Experimenting with Virtual Reality – our first year

Virtual Reality (VR) has become a hot topic in the last couple of years, thanks to technological advancements and increasing performance of modern PCs. Kenziko are always at the cutting edge, so we got ourselves up to speed by building a number of experiences.

Our first experiment was to focus on aesthetic quality. The only aim was to try and create something beautiful, a relaxing peaceful experience with the intention of inducing calm in anyone who tried it. We chose the game engine Unity as our base platform, and looked at strong post-processing to try and create a serene environment for the player to experience.

Continuing in Unity, we introduced the ability for players to interact physically with objects, and affect the elements by firing gusts of wind which affected the billowing grass.

Building on this we created a broader demo, and started looking at interactivity.

During this time we created a concept which we call ‘Directed VR’, which we’ll talk about in future posts. We began to shift away from Unity, and began developing in Unreal Engine 4.

Getting towards the end of 2016, we decided to build a game. With a lot of experience in game design and development, we felt up to the task. We got something up and running very quickly, which soon expanded to become Snow Games VR. Along with Unreal, we used the Wwise audio solution from AudioKinetic, which was very beneficial. All the animation and modelling was done in Modo.

Beyond Snow Games VR, we’ve looked at how we might implement VR for existing clients. We were able to take another project and repurpose it in an immersive fashion, purely as an experiment:

The Virtual Factory diorama in this demo has a fantastic physicality to it when experienced in Virtual Reality, and we have looked at other demos subsequently with similar concepts.

We’re still excited about the VR future, and we’ll share more about our plans in the near future. If you have a VR project you’d like to discuss with us, please contact us.