This is a virtual reality project for the Multimedia Application Design course at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing, and surely one of the most ambitious projects I’ve ever done.
Given the freedom to create whatever we want, my partner Jonathan Sheldon and I chose to go the experimental route, and explore the virtual reality technology at IUPUI’s Advanced Visualization Lab.
We decided to create an application for what the AVL staff calls The Cave. The Cave is a virtual reality system that has movable walls, 3D motion tracked glasses and a single handheld controller. You can learn all about The Cave here: http://www.indiana.edu/~rcapub/v21n2/p28.html. We couldn’t help but notice there weren’t too many projects created for the Cave, so we wanted to help by contributing a project that might serve as a good demonstration.
Neither of us had any experience with Virtual Reality. My partner had experience in 3D Animation, and some experience in 3D modeling. The object here was to keep it simple and effective, limit the user functions and focus on keeping the game interesting, as opposed to flexible.
We decided to go with something that only allowed the user to move about the space, triggering events as the user steps in a specific areas. Eventually we whittled the idea down to a maze with a bit of a backstory.
The object of the game is to fix 3 radiation leaks within a 5 minute time period. A person over the radio helps by giving instructions, and the Geiger Counter helps orient the player.
The result was a resounding success! The team at IUPUI enjoyed the project and they continue to demo the technology using our project. The President of MiddleVR played the game as well!
We could not have completed this without the help of the Advanced Visualization Lab wizard Chauncey Frend. That guy is awesome!
If you want to check out the project, click on the following link: http://www.ryansellick.com/Moon_Base_WebGL/moonbase.html
NOTE: The project seems to work best on Firefox. The web application for MiddleVR is a little buggy, especially with the audio.