We wanted to hark back to the feeling of using your imagination when playing with toys. The (VR) player enters a room with a table and a toy and sees the world start moving beneath their feet. The characters, Oli and Owlet are fire fighters trying to protect their home. Oli the Elephant can walk and extinguish fires. Owlet can see further than Oli and must "Hoot" to tell her where to go.
What it does
We wanted to look at ways that two players could use the same space, leveraging different vantage points. We also wanted to use a mechanism which would reduce motion sickness for the VR player while moving.
How we built it
Using Unity, we came up with two different views in the same scene. Oli belongs to a world which seems stationary, Owlet's view of the world scrolls beneath him. The trees are populated with a bitmap, the fire starts in 3 areas and each tree heats up those around them and randomly spreads the fire after a certain amount of time. The water from Oli's trunk decrease temperature and apply a "wet" modifier to the tree as to not let it catch again. Oli and owlet have vastly different bone structures, movement, and animations- so controllers are unique to each. The hoots allow the orientation of the arrow to change, allowing Owlet to leverage his altitude and vantage point.
Challenges we ran into
We had wanted to tie the controllers to the IK bones in Owlet's hands but found that visually we wanted him to feel more kite-like after seeing the completed rig. Getting two players in the same file took some time but with help from a few mentors and online resources we were able to get it up and running within a few hours.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of Oli's extinguish and heads up display for the "Hoot" alert system. We're also very happy with the look and feel of flying and banking over the trees for Owlet. He's so graceful! Finally, the fire spread feels organic and like a formidable foe. Ultimately we're proud of how much we learned and how well the team worked together to overcome hurdles.
What we learned
Each person really pushed themselves to learn quickly and efficiently and know when to ask for help. Two of our members were first time VR Hackers, they picked up Unity this weekend and absolutely ran with it! The remaining team members had VR hacked before, but had no experience with animations or rigging. Both managed to get together interactive assets, one using unity and the other using blender.
What's next for Fire Flight
Both Oli and Owlet have additional moves that we've planned for but did not have time to implement. Oli's secondary movement is plowing a firebreak; Owlet's secondary movement is a high velocity dive to extinguish exactly one tree. Down the road, we could see adding a variety of playable animals. We'd also like to get more high value targets, like a very large tree or little villages to protect.