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Monday, February 08, 2016

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Dartagan Shepherd

It's not modelling, it's level design and building. But yes, not very practical for the job of actually building games. We'll see how it goes for the player.

Aleena

This reminds me of World Builder. https://vimeo.com/3365942

Dartagan Shepherd

Just to add, terminology can also be environment design.

But it does bring up whether it'd be useful for any part of the pipeline...

A level designer might find it the most useful, although only for the most rough prototyping. After that it becomes very much a precision job with the need to handle precision placement and snapping. The rest of level/environment design is less about physical motion and placing objects ... mostly entering values, working with materials and lighting and other tasks not at all suited to VR.

A modeler most likely isn't going to find it useful even in the most free-form bits which would be sculpting and painting. While a tablet works as well as a mouse for some of these tasks, VR doesn't.

Whether modeling or rigging or animating or rendering, we tend to switch to layouts that are 2d for the work. The reality is that 3d only mucks up what you're trying to do when switching to a node editor for working with materials, or a dopesheet for animating.

Most of us aren't in 3d mode when doing a large part of our work.

And then consider that we don't use one program to work with.

Can you imagine having to "gear up" to work in Maya or Unreal Engine and then gear down to work in Photoshop and then gear up again to check it in UE? Or when we switch to some other app for retopology or material work. Then into a script editor. It just doesn't work.

At present, I can talk on the phone to a team mate, work with one hand while sipping coffee in the other. VR doesn't free you up for a magical interface, it binds you from doing anything efficiently better suited to a 2d or real life interaction. Which is a large part of even game (or experience) development.

Seymore Steamweaver

from the perspective of an industry that is mostly people sitting on their asses and keeping their hands on a mouse and keyboard for 8 hours, I can see how standing up and using your arms in grand motions can seem like "too much work," But seriously, mechanics, grocery clerks, surgeons, baristas, normal people...Normal people do that shit all damn day. This will still be more fun than any of those jobs. Pity party over.

Dartagan Shepherd

@Seymore Heheh, lazy game devs. That's true, but it's about efficiency. Take some of those other sit down jobs ... is your accountant going to get more work done on a number pad or flailing their hands around in the air and having to disassociate somewhat from the rest of the working environment?

Likewise game dev teams need to keep production flowing, it takes a long time and a team to develop even many modest games.

The game industry will play with it, have some fun with it, see if it sells and when we determine how much or little of a niche it's going to be we'll deal with that market and move on.

But as a productivity tool, I think it's a bust. Its niche is as an entertainment accessory for consumers.

A Minority Report style interface may work, which we already partially have with surfaces for productivity. I think VR just provides an interface lock-in that isn't conducive to real world productivity. Makes for great fiction. Might make game play interesting.

Then again, we're moving away from such saturated experiences to interfaces and devices that require less interaction and immersion, not more.

It's funny, Mitch Kapor took some employees from SL some years ago to explore the device thing in another venture and from what I understand it was kind of a bust then.

Simply put, it's a toy for all but some niche use. Personally I'll be glad when those niches are defined so we can stop projecting about it and put it into its proper perspective.

SaulB

I got the feeling that building a VR environment in VR was more about getting a solid feeling of what your environment will actually feel like in VR as your creating it. So that you don't have to design on a 2D monitor, then put headset on to test out, then take off headset to design some more, then put headset back on, etc.

You get a good grasp of the VR feel of your game as you are designing it, without having to keep swapping your headset on and off.

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