We wanted to take part in the Archiact Gear VR Game Jam. Meanwhile, our fridge has gotten rather noisy lately and just sounds like it's loudly angry at everything. So, obviously this game happened.
What it does
A Gear VR game where you're playing as a fridge technician "fixing" a fridge. What that means is that it drops sentient food that makes a beeline for you and you throw it back at it the fridge - until one of you gets poisoned by the bad food or fixed with the good food. Or you can just throw the food around in the room. Whatever! :P
How we built it
Software we used:
- Unity with Oculus plugin and some free Unity store assets
- Substance Painter
Challenges we ran into
Oh man, should have kept a list. First was that Michael's Windows machine has been running so slowly that development on it is nearly impossible. Luckily, his 3 year old Mac is still just barely fast enough. Unluckily, Oculus has currently abandoned their work on their OSX SDK. But luckily, it still seems to work, so good enough! Second was that Haiwei's machine would randomly show a black screen and die; which we eventually found a work around by leaving the case open and giving the video card plenty of fresh air. Hardware problems aside, we came across many problems typical of any development, like finding the best way to export assets into Unity. One obvious challenge was creating a good looking game while maintaining at least 60 fps in VR on a mobile device. At one point, the frame rate was absolutely destroyed without us being sure of what was done to do this. By carefully going over the past few things being changed since the last test, it was found to be a lighting issue (obvious in hindsight). So, we ended up baking all lighting into the textures using Substance and making the actual game completely unlit. This did wonders for performance, at the expense of some more work on the asset creation side. The last major issue was just the reality of not owning a Gear VR that we could test during development. However, we're lucky enough to have a couple friends with them, so we were able to at least run it on the actual hardware before submission.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Ultimately, getting past all the challenges and having a working game. Which is really all you can ask for in a game jam, haha!
What we learned
A lot of little things. But ultimately, we're a bit more intimate with the nuances of working in VR with the additional constraints of mobile, having only worked in one or the other, previously.
What's next for Angry Fridge
No plans yet. Though the one thing that we couldn't get to was audio. That's a whole other beast, and in a game jam, there are always sacrifices that need to be made... sad face