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Episode 3 – VR & integration (Dev Diary: A Giant Mistake)

For the third part of this developer’s diary on our virtual reality experience A Giant Mistake, we want to talk about the technical side of things, and how the concept took shape in Unity. Gabriel Bonnefond is our Unity developer and integrator for A Giant Mistake. Here’s what he has to say about the project:

 

“Having a giant in a VR project is a sound and obvious choice, since virtual reality handles scale changes really well, and that scale changes make for a spectacular experience. Some projects have giants in them, such as Colosse or Lost, but the main idea behind A Giant’s Mistake has never been seen before: you are going to be on top of the giant.

Obviously, there are technical difficulties to the project. In a real-time 3D engine, there’s a limit to what you can display on screen, especially in virtual reality. VR forces you to drastically downscale performance, compared to a traditional animated movie or a traditional real-time videogame. The number of objects we can display on screen at any given time has to be limited somehow.

Even with Unity’s occlusion culling, we had to optimize and cut how many objects we displayed on screen to further improve performance. We have to display vast plains, huge mountains and sprawling forests at the same time. We decided to use clouds: they help us by blocking part of the field of view, but they also give you a better sense of height and perspective. We don’t have to have a lot of detail to display, if it’s behind a cloud! We also decided to use a cartoony art direction. In the latest concepts we validated, we have taken a direction in which we rely on hand-drawn art, almost comic-book like. We have matte painting which have been made by our art director, Daniel Balage. Even the cloud sprites I was talking about earlier are going to be hand drawn.”

 

A Giant Mistake is 100 % produced by the studio. Learn more about it here.

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