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The Giant House VR

The Giant House VR

by Jihad Bouhaiji, Rafael Siles, Robbe Vlaeminck, Robin Smekens, Rocio Barrero Lozano, and robbevl on 22 Mar 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

As our Group Project, we created a Giant House VR experience, where the goal is to learn about all the hazard an infant might encounter in a house, and how to prevent them

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Round of applause for our sponsors

We made this game in collaboration with 'De gezinsbond',  a Belgian family - oriented association. The task was to create a realistic and performant VR experience that teaches the player the hazards in a regular household, and how to prevent them. The target audience for this game are (grand)parents with kids between 0-5 years old.

The game features 4 minigames (mole whacking, pill sorting, mountain climbing, and rhythm making), and a bunch of environmental hazards. We tried to make the environment as interactable and fun as possible, and judging by the reception, I think we succeeded. 

Since we only had 10 weeks to create an entire game (including prototyping and everything), we had to come up with a fast workflow. One of our artists, Rafael, worked on a very modular material that can be used in our entire level. Since this uses vertex painting, we didnt have to spend much time on unwrapping, and all the texturing was done in unreal itself. 

Robin, one of our programmers, worked on a player interaction system, the minigames and, most importantly, the movement system. Since our game is in VR, we needed a good transportation mechanic. We chose for teleportation, since this causes the least motion sickness. The default system in ue4 uses a navmesh (image left), and isn't very accurate. That's why Robin created a new, very efficient, system that is spline based (image right).

Rocio, our other artist, mainly worked on the 2d sprites and book. This was an important object since it explained the different objectives. Since the game had to be playable in 3 languages, we used one language for each channel in an RGB texture to save memory and improve performance

Jihad, our other programmer , mainly focused on a tutorial manager. Our target audience needs a very in depth tutorial, since most of them will have never used VR before. In order to quickly iterate on the different try out tutorials, a tutorial manager was created.

Robbe, the (technical) artist, worked on a bunch of props, scene decoration, but mainly optimization.

The deathscene (see image) is the heaviest scene in our game and is running at 8.55ms (117fps) on a GTX 970M laptop, in VR. For the deathscene we used 3d, mesh-based fractals. How this was added to the engine is explained here:

In order to get the performance so fluid, we used a bunch of techniques. For example: Forward rendering, custom LODs, custom Physics, smart usage of materials and textures, shading tweaks, low performance post processing, etc. The resolution(2160x1200) remains unchanged, so the game still looks sharp.

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