theBlu: Season One
theBlu is an interactive underwater simulation built from the ground up for the HTC Vive. In many ways, it serves as a sequel to theBlu: Encounter which was a 2-minute demo piece for Valve's inaugural Vive demo reel at GDC 2015.
However, it's also a greatly expanded product. theBlu features two new environments with scripted experiences that are around 7 minutes each. We sought to really push the advantages of roomscale VR in these new scenes, adding multiple layers of interactivity and a couple of new modes.
The result is a product whose scope, complexity and ambition is much larger than the Encounter.
On theBlu I became the Technical & Design Lead, co-leading the product with Art & Visual Lead Gee Yeung. We began by pitching concepts for new environments that would highlight the more interesting aspects of roomscale VR, but still retain the core product vision of being accessible to everyone.
With the approval of company leadership, we handled hiring, pre-production and early prototyping. During production, my duties included feature & logic engineering, design review and asset integration. Additionally, meta-logic, like saving and loading player progression and Steamworks API integration, also fell under my umbrella.
A good example of this is the Anglerfish in the deep- I was responsible for blocking out the pathing, developing scripting tools for animation blending and creature-to-player awareness, integrating sound and associated audio logic, and integrating the final animations and creature assets into Unity.
All in all, a great balance of being able to lead from the macro to the micro, on a tight budget with a strict launch-day deadline. I couldn't be more proud of our team and the reception theBlu has gotten on Steam.
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