ACU Undergraduate Research Festival: DET Style

0 Commentsby   |  04.04.18  |  3D Models, ACU Virtual Campus, DET, Game Development, Unity3D

The ACU Undergraduate Research Festival is a coming together of the curious minds that inhabit ACU’s undergraduate student body in order to display the results of intensive research on various subjects. Everything from a deadly disease inhabiting monarch butterflies to an exploration of attitudes towards sexual crimes was explored this time around and the Digital Entertainment Technology department decided to throw their hat in the mix!

Dakota Matthews (left), Donte Payne (center), and Dr. Brian Burton assist in setting up the VR setup for the presentation.

With many scientific ventures available to explore, two DET students decided to tackle a subject very much up their alley. The interests of Lauren Mullen, a junior, and Austin Handcock, a senior, were piqued at the idea of exploring motion sickness in a Virtual Reality (VR) simulation and possible solutions to this problem. Based on an idea he had heard about, Austin set to work creating a movement system he believed would be the solution to this problem.

Virtual Campus in action!

Up until that point, most VR games and simulations relied on two types of movement: one where the player points to a location and teleports, and another where the player would move around through the use of an input stick or directional pad. The problem here was that many who used these modes of control often came out of the experience worse for wear due to motion sickness. Austin believed this problem to be caused by, ironically, the player’s lack of control over their own actions. In an incredibly immersive environment such as VR, the brain can be easily fooled into thinking that what it is seeing is gospel. With the environment constantly moving around but the player remaining essentially motionless, the disconnect becomes to much for the brain to handle. The side effect from this confusion causes the player to become nauseous (think about any time you have read a book on a long car ride, or flown around in an airplane).

Lauren Mullen (left) and Austin Handcock (right) on presentation day!

Enter Austin Handcock and Lauren Mullen. Intrigued by the phenomenon, Austin developed a solution that involved the player being more actively involved in their in-game movement. Austin’s control scheme involves three major shifts from conventional VR controls. First off, he removed the teleportation element altogether. As such, instant shifts in location and the disorientation that came with it were removed from the equation. Second, player’s main movement came from “waggling” the controls. Basically, the player can press a button on each of the two controllers to let the system know that he is walking. The player then moves his arms around to mimic a running motion (think old school batman).

Ah…simpler times.

Now this may sound silly (and the image the clip above invokes probably doesn’t help either), but the results tell a promising story. Third, players have the option to jump by doing a skiing motion while holding down a different button. This same button allows players to climb up walls by “grabbing” them and emulating a climbing motion. It seems that by allowing players to directly influence their in-game movement with similar real life movement Austin has decreased the disconnect in the mind discussed earlier and lessened, if not eliminated, the impact the all too familiar VR motion sickness.

Mattew Middlebrook testing out an early version of the Virtual Campus.

But Austin was not alone in this endeavor. Throughout the project, it seems that the stereotype of the unorganized programmer held true to a certain degree. Fortunately, Austin had Lauren at his side to keep things somewhat on track throughout the project’s lifespan. By assisting in creating the virtual environment for the demonstration and creating the presentation aids, the project, in many ways, would not have come to life without Lauren’s vital assistance.

Lauren Mullen ready to present!

What did we learn in the end? Player interaction is vital in keeping VR users happy and healthy! Keep it up Austin and Lauren! And be sure and look forward to seeing this research show up in the future of VR simulation.

If you would like your digital work displayed on the ACU blog, shoot me an email at dlp14c@acu.edu and I’ll feature it here. Any digital works count (art, animations, 3D models)! If you made it on a computer, we’ll feature it here. Please be sure to include your name, enrollment level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), name of the work, and throw in a little interesting fact about yourself so the community can get to know you better. Keep on creating!

To get involved in the DET community, be sure to drop by DET Club on Thursday nights at 6:30pm in Mabee Business Building, Room 316 to connect with other members of the community!

Drake Pamplin

Sophomore DET Major

Vice President of the DET Club

3D Modeling Spotlight: COBA Auditorium

0 Commentsby   |  02.12.18  |  3D Models, ACU Virtual Campus, Game Development, Spotlight, Texture

ACU has a group of students enrolled in a game development course labeled DET 350 that have taken a shining to the 3D modeling process, from concept to finalizing its texture and making it look realistic. On a recent project, a Sierra Beaton and Matthew Middlebrook created a pretty fine rendition of ACU’s COBA auditorium:

There is nothing about this project that is not incredible. With Sierra on modeling and Matthew on the materials and textures, it was created it in less than two weeks with packed student schedules for a software platform they knew very little about and managed to get results like these! Above and beyond fine work on ACU’s COBA auditorium Sierra and Matthew, keep up the good work!

If you would like your digital work displayed on the ACU blog, shoot me an email at dlp14c@acu.edu and I’ll feature it here. Any digital works count (art, animations, 3D models)! If you made it on a computer, we’ll feature it here. Please be sure to include your name, enrollment level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), name of the work, and throw in a little interesting fact about yourself so the community can get to know you better. Keep on creating!

To get involved in the DET community, be sure to drop by DET Club on Thursday nights at 6:30pm in Mabee Business Building, Room 316 to connect with other members of the community!

