Sky Command (VR)



Sky Command is a cooperative, 2-player VR game. It is designed to be in a VR arcade or part of similar location-based entertainment (LBE); it is a 15 minute experience of frantic communication and riotous action. With your partner, you have to fly an airship through enemy territory and destroy critical enemy infrastructure, all while defending against enemy ships and repairing damage aboard your own. We aim to have players to laugh, scream, and shout, and then go and pull another of their friends in to play again.

The game was selected as one of 6 greenlit projects from over 20 student pitches for the USC Games Advanced Game Projects capstone course. I was Technical Director on the project, co-leading the team with the Art Director. We built a team of 22 students to develop the experience. As Creative Director, I ensured that each team member understood the experience goal and aesthetic of the game, guided development and kept it inline with our ultimate vision. As Technical Director, I managed 5 other engineers and coordinated with UX designers, audio designers, writers, and artists to produce the necessary features and tools for development.

The below video depicts the pitch prototype, not the final state of the game.

Original key concept art (May 2017).

Concept art direction exploration from January 2018.

Technology

We built the game using Unity. I built the original prototype, featured in the video above, over the course of a few days using the Steam VR SDK and Unity’s networking package. After the game was greenlit, we decided to switch to the Photon networking framework and build our VR interactions using VRTK to enable faster system prototyping and iteration. We started using FMOD to enable our audio designers to build responsive audio interactions. Over the course of 8 months, we tackled problems across most domains of game development, such as locomotion, player-world interactions, physics and weapons, networked gameplay and physics, enemy AI, shaders and graphics, usability, audio, and tooling for designers and artists.

Progress by December:

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