Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Vibration Motors and Unity World Looping

Been a while since my last post, but there's been some progress on my end at least, so I figured I'd share a bit of what's going on.

To start, I've got a schedule on how I'm going to be working out my VR touch solution in the coming weeks, with it being labeled to have 1 main goal accomplished by the end of each week. This week, I want to get all 8 of the motors that I will be using connected to the Arduino, with the ability to modulate their intensity of vibration via code independent of one another. This shouldn't be too difficult and really should only require me to read up on the fundamentals of the Arduino platform to get it right. Simple enough.

Next week, I intend to try and get some interaction going between Unity and the Arduino, so the goal will be to set up controls within Unity to operate the motors. That may be a bit tricker since I'm going to be stuck going into both applications' software APIs, but I think I can pull it off as I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person that has had to deal with this kind of a use case. Last weeks will be spent trying to get the integration with Unity to operate using the algorithms that I have in mind for the haptic operation of the system's arrangement. This will be the most important part so I'll need to polish it up to the furthest extent of my capabilities. Once that's done, I'll start investigating my options in regards to how I will release the system, whether that requires a patent, open source online releasing, or negotiations with a business will depend on how I find the integration works out in terms of the degree of immersion I get out of it.

Aside from that, I'm starting to tackle the transitionary elements of the Sanctuary Hub with a bit more focus and am starting out with the issues of invisible walls and dimensions in VR. Little annoyances in games that we have now like invisible walls, unopenable doors and the like that will likely grow to be larger annoyances once we're directly in view of the items, so dealing such items will be a key factor in improving immersion for VR titles. One of the ideas I've had for this would be to create a system where the world is a loop and going to the edge only brings you back to the other side. I'm trying to figure out a way to "cheat" this effect out via a simple implementation of portals and a rendering trick, but I'm uncertain how that is going to work out. I'm don't know if there is a way to make the frustrum of the FOV of my maincamera unit in Unity partially teleport to the other side of the map via unity, so I've been experimenting with the use of two cameras in conjunction to solve the issue. One serves as the main camera for the FPS, the other going out to the level of the frustrum to act as a distant extra layer that would be teleported in advanced to the opposite end of the map to simulate the frustrum doing so. It's somewhat working, with the problem being that the item teleports back and fourth rapidly when it's laying directly in the middle between the two teleportation points, so I'm going to be looking directly into Portal's method generating smooth portals to try and resolve the issue.

I'll be trying out more methods for world logic construction like that in the future to offer to the community to hopefully increase the amount of VR worlds that aren't just heightmapped planes floating in a skybox void. Maybe I'm wasting my time, but at the very least I can already see some uses for it myself.


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