NOTE: APK was too big for devpost, is available from: http://nbc.playsign.net/download/vr-trygvelies-icons.apk

Inspiration

Playsign is our startup company, providing cloud based publishing and participation tools for urban design.

We have already published nice scenes with WebGL and as mobile apps, but VR would be useful too.

Info, links to video & WebGL and Android apps:

What it does

Allows viewing (first/now: one of) the Nordic Built Cities Challenge winner designs using Gear VR

How I built it

Took an existing Unity scene, built it for Gear VR, started adding interactivity based on Unity VR samples.

Challenges I ran into

Several technical hurdles, worst being a crash when running the app on the phone:

  • enabling gear dev mode => had to figure out the Oculus signature creation

  • recommended ASTC crashed => does not work for terrain textures, in the end was just able to remove the unused terrain texture (ground is textured otherwise in this scene)

  • performance was bad (ASTC maybe helped) => removed bikes, had most polys

  • icons in another scene, normally both rendered, with VR am not getting them to render => current Playsign architecture depends on multiple scenes, need to rethink if this is a permanent limitation with Unity VR rendering also in (near) future

  • apparently also the UI overlay that was there from before does not show. in-world billboards better with VR anyway

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • managed to get it running desprite the several, mostly small and normal, technical problems on the way

What I learned

  • performance of our existing, quite light (for WebGL), scenes is close to what mobile VR needs

  • Unity VR does not work with multiple scenes, need to find out what to do about that

  • got up-to-speed with the current state of different VR supports and tools with Unity, how to use the rich samples

What's next for Playsign Nordic Built Cities VR

  • finding out customer / business needs, perhaps add this to sales demos

  • discuss and innovate interaction mechanisms for navigation, scene navigation, feedback tools etc.

  • consider also high-end VR and controllers, analyze whether mobile VR is relevant or not

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