The Beginning

 

Oculus hosted a day-long bootcamp full of inspiring speakers and experts – was the best possible crash course in VR I could have ever imagined!

 
 

Amy sent us all the information we needed to kick our projects off and share them on our own Oculus Developer forum!

If only I knew what I was going to build....

 
 
 

So I went back to my Bootcamp notes, took time to really absorb them and shared as much as I could via my blog.

But still didn’t have a clue as to what I was building – nor how.

 
 

Met up with these two amazingly talented ladies, also in Launch Pad, Susan Weeks and Jewel Lim.

 
 
 

This weeks’ recipe was 9 parts inspiration to 1 part perspiration, but that 1 part showed me just how I could design VR for good. 

 
Design research expands the mind, opens eyes and helps you connect dots you may not have seen before.
 

My first developer post, and one of my first blog posts ever. 

 
I made the decision that the most vital part of this process would be the growth and transformation I would undergo, so I might as well document the journey as much as I could.

An added bonus would be to share the process so that others might come to appreciate, understand or even join the VR revolution!
 
 

Hit a wall trying to learn VR in Unity

 
Key take-away: if you find you are stuck, you might be doing the wrong tutorial – let it go and go find the right one!
 
wk5_rollaball.jpeg
 

Completed a bunch of programming tutorials, like Unity’s Roll-a-ball. Made a Tools & Tutorial-tracker which was the go-to doc.

 
 

Studied the art of game design thanks to Shayna Moon’s suggestion: Youtorials by Extra Credits.

 
The goal is to get the player engaged and change the way they think about the world. Make them believe the world is a living thing.
 

The Extra Credits clips were super helpful and convinced me of just how important it is to start small in order to make solid strides. 

 
 
 

Despite getting the hang of C#, I quickly discovered that I really did need to start learning Blender.

 
 

Preliminary exercise in understanding the User context and needs (for Cancer patients). 

 
Even though I would ideally start developing for as large of an audience as possible given how new VR is – I would love to design “gentle VR” for those who really need a legitimate escape.
 

Got my long-term User Experience vision, framework and goals captured and solidified for later development.

 
 

Got first Demo Flow drafted.

 
Unfortunately the level of skill required to go this route was just out of reach for purposes of this demo deadline, but I’m not giving up!
 

Did some solid research on vulnerable and endangered species, trying to start honing in on a geographical context.

 
 
wk8_world.png
 

Lots of project planning and management – best bit was designing my first 3D low poly animal and island thanks to Manuel Graphics’ tutorials like this one.

 
 
 

Solid week of low-poly, VR/mobile game design research and blender tutorials. Above is my updated Demo Flow.

 
 

Made these color palettes so that  when I was doing tutorials in Blender I already had a good color scheme on hand.

 
 
 

Got a low-poly look going for Moki’s Adventures’ branding. This was my first complete low-poly scene made thanks to Blender and Manuel Graphics’ Tutorial.

 
 

My second attempt to design Moki in 3D – then my daughter took a look and said carefully, ‘He looks like the Android dude.’

 
Feedback is like vegetables – ‘You don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it.’
— My 9 year old
 

Moodboards helped me understand the world I wanted to create and how I could help bring people closer to Nature in a new way.

 
 

They also helped identify flow, assets, user interaction – not to mention storyline. If you just said “Well duh!” then you haven’t tried designing an experience without frames or borders.

 
 

Feeling more confident after seeing the Google VR samples from Github. Thanks you Google.

 
 

Specifying where things will happen according to the Demo Flow.

 
 
 

Imported and tested my first iteration of Turtle Island into Unity – finally!

 
 

This was an invaluable document for prioritizing necessary assets.

 
 

My handy asset wish-list and accounting of all assets I have or will need to purchase.

 
 
 

My workspace while on vacation in tiny cottage on the south east side of Gotland, Sweden

 
 

Even though Turtle Island is a real place (Ko Tao, Thailand), I took some creative liberty.

 
 
 

I highly recommend digging into Oculus’ Sample Framework for Unity 5

 
 
 

Approaching Take-off...

 

As the Teleporters and Info-cards finally accomplished what they were meant to do, it became clear that the overall flow felt like it was actually leading up to something bigger – something like a 360° Video of a Sea Turtle underwater! 

So for purposes of the final demo, I chose to use a video that is purely for purposes of demonstration and not in any way meant to be misused or represented. I obviously want to evangelize VR, and celebrate the possibilities. 

I personally feel underwater scenes are best experienced when the camera is absolutely still and the Viewer does not feel like they are moving in any way, but can see the life around them.

Unfortunately due to time constraints this had the best snippet I could find – again, only to help prove the overall demo concept of how VR can bring us closer to Nature.  

Visit Hamilton Island in 360˚ Virtual Reality with Qantas
The scene shown in my demo is from around 3:38 to 4:07.