Virtual reality game built to be played with motorized chairs to emulate a roller caster-like experience. Built as an attraction for the local amusement park Liseberg in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The opening is closing in

Finally, I got around to visit the project since I pretty much passed it over to the park as we entered the new year. I was really pleased and impressed to find that my colleagues at the park had expanded a lot on it since my last visit. The physical installation is getting along and looks amazing, and they have really started to make the software their own.

There are still a few things they may need my help with, and I’ll gladly oblige. For one, this project is something of my baby and secondly, I really like it. : )

Meetings and plans

Today I finally managed to arrange a meeting between the park Liseberg, a motion tracking firm called Qualisys and a app developing form called Atvis. There is a potential collaboration which would be super cool if it happened, so I’m holding my thumbs. ; )

This meeting also allowed me to meet the people from the park as well as other people I have worked with previously as well, bonus.

Final sprint

The official project is pretty much up, so it´s high time to wrap up this project. We will probably need to tweak a lot of details up till the actual inauguration of the game, and the actual, physical installation is still to be done, but other than that it¨s starting to look pretty good.

Oh, and I fell and broke my face yesterday, and our workshop was flooded earlier this month. Not things that happens everyday, thankfully.

Winter Visit

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Some friends came to time to visit the annual Christmas fair at Liseberg. We took the opportunity to meet up with them their and my colleagues at the park were kind enough to let them try Rutch Race. It seemed like they enjoyed it and I feel very hopeful about the opening next year. : )

Overseas visit

Today some content designers from the UK who work with CADing for the park came to visit. We took the opportunity to show Ruth Race to them as to receive some feedback and share ideas.

Assume server control

Finally got around to working on the user interface on the operator side. This is a requirement that makes this project a little unusual in that most games have one user group which uses one UI. Since this is going to be an amusement park game, there are going to be people playing the game, then there are going to be people operating the game.

If the operation of the game is too difficult or unreliable, the game is just as non-viable as if it hadn’t been good for the people playing it. Therefore, it’s high time to start working on this aspect of the project.

Messing with post processing

I have spent more time playing around with various post processing effects, very interesting stuff! I feel the game world have become something new, a more magical world. The bloom effect blends with the water shader, making it look like a glimmering, caribbean ocean. The color grading changes the temperature of everything, making it look warm. Apparently, the volumetric clouds now look toxic as well, but hey, it’s still work in progress.

Proto wheel

The guys at Liseberg put together this sweet prototype so we can get a feel for what the game would be like with a steering wheel. I must say that I’m really positively surprised. Up till now we have controlled the game with keyboards. With this new setup I realize just how much the keyboard prevented immersion and how much this alternative controller adds. Now I really have a great feeling for where this game is going. The new setup really takes it to a new level!

Explosion effects

The game is fairly functional now, so I felt it was time to explore its look and feel a bit more. I started to play around a bit post processing effects. The results exceeded my expectations. While the ambient lighting is more vivid, the visual impression of the rocket power ups and their explosions were pretty cool. Very interesting to finally have the opportunity to explore these things properly. : )

User testing

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In an earlier project I worked with a group of talented, young individuals. It was an experimental continuation of our efforts to teach children to work with technologies once we felt that other actors had picked up the ball regarding young programming and such. They were selectively recruited and then invited to be trainees at our workshop, learning new skills and working on projects. Once the project was over we stayed in touch.

These persons just so happened to be perfect testers for our prototype, and today I was able to get two of them over for some proper testing. It went just well, we learned that the game is actually kind of fun. We also learned a bit about when it causes nausea and gave us some ideas of how to proceed. Good times!