Drake Pamplin

Sophomore DET Major

Vice President of the DET Club

3D Modeling Spotlight: Carlos “Charlie” Velazquez

1 Commentby   |  01.28.18  |  3D Models, Game Development, Spotlight, ZBrush

Carlos is a senior here at ACU and has done some amazing work during his time here. Most recently, he has finished work on a special modeled bust of Jesus as a sort of tech demo to demonstrate his modeling abilities to the CTO of nonPereil Institute, Brian Jeffreys. Here’s what Carlos made:

Quite impressive! He has also informed me that he intends to make a lower polygon version in order to make it easier to put into a game, so be on the lookout for that one, too. Excellent work on “Jesus Bust,” Carlos, keep up the good work!

If you would like your digital work displayed on the ACU blog, shoot me an email at dlp14c@acu.edu and I’ll feature it here. Any digital works count (art, animations, 3D models)! If you made it on a computer, we’ll feature it here. Please be sure to include your name, enrollment level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), name of the work, and throw in a little interesting fact about yourself so the community can get to know you better. Keep on creating!

To get involved in the DET community, be sure to drop by DET Club on Thursday nights at 6:30pm to connect with other members of the community!

Drake Pamplin

Sophomore DET Major

Vice President of the DET Club

3D Modeling Spotlight: Elena Severson

1 Commentby   |  01.19.18  |  3D Models, Game Development, Spotlight, Texture

Elena Severson is a freshman DET student here at ACU. She made this amazing model in Blender for a Bible project she is working on!

It’s always awesome to see students cranking out some high quality models like “Gate – Fence – Staff”, and even cooler to see our Freshman getting involved. Keep up the good work, Elena!

 

If you would like your digital work displayed on the ACU blog, shoot me an email at dlp14c@acu.edu and I’ll feature it here. Any digital works count (art, animations, 3D models)! If you made it on a computer, we’ll feature it here. Please be sure to include your name, enrollment level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), name of the work, and throw in a little interesting fact about yourself so the community can get to know you better. Keep on creating!

 

To get involved in the DET community, be sure to drop by DET Club on Thursday nights at 6:30pm to connect with other members of the community!

 

Drake Pamplin

Sophomore DET Major

Vice President of the DET Club

 

New Book on Amazon Lumberyard

0 Commentsby   |  01.18.18  |  3D Models, Amazon Lumberyard, Game Development, Texture

Did you know that Dr. Burton has written a new book on game development?

The latest one shows how to make a game using the Amazon Lumberyard game engine.

You can learn more about the book and resources here:

Global Game Jam at ACU!

0 Commentsby   |  01.18.18  |  Global Game Jam

Join us for Global Game Jam 2018!!

Be sure to register and be ready to build great games in 48 hours!

You can register here:

Abilene Christian University

 

Learn to develop games in Amazon Lumberyard

0 Commentsby   |  01.18.18  |  3D Models, Amazon Lumberyard, Animation, DET, Game Development, Texture

Dr. Burton has started a series of tutorials using Amazon Lumberyard on Youtube:

https://youtu.be/cLb4oZoPKfA

 

 

 

A tutorial on UV Unwrap with Blender

0 Commentsby   |  01.18.18  |  3D Models, Texture

We are cranking out tutorials in DET!
Here is a recent tutorial by Professor Tanner on UV Wrap with Blender:

Steam VR: 302 Lab!!

0 Commentsby   |  01.18.18  |  Game Development

Professor Tanner was busy over the Christmas break and created the 302 Lab in Steam VR!
You can see it here!

302 Lab

Company Spotlight: ArtCraft Entertainment

0 Commentsby   |  07.27.16  |  Game Development, Spotlight

ArtCraft LogoBy Austin Graham, Senior DET Major, portfolio

If you have wanted to see the inner workings of a start-up indie company, then look no further than ArtCraft Entertainment (ACE) based in Austin, Texas! With their flagship game, Crowfall, announced in January of 2015, ArtCraft has already had a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $1,766,204. That was just over 220% of their goal! The company was founded by J Todd Coleman, Creative Director, and Gordon Walton, Executive Producer, who are big names in the MMO field. Not only that, ArtCraft is pulling together talented artists and game designers from all over to make their idea a reality.

Crowfall is a “throne war simulator” that pits teams of players against each other to conquer worlds before they are destroyed, bring back the spoils of war and go out and do it all again. With what promises to be an intricate crafting system, diverse roles of combat, and political ties and intrigue, there are many ways to play that should keep players very busy. It is currently in Pre-Alpha development, but there is no NDA so players are allowed to stream their gameplay on Twitch and Youtube.

Crowfall_CitySiegeConcept

What we here in the DET department really like to see is the transparency and behind the scenes access ACE has given backers and players. Their YouTube page is full of behind the scenes videos showing the different skills and art forms that go into making games. From 3D modeling, to system design, there are videos showing just how much thought and work is going into their game. Below are links to a few of the videos that deal with some of the different areas of DET.

3D Modeling and Texturing: Centuar Helmet Creation with artist Eric Hart

helmet

Animation: Meet Crowfall’s Animators

confessorAnimation

Visual Effects: Meet the VFX Team

vfxTeam

Bringing it all together: First Look – Gaea’s Wail

gaeasWail