Millions of people love to follow and participate with streamers, chatting, liking, and sending gifts as part of rapidly growing online communities and in the coming years VR is massively increasing the possibilities of meaningful remote interactions for disperse and online communities! But we are not there yet, headsets are still relatively rare, and even when available many communities will face a many-to-few (fans-to-celebrity) problem for having meaningful online interactions. I think 'real time' asymmetrical games that let stream watchers aggregate their actions into competitive or collaborative contributions to to actual game rather than just commentary, might be a way to make a meaningful improvement for the interaction level and feeling of being part of many online communities. So tried to make a prototype of the core idea.
What it does
Its a very simple vr scene that runs on gearVR/Rift/Go and who's game state(enemy spawn positions) can be updated from an aggregation of actions submitted by 3rd parties to a web api. submissions are intended to be gathered from facebook post comments and messenger bot (broken/non functioning).
How I built it
Used ReactVR to render the scene, Firebase to hold both the shared game state and action queue, Nowjs/micro for a webhooks api to send action/events to. Facebook streaming to share game (gearVR integration or desktop streaming depending of platform), Attempted to add facebook graph webhooks to auto list game streams, and run actions from comments,though did not finish.
Challenges I ran into
ReactVR gtlf loader has outstanding bug had to find/work around that caused delay. No experience to facebook graph api and tricky figuring out how to get events I needed working live. New to most of the tools used (like to try new ones at hackathons but not best idea for output this time). travel exhaustion, due to travel chaos came into it with less than 4 hours sleep previous night so crashed and lost some time. No team, could have gotten a lot more done if was more than just me.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The core action of updating game state works. I think got a lot of it figured out compared to how many man hours had. Think the core idea has some real potential and came up with good plan to tests it.
What I learned
Bunch about ReactVR and it's current state of useability, some of FB's graph/webhook api and about messenger and instant apps. That zeit
now lives up to it's hype.
What's next for fickleF8
really want to flesh this one out and be able to test how viable it is, next goals being:
- flesh it out to be a real game even if still simple
- get stream comments and messenger bot interaction working
- test out different aggregation/balance strategies (scale map, boost vs spawn, power dilution, action caps,...)
- add instant app interface to send actions and have map view (think would be really cool!)
- try collaborative/team or mixed games(quiz bowl mind-trust?, game-gifts, split team ala Bang)