Well, despite the kids being sick, Halloween, the election and my hard drive dying on me – work must continue eh?
I got the Final IK (VRIK) solution sorted out and my character now moves fairly close to approximate a human with the upper torso. The twist relaxer (found on this page, along with a lot of other helpful stuff!) helped get my arms moving naturally with the user. Animations for actually grabbing things will be coming soon – it sounds like my colleagues in the VRTK Slack channel are struggling with the exact same thing, and I’m hoping their experiments point me in the right direction to gallop.
Now comes the overly tricky part. Since I’m lousy at coding and have no patience for it, I’ve been leaning heavily on Playmaker to handle my ‘programming’ and getting cheap Udemy courses to figure out how it works. This particular course helped tons in trying to integrate Unity’s Mecanim system with Playmaker (and from a fellow VRTK’er who actually was homeless) and suddenly propelled my thinking in whole new directions.
Since the Udemy course deals with things like health managers and damage, I’ve adapted some interactable objects to work with my randomly patrolling cop. Throw something at him and it hits, he comes over and commences stomping on the player. This has led to the ideas of gamifying the experience, byadding a health system, or a sanity system, collecting coins as ‘points’ possible upgrades (better clothes provide more sanity, paying for a public shower increases coin payouts from NPC’s) and the like. Originally I just wanted a simple experience to try and convey what it feels like to be a ‘undesirable’ to get people to feel empathy; but the lure of making it a playable experience that one can ‘win’ is strong.
But, as others wiser than myself have said, Keep It Simple, Stupid. Plenty of indie games have fallen by the wayside because they’re simply too complex in scope to ever complete. Plus seeing that my hard drive failed, I’m trying to piece my files back together from sporadic backups and hard drives that I’ve replaced, but never wiped. In doing so, I’ve come to realize I’ve been working on this (on and off) for 2 years now, and am only just now feeling like I’m on the cusp up being able to show off some work to the dev community.
I’ve also been racing to try and finish the 3 paintings for my sister in law – a wireless solution for the Vive has been announced and I would love to get my hands on one (once I get the $$) – even if its to see it doesn’t work as promised. I LOVED the feeling of raw potential when I strapped on my DK2 and the early promise of an emergent tech – I’m certain not having to worry about a cable would further enhance the immersion. And the fun. And the breaking of things.