Saturday, October 15, 2011

Building Virtual Worlds - Round 1 - The Shaft

So I finally have a free moment to start sharing some of the fruits of my labors over the past several weeks of my first semester here at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center!  The central course of the first semester is Building Virtual Worlds, a rapid prototyping class where students are divided teams of 4 or 5 and are tasked with building interactive experiences over two weeks.  It's all about teamwork!  We all had one week to do a solo project to get the hang of the tools we would be using, C# and Unity3D in my case, and then we were off!

My round one project was The Shaft, an adventure game where the player wakes up at the bottom of a shaft in the earth in the middle of a heavy rainstorm and has to find his way out while avoiding hazards like drowning in rising waters, bats, and rockslides.  It used the Microsoft Kinect as it's player interface with a simple gesture system I built, which came together quite smoothly thanks to the Kinect wrapper for Unity written by our upperclassmen!

C# took a little getting used to but thankfully it is close enough to C++ that I was able to adjust quickly.  I still feel like I am being lazy letting the system do garbage collection for me, but I'll get over it!  Unity3D itself is also very nice, and uses a lot of the same paradigms I use in SFPC, which also helped make for a quick learning curve.

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