Samsung held a VR Hackathon the first weekend in November. Hack Reality was held at their headquarters in Mountain View, California. I flew down for the weekend not really knowing what to expect and was pleasently surprised by the venue setup and how quickly I was able to find a team.
Day one was a success!
There was definitely some frustration but it was all equaled out by having a solid working build by the end of the day. There was also a lot of this…
We spend the first 40min on a concept. We found that it helped acting it out in “real life” to see how it would play out in the virtual world. It was backwards-meta, but worked tremendously to help us work out some issues in the beginning. We were able to get our environment running within the first hour and then we started adding models and scripts.
Our concept was inspired by “The Magic School Bus.” We wanted to build an education apps for kids that would allows them to experience a field trip in virtual reality. It is an experience that allows students to ride in a flying bus while an Ai robot (who is driving the bus) is able to answer questions the student may have about a particular object they are seeing. And have a multi-player experience were their friend or teacher could join in. Whether that is flying through space, running through the savannah or diving into the ocean, we want kids to be able to experience the world one virtual trip at a time. Obviously this is a big concept for less than 48 hours so we had to pair it down to a simple prototype of a bus flying through space and eventually landing on Mars and being able to interact with a few objects. Below is an image of the VR camera looking out the bus window as the ISS flies by.
I was tasked with finding some UI for the on hover events for the space items and getting the on hover component all wired up! I spend a could 3 hours trying to get it working but once it was I felt like I could take over the world. When you wrestle with a concept and code and then finally see it come to fruition, there is nothing like that adrenaline rush of, “I MADE THIS. LOOK AT MY CREATION, PEOPLE. JUST LOOK AT IT.”
If you want to read up on some VR interaction in Unity, you can read up on it here: https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/topics/virtual-reality/interaction-vr
I can definitely say I have a way better handle on Unity even after one day. You learn a lot when you have a short deadline!