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What we learned from developing StarTracker VR

webbpanwebbpan Posts: 6 Oculus Start Member
edited June 2015 in VR Jam 2015
Before the final results out, want to share some lesson we learned from developing StarTracker VR.

StarTracker is a mobile planetarium is designed for astronomy fans to explore the universe. Already on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10.
We're new to VR but StarTracker is a perfect match VR world, the final result shows great experience even beyond our imagination and we're lucky to reach the finalist:
http://vrjam.challengepost.com/submissi ... tracker-vr

Here is some interesting results new to the VR world:

1. StarTracker VR shows an unique VR experience which you have never experienced before, we call this enhanced VR.
Normal VR just maps reallife 3D environments into VR world. Yes, you can experience the place you have never been there before, but we go forward to show enhanced VR environment. We map 3D Star Field into a sphere surface, and then look from outside into the sphere ball. You can image all near objects that will move much faster than a normal 3D mapping, finally this will give you an enhanced VR experience which is super awesome.

PS: actually this is a mistake when we do sphere mapping, initially we want to do sphere mapping that we are inside the sphere ball, but there is some mistake in code and we are out of the sphere ball, suddenly I'm shocked by the results, that's more amazing than inside the ball, after tuned several parameter like distance, thickness of the ball, it shows rich VR experience more than I imagination before.
We are hurry to tuned the parameter just before the final cut, the final build are not perfect. We have tuned more after and now the results is better!

2. After apply sphere mapping, all close stars moving more faster than normal mapping, and we found there is non-smoothness while moving (the movement is amplified by outside sphere mapping for near stars), the rotation matrix provide by Gear VR not have such high precision. And the non-smoothness will cause motion sick a little, we need to find a way to over come this, or the new mapping is useless.
Then, we add a rotation matrix filter do make the moving more smooth, it's like a lowpass filter but will automatically adjust it's parameter to keep fast tracking while moving fast, and do stabilization while no movement or slow moving.

PS: Due to the final cut, we are filter on whole rotation matrix, it's good on x,y rotation but not such good on z rotation (case is rare), will separate the z axis later (this is more challenge than do stabilization on whole matrix)

3. The original version of StarTracker will do auto zoom out when you moving, to see more star fields, and do zoom in to a large view while stop, to see more detail on current object. But it's not working well when apply to VR world, zoom in zoom out on moving will cause motion sick, maybe I can tune the parameter to get more good results, but we don't have enough time. We turned off the flag just before the final build, and will open later after we find a good result after tuning.

4. It's the first time attend jam, the experience is super. Tons of great idea flood out, trying part of them, filter bad ones, found surprising ones, tuning, work late each day after job and after my kids fall in sleep. It's a unforgettable amazing experience, found I'm like a superman ;)
Due to the deadline, still lots of great ideas not in, some are not tuning well, some have no time to implement, definitely will spend more time to the amazing VR world, and put StarTracker VR to the store.

Finally, try it out before the download link fail:
http://vrjam.challengepost.com/submissi ... tracker-vr

And good luck to all finalist!

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