There are thousands of reasons why a loved one has to move away.

Sometimes it is for financial opportunities, other times it’s because of a duty to their country. Children are often the ones that pay the largest price for this.

Distances damage the relationship that children have with their loved ones.

Most people use their phones to communicate and stay close, but children do not find that same emotional connection through technology. Children connect through games.

CarterRun addresses this disconnect by providing a space for children to play with their loved ones virtually.

CarterRun is a cooperative multiplayer game, played on a mobile app and VR system. The child plays an “endless runner,” a simple type of game where a character dodges obstacles and grabs power ups. The adult has a VR experience, where they help the child win the game by dropping “power ups.” Through this experience they can play, talk, and connect.

The building of CarterRun was done in teams.

The Unity development team developed the networked environment and was responsible for the final build. This team was the technical heart of the project and each of the other departments built out assets and resources for this team.

The art department built a beautiful set of assets including an environment, a main character, and sound. The main character is “Carter,” a six year old dino-boy that races down the road to catch up to a lettuce truck. The environment blends the standard elements of an endless runner and a child’s imaginative landscape.

The design department constructed the game rules and human interaction. They examined the micro interactions from both player’s standpoint, and brainstormed ways to make the game exciting for the VR user.

The implementation department was responsible for translating those rules and interactions into code, using C# within Unity. Linda deserves a specific mention here; she had never written one line of C# before Saturday morning.

Our main difficulty was having only one Unity developer. They spent most of their time setting up the network and basic environment. We had an issue with the Oculus Quest, a newer technology, and Unity which is deprecating their standard networking features without an alternative.

We had several strategies to get around this bottleneck. Our team was highly segmented so that we could modularly create the different aspects.

Although we don’t have a fully functioning video game, environment, VR experience, and mobile video game, we’re very proud of what we’ve created. Carter Run is in the road map and proof of concept phase, and with the work we’ve already done we’ve proven that an experience can be created, and this technology can connect families.

We’ve learned a lot about working on multidisciplinary teams, each team needs to be focused on creating something of value for the other teams and the project.

Next for CarterRun will be to implement all of the aspects of the experience together and to find an audience for our project.

Built With

  • unity-c#
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