how the VR preview looks on desktop and is not a true representation of the experience within the headset)
Once this was in place, I was able to implement a simple score system by setting up a circle to be the placeholder for the safe zone. Overall, this involved creating a custom event to create the penguin score in a created gamemode blueprint and adding a check so that once it hits a set value, for example, 5, “victory” will be printed on screen. This will be later altered as it was just a placeholder for the scene changing to the next level.
The blueprint for the “safe zone” essentially uses the overlap function to check if the two actors’ components overlap and, providing that one of the actors is the penguin, , add 1 to the score. However, for some reason this only triggers when set to the fail branch which will need to be investigated further as it could be a potential game breaking bug if it fires with objects that aren’t the penguin. I did also first consider using a tag for the penguin, however, the overlap event function did not seem to respond well to using that input system which is why I opted for a direct actor reference.
In addition to my work in engine, I also tried out sculpting in VR using the Oculus Quest and Adobe Medium. I was surprised at how intuitive the controls and UI were which allowed me to become comfortable with creating content quite quickly. Below is a short video of my first experience and image of my final creation:
To create the penguin, I began by 3D modelling a base mesh within Maya and exported to ZBrush to sculpt the finer details and create a more organic shape as shown within the image below:
From there, I plan to retopologize using Maya’s tools as despite using ZBrush Decimation Master, the mesh is still too dense to use in Unreal Engine. Therefore I believe manually quad drawing over the mesh will be the best method to retain the shape and control the polygon amount directly. The idea is to get the polygon limit as low as possible to fit within the virtual reality constraints for a high frame rate and to also enable the possibility to build and run the application directly on the Quest 2.