Virtual Reality + Halloween = Customizable VR Ghost Train Builder Experience
One of the barriers to creating VR content is the expense. We’re currently seeing a lot of very hi-spec VR games and applications that cost millions to produce, offering a huge ROI but also a lot of risk.
We asked ourselves if there was a cheaper, quicker way to produce VR allowing those without gargantuan budgets to take advantage of this exciting new medium. Our Creative Technologists, Designers and UX’ers put their heads together and developed an exciting proof of concept/prototype just in time for Halloween: The Ghost Train Builder.
The Virtual Reality enabled Ghost Train Builder allows users to build their own customized Ghost Train; choosing from a range of interiors including creepy hotels to haunted graveyards, selecting a spooky soundtrack, picking the scariest lighting, and – finally – choose what monsters they’d like to be frightened by on their Ghost Train journey.
This proves it’s possible to create engaging, content rich environments in the time it takes to build a simple microsite. Take a look for yourself: <URL> (include VR needs).
We believe VR’s about to hit the tipping point between niche toy and ubiquitous technology. This would prompt a huge leap forward for progressive engagement, where instead of a user navigating digital content they’re taken on a VR journey. We’re already talking to a number of our clients about building VR environments rather than sites, and our tourism, sport, media and even FS clients have begun exploring potential new applications with us. It’s not quite the Matrix yet, but we’re working on it!
About The Technology:
Using Blender, a free open-source 3D modeling application and Sketchfab.com, the Ghost Train idea was prototyped and developed into a Ghost Train build kit. The build kit provided 3D blocks, like Lego pieces, that could be slotted together to build the environment.
In order to rapidly prototype and build the Ghost Train, our team leveraged two frameworks: Vue.js and A-frame.
Vue.js is an MVVM framework similar to AngularJS or Knockout but very lightweight. It allowed us to create one template that can dynamically update to change things such as UI, theme, sounds and monsters.
A-frame is a WEBVR framework that sits on top of the Three.JS library. It handles all the difficulties of building for VR in the web allowing the team to define a rich 3D experience using HTML and our existing web development knowledge with minimal custom scripting.