Having explored Virtual Reality and where its future possibly lies, as well as experimenting with Unreal Engine, I decided it was time to focus in on how VR and The Yellow House Project tie together as well as taking a closer look at level design within Unreal Engine.
As I narrow down my research and begin developing a room from the Yellow House, I feel it is important to understand a few things. Why the Yellow House and why VR? To aid me in this part of my research, I will be looking at the paper, “3D immersive collection and teaching environments: the Yellow House project at UOW” from the Vala 2016 conference.
The Yellow House was in Macleay Street, Kings Cross, created by Australian artist Martin Sharp in 1970, and ran through to early 1973. The gallery “engaged with a steady stream of local, national and international artists and personalities who visited the three-storey terrace building and helped shape the artistic and cultural development of this experimental and communal space.” The paper explains that the digital artefact is a reproduction of a historical context and cultural construction. “The virtual Yellow House is a form of archaeology that is occurring in a virtual space where artefacts and objects from a variety of media and from different periods of time are brought together.” Due to its various influences from artists and cultural art, The Yellow House is an important part of Australian 60’s and 70’s culture. “The prototype developed for this project will, in the initial phase, enable students and researchers to interact with UOW Library collections focused on Australian counterculture art and publishing movements during the 1960s and 1970s”.
VR technology (such as the Oculus) allows UOW to explore, portray and conserve The Yellow House. Furthermore the project “provides an opportunity for libraries to facilitate enhanced and ongoing engagement with teachers, students, researchers and the general community in the provision of access to collections. Digitised material can be presented in 3D virtual environments, which augment reality, enable new dimensions of information presentation and exploration, and operate as an interface to relate the experience of digitised resources to relevant historical contexts.”
My room design will go through 4 general stages of development: Prototype, Meshing, Lighting, and Polish. This is based on this video.
These stages are fairly self-explanatory and are as follow.
Stage 1: Prototype. This is where I am or almost am now. This stage is where I have chosen a room and begin to create a rough design. This is like a draft, where the overall room, textures and shape will be very basic. This is to create a guideline for the room and a base for visuals in the later stages, however, the room must be entirely “playable”, because meshes, lighting and textures should not affect the gameplay and movement.
Stage 2: Meshing: In this stage, textures and materials are added to the guidelines to create a more detailed room.
Stage 3: Lighting: This stage sees more detailed materials added as well as lighting and particles.
Stage 4: This is the final stage where the small details are incorporated to tie everything together and gameplay is finalised.
Finally, here is an update on my progress so far. I have recently chosen the room I will be creating, (subject to change) and have started prototyping.