The games high concept was heavily inspired by Steel Battalion and the question; how do you do multiplayer VR with a single headset?
The game took the form of a digger operation game where each player would receive half ot the controls/information, and be forced to communicate with one another to operate their vehicle. Where it was their task to pilot their underground digger looking for minerals.
Initially the 'Pilot' had control of the Throttle/Joystick and a monitor with a limited view out the front of the digger and the Co-Pilot would have control over the VR Controls,Plotting Device and HMD.
The pilot steering the craft, while the co-pilot utilized their ‘periscope’ to view a sonar image of the environment around the craft, allowing both players to view the Minerals they were hunting for. The Co-Pilot further used their Plotting Device, a MIDI Launchpad controller, to plot out where each mineral was situated in X,Y,Z. Which would then be displayed on the Pilots HUD.
Once at a Mineral the Co-Pilot would use their motion controls to operate grabbers situated on the front of the craft. Requiring communication once again to collect their objectives.
However due to limitations in both time the project had to be limited. Although MIDI inputs and plotting worked, it had to be scrapped due to the time consuming nature of the mapping process. Similarly with the motion controls, due to our inexperience with VR we had to cut out this feature.
Although ultimately being considered a success, the omission of some of the games more unique mechanics was demoralizing. We both wish to return to this project, clean it up further and re-implement the missing features.
Due to the limited view of the Pilot the Pariscope was used by the Co-Pilot to have an unobstructed view of the environment around the ship.
Sonar : The pariscope projected a sonar effect on the entire environment when utilized by the Co-Pilot. This allowed the Co-Pilot to only see the objects in the environment intermittently, requiring more coordination from both players.
Ship & INstruments
To further understand the environment the Pilot had access to some rudimentary instruments and his surrounding environment.
Artificial Horizon : Although limited in view the pilot was able to see an artificial horizon on their dashboard, not too dissimilar to those found in crafts such as plane. A
Depth Gauge : Similar to the Artificial Horizon this instruments allowed the player to guess roughly how deep they were.
Modelled Interior : To facilitate these real instruments the pilot could see the entire interior of the vessel was modelled.
Simulated Tunneling : Out of the front of the vehicle a small view could be seen by the Pilot. Through it a panning texture was utilized to simulate the digging effect of the craft.
To help the player understand where they should be steering the Co-Pilot is able to plot out points in 3D space.
Plotting : The player would first estimate the objects location in 3D space. Then they would use the MIDI pad to map out first the X/Y coordinate of its location. Then it's Z coordinate using the strip along the side of the device.
Limited View : Although mostly blind the Pilot did have access to a monitor which acted as their view through the slit in the front of the vehicle. Although incredibly limiting as they could only see a few feet in front of the craft. It allowed them to see the coordinate the Co-Pilot plotted and guide them while using the Motion Controls.
Initial the intention was to have the Co-Pilot retrieve minerals using the motion controls. However ultimately time ran out and the mechanic had to be left incomplete.
Scaling : the pilot was able to see what the Co-Pilot was doing through the arms visible out the front of the ship. however due to the increased size of these arms and the fact that the Co-Pilot was essentially blind the two would have to walk each other through the process.
Please note that this was a project created in roughly 24 hours. It is not intended to be played as a real game. Performance is not optimized and gameplay is sparse. Things are broken and you will encounter bugs.
If you have any thoughts or feelings please get in contact with me. Any feedback is appreciated.