We were inspired by the audience members of Twitch streams, who time their donations, so that the pop-up graphics announcing it would obscure the streamer's view in important moments. We wanted to explore gameplay possibilities awarded by real-time interaction on social media, allowing things like real-time betting, cheering or trolling. We are also continuously in awe of Virtual Reality's immersivity and applicability in gaming.
What it does
It is a Virtual Reality Action Game set in distant future. Player flies the ship in between skyscrapers and fights alien warships in order to ensure a Better Tomorrow for the City. Meanwhile, people can interact with a Facebook messenger bot to act as the alien swarm, spawning enemies, interfering with ship's systems and sending discouraging messages. The bot also allows for betting on or against the player, in order to earn virtual credits.
How we built it
We've made it in Unity, with 3D assets custom made in Blender and Substance Painter. We've created a server interacting with the Facebook API using node.js and ENGINEX and sending the data to the game client. In order to achieve that, we had to create a dedicated Facebook page and an app.
Challenges we ran into
Our Facebook app needed to be reviewed and approved by Facebook fairly quickly, thankfully it only took a couple of hours. The number of 3D assets needed to create the huge city and the ship's detailed cockpit was substantial. The lack of default support of the Nagle's algorithm in node.js caused issues with transmitting the TCP packages between server and client. Sending images via JSON proved difficult as well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Passing the Facebook review process in two hours. Integrating messenger bot into the game. Achieving high fidelity graphics on mobile device. Immersive VR flying.
What we learned
Integrating Unity with Facebook is hard! Participating in somebodies game in real time via social media is awesome! Flying a spaceship in Virtual Reality makes you wanna throw up. In making this game about fighting for better tomorrow we've created a platform, that enables game developers to create interactive, social media experiences.
What's next for Guardians of Tomorrow
The platform We came up with has huge potential to improve gaming's future by bringing gamers and viewers closer together. It can generate revenue by charging Facebook users for tinkering with Streamers gameplay. It can allow for betting on game's result.