WebVR is brand new, but it has the advantage of making VR accessible to a much wider audience. No need for massive downloads. Users just need a browser! WebVR also makes multi-layer experiences a convenient possibility. We are excited about these new VR opportunities and chose to spend the weekend investigating what could be built with the currently available WebVR options.
What it does
We built an interactive VR game. Players are placed into a VR space containing a 3D object hidden under a grid of boxes. The boxes randomly disappear. The goal is to guess what the object is with as many blocks left as possible. Players guess by simply talking out loud!
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We found a collection of free, 3D models to use as our objects to guess. However, each of these objects were wildly different in terms of size, rotation, and origins. This made it difficult to wrangle them. We had to develop an algorithm that scales and centers the objects into our viewing area. The algorithm then had to draw the minimum grid of blocks sufficient to cover the object.
IBM's Watson presented challenges with recognizing strange object names. We solved this by providing a list of utterances that would match a given object.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are excited to have produced an interactive VR experience. We were able to get our game to play within an Oculus, and it is quite an immersive experience.
What we learned
We had never used A-frame for this complex of a task before. We also have never used Watson's speech-to-text or text-to-speech functionalities. We had a great time learning these tools!
What's next for Unboxel
We'd like to continue to polish the experience on multiple platforms.