A Space Game

Welcome to A Space Game! A Combination of Battleships, Star Trek, and that one Real-Time Strategy game you remember from middle school, A Space Game is the result of 36 hours of bugs, hacking, and lots of waving our hands in midair by 4 first time VR-hackers.

Inspiration

We were inspired by how VR can transform traditional game and simulation experiences. The ability to move around the space and take different perspectives allows for a lot more information to be presented to the user, and a lot more immersive an experience. We decided to create a real-time strategy game to make use of these new opportunities.

In the game, the player controls a set of Alliance ships, against an armada of enemy Vorg ships. The ships automatically fire within a certain distance of an enemy, and thus the player's job is to position the ships in order to maximize the damage they deal to the enemy.

Tools

A Space Game is built using Unity and the Vive VR system.

Challenges

We are all new to VR, only one of us had ever done game development, and only one of us had ever been to a hackathon before. Learning Unity, learning C#, and figuring out how the game engines work were a huge challenge for us. We also had a change of direction in the game. While we originally intended a much more subtle game, with a focus on radio pings to discover previously invisible ships, we found that the visual impact of a full-scale space battle was just too tempting. Perhaps because none of us had more than casual experience with VR, we were blown away by the capabilities of the technology and focused on an immersive, and impressive, visual experience.

The Results

What are we proud of? This is our first VR game! We're proud of how much we have learned, about VR, about Unity, and 3D games. We are also proud that we have what we consider to be a functional and very entertaining final product. In particular, we are very proud of having figured out the controls and the very visually informative waypoint guiding system for player controlled ships.

We learned a lot of things about project management especially. As a designed-driven project, we often had disagreements about what direction the game should take, and often had trouble explaining our ideas to each other. If nothing else, we learned how to stay calm and trust each other in making big decisions, even if we don't always see the other person's vision.

Next Steps

Next for us is, hopefully, some VR equipment :) In all seriousness, having spent so much time with the Vive, we are convinced of the amazing capabilities of VR even beyond gaming. For this project, we hope to re-introduce some of the features we removed, and create a menu where the player can choose between the various ways of playing the game. Some more focus on balance and level design would also really enhance the experience.

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