Udacity VR Jam Log 1

Last year, I was lucky enough to attend Google I/O. It was there that I made the decision to start getting into virtual reality. I attended a Google Tango session because it was easier to stay in the room than to get in line for something else. I ended up enjoying the session so much that I decided to see more of the Tango sessions. Before the conference was even over, I had ordered a Tango developer kit and it was en route to my house.

I didn’t know anything about what I needed to do to program for it. I just knew that I was excited about its prospects. I had to learn Unity and a new language (C#). Unity was harder to learn as C# is very similar to Java which I have some experience with. I ended up releasing my Tango app on the Play Store in September. Since not many people have Tango ready phones, not many people have played it. However, that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to learn more.

In December, I made the decision to get more serious about learning to develop for virtual reality. I started Udacity’s Nanodegree for VR development. For the first month, I had recently relocated and didn’t have a job. I progressed quickly through the content adding things to each project to make it stand out. I paused my account for a month because I had completed all of the content open at the time. This month, Udacity hasn’t released much in the way of new content, but they offered a new challenge — a VR Jam. The task: To create a project with a team. You can find more details and view the leaderboard here: https://medium.com/udacityvr/udacity-vr-jam-737c68fcd255#.oea60ocnc

My team has decided to create a two-player virtual escape room game. The theme this year is “Future”, so we’ve decided to implement the theme as much as we can. Our goal is to have a past room and a future room and one player in each. The goal is for the past and future players to work together to escape the room and prevent the impending disaster.

My recent work on that project includes a teleportation table. One player can put an object on a table and it will be transported to the other room. Here’s a demo.

The teleporter and some boxes that can be teleported.

In addition to the teleporter functionality, I also worked on adding three rooms to the scene. One would be the lobby where players start and the rules and story are explained. The other two include a room that would be in the past and another in the future. The rooms would be setup the same, but time would affect the room from the future. Things that the past player does in the room will influence how things look in the future version of the room.

A draft of the three locations.

I also added two portals. One portal will take a player to the past room and one to the future room. Once a player has gone through a portal, it deactivates and disappears, preventing two players from ending up in the same room.

Two portals.

There’s still a lot of work to do, but I think it’s looking very promising so far. :D Watch for the next journal update, and in the meantime check out Kristin’s log and Xin’s log.