Fauxtography is an arcade-y picture taking experience. The player is carted through an environment with a camera and must capture pictures of the wildlife before reaching the end of which ever path they choose to take. The main objective is to capture a picture of every animal in the game. Snapping pictures of new animals rewards coins which can be spent on opening new routes in the environments.
The game is designed around being controlled with head movement and a single input to capture snapshots to allow the game to be played without a controller. Menus are navigated by staring at buttons long enough. As of now snapshots are taken by tapping the touch pad on the side of the Gear VR to simulate a shutter button on a camera.
As of right now the game contains one complete path in the level "Bidwell Park" which is the first world available to the player. Bidwell park is a foresty, mountain climb with a split path near the end, the player can choose to either ascend the "burned peak" or cross the bridge and continue down the trail on the other side of the creek. Each route has different animals for the player to take pictures of.
There is a also a short tutorial level I am working on that briefly explains how to play the game. The player is guided through a short route through voice so sound is required. I figured voice would be the best way to prompt the player to do things in VR so they wouldn't have to find floating text anywhere in the scene.
Until picture grading is complete the only goal at the moment is to fill the collection book by capturing a picture of every animal. Bidwell park features 12 unique creatures at the moment with more to come. My biggest challenge right now is optimization. Getting a respectable looking game to run at a high enough frame rate for mobile VR is a new challenge for me. After several iterations of the game and really toning down my levels for VR I've managed to get under 50k tris and lowered my draw calls to what's appropriate for mobile VR. Thanks to Paul Benson and his Gear VR I was able to test to make sure my input worked and photos saved successfully.
I didn't manage to get all the features in that I wanted before milestone 4 but i will continue development after the end of the contest. Next on the list is picture grading. The information required for picture grading is already saved with the snapshots so I really just need an interface that shows you your scores and awards points. Finally I have an under water level planned that I can't wait to start working on. Now that I have a better idea of what I kind of scene I can expect to pump out for this device i feel I can design a much better looking level for mobile VR.
I want to once again thank Paul Benson (@Xanter on Twitter) for letting me use his Note 4 and Gear VR for testing, and Elijah Noble (soundcloud.com/elijahnoble) for giving me track to use for the menu theme.
It's been a lot of fun making this game and I've learned a lot. If you're looking for a game programmer that has experience with VR I am graduating from CSU Chico this year with a Bachelors in Applied Computer Graphics and am actively looking for jobs or internships. Connect with me on Linked in:
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