Inspiration

Nick pitched 3-dimensional billiards at the Seattle VR Hackathon 5. A couple of us came together with with the idea of pursuing another tabletop game, so we joined the team and gathered up a well-rounded group to tackle the challenge. Soon, we settled on space as a theme with the idea of making the planets into the pool balls.

What it does

Use the Vive controller (or possibly the Vive tracker) to strike a cue ball (the sun) into the other balls (planets) in a dodecahedral space with the goal of getting the planets into the pockets. The game currently features an AI to add a competitive element.

How we built it

The game was built in Unity with 3D assets designed in Autocad and Cinema40.

Challenges we ran into

We hit a blocker trying to get the Vive tracker to propel the balls forward. We were aiming to create a rotational schema for the play space that's still unresolved.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The appearance of the balls is really slick and provides a beautiful view of the game. The physics of the ball interaction in 3D space and the slingshot mechanic for the cue stick make the game a lot of fun while leaving lots of design space for additional obstacles and modes of gameplay.

What we learned

Everyone got a better handle on developing assets and physics for VR, as well as working in a collaborative environment and figuring out how to leverage individual skillsets.

What's next for Planetary Pool VR

Hopefully winning one of the prizes at the show, and maybe some of the team will go on to develop the game further.

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Updates

Doug Fahl posted an update

We won a prize at the Hackathon for "Best Visual Design".

The dev team has implemented several refinements over the past week, including various AI difficulty levels, a start menu and a free-play mode. We demoed the game again at the Seattle VR/AR Meetup on April 27, 2017. Got lots of feedback and positive reactions.

The team is discussing plans to release the game publicly in the next few months.

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