The Door is Everything. The Door controls all Time and Space. By going through The Door, you can go Anywhere. Traveling between dimensions is trivial. However, you're really only interested in doing one thing right now. Alas, you must use the door achieve that goal. Enter the realm of The Door, and fulfill your destiny!
In VR, the rules of traveling through space can be designed. We were interested in the mechanics of traveling, especially to places that wouldn't be easily accessible when traveling linearly from point to point. We drew on the concept of portals from the classic genealogy of futuristic forms of travel, especially to otherworldly destinations.
We were also inspired by management simulations, and how often high-level and low-level points of view weren't interchangeable by player-characters. From there, we extrapolated the idea of a 'high-level' base as an omniscient figure who knows all worlds, and then that the omniscient figure can travel to 'low-level' environments as a first-person experience.
How we built it
We were excited to do something unique with room-scale VR, and were interested in making people interact with VR in ways they haven't already. Because we wanted to free people to move around and especially interact with a physical door, we used the HP Z Vive Backpack. We built a free-standing, hinged door out of PVC and cardboard, and outfitted it with a trackable handle so that using the door in real life was mapped to using the door in VR. Many of our assets are custom designed and animated using Maya and Blender, and we used Unity as our game engine.
Challenges we ran into
The technical challenge of creating a portal was not trivial in VR. The render texture and shaders did not work in VR, so we had to implement Vive's Stereoscopic Rendering. We also didn't have access to a Vive tracker so we improvised by using the Vive Controller for the physical door.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
There were a lot of moving pieces that we were really concerned wouldn't all come together in the end, but we scoped our project really well and were able to successfully accomplish what we set out to do! We had a sturdy door, we were able to map it to a virtual door, and we also were able to figure out teleportation and portals in VR, and we were able to make all of the assets that we created work! We are also proud of our environments and art.
What's next for The Door
There is a lot of potential for tracking physical objects, especially something as physically tactile as a door. We like the idea of installations and using something as canonical as a door to reimagine how people might travel through spaces in the future, or to blaze a trail for new entertainment possibilities.
Assets and Licences
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