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We noticed there was a severe lack of good virtual tour options, especially ones that were fun and exciting. So we decided to combine a pretty serious matter with something a little more light-hearted, Roblox. By building a virtual campus, you can get a much better experience by running around and exploring than by simply clicking through images.

What it does

We constructed almost the entire Wharton building in Roblox. We also built a fully responsive website with images from the virtual campus and a virtual tour feature. Within the campus we have "tour guides" that will give players useful information as they tour the campus and our virtual tour has an easy to use interface to navigate throughout the campus. We also integrated a social experience into the project, adding a music festival on Koo Family Plaza. With our virtual campus, you can hang out with friends at the music festival or explore the Wharton Complex. The campus is fully interactive and allows the player to feel like they really are at UPenn.

How I built it

We built the website from scratch using html, javascript, and css. We constructed the campus in Roblox studio using lua. Some of the assets were created in Blender and imported into Roblox studio. We mainly chose Roblox because of its intuitive game framework and asset modeling program. The program, called Roblox studio, allowed us to additively and subtractively create a variety of buildings. The backend on the Roblox side was mainly initializing the player, assigning each one a dorm number based on the number of vacant dorms in the game.

Challenges I ran into

One the biggest challenges we ran into was building a framework for the virtual tour. It took us several hours to construct a framework that we could use to add components as we built more. Another challenge was just simply getting so many of the components of the buildings and campus done in time. We decided to just do the Wharton building because of our time constraints, but both the interior and exterior are fully decked out. It was also difficult to construct the Wharton complex because none of the team attends UPenn, so we had to research the campus from online images and Google map services.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We're proud of how the final website looked and definitely how complete and realistic the Wharton Complex feels, with a 1:1 ratio.

What I learned

We learned a lot about 3D design when constructing the campus and it took a lot of research to make many of the components of the website work.

What's next for eWharton

The next steps would be to build the entire uPenn campus!

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