Week 7 - Projectiles, Audio Visualizers and MRC

This week felt really productive, thanks in major part to the fact that I finally got Mixed Reality Capture working:

Mixed reality capture

There was something up with the prefab XR rigs that came with the VR Interaction Framework that I was using which just didn’t play nicely with XR MRC Helper that I was using, so to fix MRC, I reverted back to the oculus rig, and then added the scripts that I wanted to use from VRIF and it actually worked! I’ve definitely got to do some rearranging of the space where my greenscreen is in order to set it up to get some good video, but I’m happy to be able to provide something that is a bit better than the in-headset capture.

That said, here’s some more in-headset capture…

First off, I’ve tentatively decided to call the game “Bricks of Rage”. I wanted to go for something over the top, and 80s/arcadey that also was at least somewhat clearly a brick-breaker game. My brother mocked up a bit of a logo design concept and I tried to use my sub-par blender skills to model it in 3D and place it in game. I didn’t do justice to his original, but for now I think it looks pretty good in-headset.

I reached my goal of adding the projectiles and the hyper power up so I spent some more time on aesthetics. One thing that I did as part of that effort was to think about influences. I realized that since breakout is well-worn territory, I’d like to craft a vibe first and a game second. I’m a big tetris fan, and I think what Tetsuya Mizuguchi did with Tetris Effect was really incredible. So I decided that I wanted to consider that as my primary inspiration as far as how to implement a vibe, although the aesthetic that I’m going for is clearly different.

The impact of music and audio on the game and environment in Tetris Effect is probably the most striking thing about the game. The first thing that I did was update the buildings to make them function like audio visualizers. This gave the scene a lot more life, the royalty free music that I’m using right now is a decent fit, but Tetris Effect makes brilliant use of adaptive audio in a way where the music feels almost like an emergent property of the gameplay. I don’t have the musical skills to do something like that on my own, but this has got me thinking that I should look in to potentially seeing what it would cost to get someone to at least put together some sort of adaptive audio piece for me, or look for a sound designer.

Speaking of sourcing external help– I got someone off fiverr by the name of kyessesalvador to model the racket assets that you can see in the gameplay footage, which look a lot better. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, he’s currently working on putting together the hover board for me.

I also played with raising the entire arena up from street level so that I could add some movement to the grid on the ground plane. Here’s what that looked like:

The feedback that I got on this change was that it was a bit too busy, which is valid. I think it looks better in-headset than on video but for now I put it back where it was. One thing that I might play with a bit later is raising the arena a bit off the ground every time a brick is broken since I still feel like the arena needs something more to bring life to it.

As a result of removing the VRIF, I broke my start screen, but it was pretty ugly anyways, so I want to implement a new one this week. Another thing that I’d like to do is make sure that the game pauses when the user brings up the oculus home or takes off the headset. This week I’m also hoping to do a bit of a cleanup (I’ve imported a few packages that I’m not using anymore that I want to pull out). Stretch goal is to implement a new scoreboard in the arena