GAM710 wk6

 New Goal, Recent Work and Looking back

The unit 6 video with Rich Barham speaking on business plans and pitching really got me thinking about what kind of app I would like to make and how to go about presenting it. As of now, I know I’m looking to make an educational app using VR and at the moment it centered on the idea of creating a collaborative virtual work space where two students could work together fabricating 3D objects that could be saved out to a server and then printed on 3D printers. Inside the space students would be working with apps like, Tilt Brush, Medium and Blocks. After they would be able to save their work to a cloud space like Poly where they could download and print out their work on a local 3D printer or send it to a print service. This is a very rough idea that I have mentioned in our weekly meeting. The challenge going foreword is spent time flushing out the idea and then talking with friends for feedback before making a sprint goal for it.

Also, looking back on my latest sprint, VR movement using the VRTK framework, I able to accomplished two of the three goals (teleportation and object interaction) within the time frame I had set. The third goal of triggering sound effects remains unfinished. I tied sound to actions but was having an issue of syncing the audio to the event action. I will revisit using audio after I’ve had some time to dig a little deeper into how audio and audio effects work in Unity. Later, I can make interactions with audio effects part of a future sprint. Having a smooth integration between visual selection (when an object is selected) and an audio selection response to that interaction, will help reinforce immersion in the environment. The core issue I encountered audio was a lack of understand how audio in Unity really works. While adding ambient sounds to an environment was pretty straight forward, get audio events to trigger at a precise moments, was a bit more involved when I was trying to match animations to event triggers. I had looked at how people had implemented character interaction with game objects in RPG games and thought I could transfer something similar to a VR environment using hand controllers but that didn’t really work.

I am also thinking about how relevant have a deep understand of Unity audio is to my overall goals. This is quite similar to my experience with Maya. It is good to have a general understanding of the basic concepts but there wasn’t any need to be building my own characters when it would be more productive to contract that out and stay focused on my core goals. I’m thinking that contracting out the audio effects would let me spend more time working on the fundamental interactions.

Recently, I have been looking back on I’ve accomplished in the program for my week 6 video reflection. I started off the course with just the basic knowledge of Unity and realized that I would need to spend some serious time learning Unity because I  didn’t understand how to use assets correctly or what a prefab was. Also, I was bit clueless on using simple game object actions with scripts.

After our first app jam in week 3, I knew that I didn’t have the depth of knowledge I needed with Unity and some of the important addons its uses( Probuilder, Progrids, Maya integration, and VRTK).  I also wasn’t managing my time efficiently while learning and making. Going forward, I am studying Unity using Pluralsight and Lynda.  I am focused on just the fundamental training  courses and their examples without going off and exploring “too much.” To keep me on track, time management is the key, and I have set up a Trello board, also use a web app called Clockify to track my time. I’ve kept it to two-hour blocks in the evenings that can be increased on the weekend depending on other commitments. By the end of the week, my goal is to have finished a Pluralsight module and have spent time building a working example in Unity. Keeping a daily rhythm, setting deadlines with the Pluralsight modules, and keeping my timeline realistic will keep me motivated over the rest of the course. Learning to use the new concepts I’ve gained in the upcoming weeks has me excited.