Nine Towers

Nine Towers (working title) 2018

UPDATE: Nine Towers has had some major updates and sucessful testing at Pioneer Works Second Sunday open studio. I have removed the link to the game for now, but it will go up again soon.

I am learning to work in VR using Unity and the Vive. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in VR is how to move in space without nauseating the viewer but still allowing an interesting range of motion. While teleporting works for some experiences, I find this method of moving very limiting so I have been working on flying. The way I have implemented this is with very stable thrusters. The thrusters seem intuitive to the user but actually work in a very limited way - they only control the velocity and the direction of travel. The rotation is left entirely up to the user to move their bodies in real space - this allows the user to feel like they are flying and yet still very much in control. The effect is dream-like and oddly familiar. It is fun and intuitive - just point the rockets, fire, and away you go. There is no chance you will barrel roll or tailspin out of control.

This latest version of the game is better suited for shorter gallery experiences. The core flying mechanic is the same as earlier iterations of the game but gone is the ugly stock Unity terrain in favor of something more visually engaging. This game borrows elements from the Asymmetrical Tower level as well as the Prisoners Revenge mini-game, but I reduced the number of rules so the viewer can participate in whichever way they want, including ignoring the game-play elements entirely if they desire. There is no score or end state to the game. The game includes two views one through the visor and a second for the audience that isn't currently wearing the headset. The audience view switches between several angles from fixed cameras so that the waiting audience does not get sick or have their experience spoiled.

There is, however, an implied game dynamic - keep the towers upright as long as possible. Here are the instructions as they currently appear in the game.
How to play
  • Point a thruster then press the trigger - you will be propelled in the other direction.
  • You can resurrect a fallen tower two ways: by flying into a yellow prize orb, or knocking one of the big blue spheres out of the play area
  • To reset the game land back here or press the home button on the controller.
  • Have fun!
  • (Stop if you feel too woozy.)

Bellow are earlier versions of the game that use the same core flying dynamic

Colour game 3D

This level is based on my earlier colorgame, only in this version the player is flying in a 3d color picker. The target color is on the "painting" on the wall, and the player's color is the wall itself. In the corners are squares that are either red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow, black or white. The player tries to find the space within the color picker that is closest to the target color.

There are four levels, and I've included a "cheat". Squeezing the controller shows the location of where you need to fly to get to the next level.

Prisoner's Revenge

Your task is to keep the giant balls from reaching the pink "goal" by flying into them. This documentation show the earlier iteration of some graphics that have since been updated.

Asymmetrical Tower Climb

In this level a second player plays at the computer, using the keyboard and mouse. The VR player is trying to climb the tower and the player on the keyboard is helping them avoid obstacles. The thrust is limited on this level to a short burst. Landing recharges your thrusters.
I don't have documentation of this level yet, but it is progressing well so far.