This week and the next three days form the final week of development for the Ruby Bridges 6 Week Prototype, and last week I outlined the functions that I would like to implement in the build for this week.
The good news is, I learned a lot about how the SteamVR camera likes to operate. The bad news is, it took me all week to learn these lessons and adjust our prototype accordingly.
Most of the issues I ran into had to do with moving the camera around a scene. The third person documentary view that I'm building was initially including a zoom function. I went through a couple different methods to get this to work: sliders, touchpad walking, scaling the environment. I finally got this to work using a UI slider. But I discovered that the effect was extremely jarring and didn't really add anything for the user- if they're going to be able to take on perspectives in the scenes themselves, the zoom function becomes redundant. I have decided to fix the camera to one point away from the environment and allow the user to rotate the scene manually to examine the tooltips.
The other issue was locking the camera to Ruby's head. I could parent the camera to her motion without a problem, but the height of the user would influence the Y value of the camera transforms. I wasn't able to find a way to lock this even with research (although some online forums mentioned it's extremely disorienting to have head transforms locked in VR). To solve this problem for now, users will complete the experience in a seated position. This should have the added benefit of assisting with the motion sickness issues from the motion of Ruby's walk.
On Saturday, I had a debug day and tried to work through all the issues that came up from testing on the Vive instead of the simulator. This included Menu buttons working properly, pointers, and disappearing controllers. The controller thing has to do with how I parent the camera to Ruby's head- they still function, but you can't see them. Still working on a solution for that. I also found that the environment itself was not centered and had tons of weird offsets, so I started a fresh scene with the environment in the right place- that solved a lot of the camera transform issues.
With the camera issues relatively sorted, I have to place the object tooltips into the scene and place the background/historical information on them. These will also include the buttons for perspective view in each part of the scene. Tori worked on creating a crowd using the new character models she made and did a great job offsetting the animations, so I'll be placing those into both scenes as well and cleaning up the overall function.