Ahhh, finally done! Here's Telescopic:
ChallengePost page is here
DK2 Windows Download:
This app uses the touchpad only
* To use a button, gaze at it and then tap
* To aim the telescope, slide
finger on touchpad.
* To dismiss UI elements, use the Back
Overall, the user may either freely explore and learn about the night sky
, and/or choose to attempt challenges called "tasks"
which are intelligently served to the user a few at a time.
The user can interact with the telescope by calling up the Scope to help with a rough aim
, and then calling up the Telescope viewer to get a deep look at the target area
. At all times, the touchpad can be used to refine the aim.
The user may also call up a UI, where the user can fiddle with tasks, view hints, adjust settings, and ponder the "unlockables" that will be available in the full version of this app.
- If the user has a swivel chair, this app takes full advantage of that to reduce simsickness to a minimum by letting the user be fully responsible for their own rotation.
- If the user does not have a swivel chair (or opts not to swivel), this app attempts to reduce "rotation sickness" by dimming the night sky, thereby reducing the size/intensity of the visual field that is rotating.
- Viewing through a telescope without neck discomfort, but in a way that is still reminiscent of a real telescope.
- Ability to use headtracking to easily and naturally compare what's in the night sky with the view through the telescope.
- Ability to tap into lots of situational and supplemental information about the stars by looking left or right of the view through the telescope.
Browsing the stars:
Navigating the menus:
Original Post below
This is my Mobile VR Jam entry:
Placeholder logo (definitely very obsolete now!):
is a combination of a telescope simulator + observatory + planetarium that aims to make learning your way around the night sky fun.
This entry can also be found at ChallengePost here
Motivation for making this app:
I'm primarily creating this app for myself, but if others eventually benefit from it that would be pretty awesome too. As profoundly amazing as the night sky is, it's overwhelming for me. I've used planetarium apps to find my way around, read night sky reports, etc. But, after all this time, I'm still only truly familiar with Orion and the Big Dipper. Because I don't get to see the stars every night, I forget most of what I learn. This app will hopefully change that by combining several motivational and memorization techniques to keep me engaged and help me retain more of what I learn.
What the player will experience:
, you start off in the middle of nowhere, sitting on a chair that has a big telescope attached to it, with a great big clear view of the sparkling heavens. In VR, this means it's just you and the telescope with no distractions. Rather than actually peeking into scopes and eyepieces, you'll be staying in your chair to interact with the telescope, and it's where you can manage your goals, achievements, unlockables, and fiddle with various options.
The Gear VR's touchpad is used to aim the telescope, and interact with UI elements. The player can switch between various modes: UI, scope, telescope, and sky rotation. The scope mode is used to generally aim the telescope, and the telescope mode is used to get a deep view of the target. Looking up at the sky from your chair, you will not see helpful constellations drawn onto the sky, no labels, no celestial compass. But, when you look into the telescope, you'll potentially see far more than any real backyard telescope can reveal.
Development challenges include:
1. Comfortably seeing what the telescope sees without the aid of positional tracking
2. Ease and intuitiveness of control
3. Efficient data retrieval from star catalogs
4. Goal/achievement storage and persistence
5. Well-defined goals that maximize engagement and encourages exploration
A note on development:
This will be the first time I've openly shared previews of an in-development VR experience. This Jam is also somewhat unfortunate timing for me as my time is really scarce right now, so I'm hoping to get as far as I can with this. I'll be posting screenshots and stuff along the way.
is up @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3DiMYZPn8M
Soundtrack and high quality deep sky imagery isn't ready yet so I'll save that for next time.
And, the new telescope that I already posted before:
Milestone 2 images:
Slightly updated platform model. Still a long way to go, and the telescope itself is still just placeholder cylinders and such.
The new telescope viewer. Rather than killing one's neck to look through the actual eyepieces, I'm taking a different approach.
This shows using the new scope mode without having to leave the chair. No matter what you're doing, the touchpad can always be used to aim the telescope.
And this shows the new telescope mode. It's a big "visor" (shown in #2 above) positioned in front of the player designed for comfortable viewing, and it provides a place to supplement the view with additional information and UI. Tapping the touchpad reveals information about what you're looking at. Pausing to look at a point of interest will mimic a long exposure and let you see more than what a telescope would reveal in realtime. While in telescope mode, the player can still see the mode buttons below, and the sky above.
Milestone 1 Images:
(Note, some of this no longer applies)
The above screenshot shows a model of the chair and the telescope platform. The vertical stalk you see there is what the telescope attaches to. The entire platform will swivel around the telescope, making this a simple conversion to work with positionally-tracked headsets in the future (as you'll only need to get up and walk straight forward at all times).
This shows basic aiming for the telescope (and thus the platform). As you get closer to the telescope, the aiming sensitivity goes from wild swings to fine-tuning. The telescope itself is still placeholder-ish with basic geometric primitives.
Using the scope. This is tricky to line up the right eye to the scope at all times yet still give the player the freedom to look around, since the scope itself moves with the telescope when you aim it. At some point, I plan to make it an option to make the scope be on the left vs right side of the telescope.