拾光Collection of Time
Skills: Unity, OpenCV, Maya, Shader Graph, VR/MR
拾光(Collection of Time) is an interactive VR album. Instead of simply displaying the photos, 拾光 converts the posts of a given Instagram user into folded letters hide in the game scene. By finding the letters, the player can then read the content of the post and see the photo of it.
Intention of Creating the Application
The original idea of 拾光 is triggered by the intention to help a friend who just knew that her dear cat had got cancer and might not live long. As a person who know how hard it is when lifes hits that deep, I empathize with her and decided to create an interactive VR album. I aspire the app to confort people and help them remember the time and stories they shared with their dears.
In the game, the player first creates and decorates their own scene with scene objects I made. After setting up the scene, the player enters the scene and start to find the letters, which is converted in the runtime from a give Instagram user's posts, hide in the scene. Once the player find a letter, they can flaten their left hand, and the letter will fly to thier left hand and open for them to read the post's content. When finished reading, the player can then hold the left hand to grab a slingshot and use the right hand to aim and then shoot the slingshot onto the sky. After blasts of fireworks, the photo of the Instagram post will appear with the form of a constellation. The player can find as many letters as possible befor the bgm ends.
In the main menu, as the first thing the player sees, the menu is designed as a as a scene of a sky festival.
In chinese culture, by writing the wish on the sky lentern(天燈) and then releasing it, people believe that their wishs can be sent to and heard by havien. I borrow this notion into my game and hope the player know no metter where the people we miss are, they will always be with us and hearing us.
In the game, instead of plainly showing the photos and texts using slide, I wish the player enjoy the game when trying to find the letter, using the slingshot to shoot, and see the stars, guessing what photo does the stars on the sky represents.
Programming and Technic
1. Setting the game scene
The program uses the LittleWorm MR Builder, an Unity package I made which helps the VR developer solve the design problem of not able to know and costumize the game level depends on the player's playing area. By using the MR Builder, the player can use the pre-made scene objects I designed to build and decorate the game scene themselves.
2. Converting the Instagram posts into letters in the game
In the program, I first use a web clawer to fetch the Instagram posts and convert it into pohotos and texts. Then, the photos will be porcessed by a image porcess pipeline I design using OpenCV. The photo will first be converted into a grayscale texture. After that, by eroding and dilating the texture, two textures are created. Finally, the outline texture is produced by subtracting the eroded one with the dilated one.
Overall, I am proud of this project. Surelly, there are some weak point, such as the design of the image process pipeline does not come out with great result when processing certain kind of photos, or the fact that the MR builder does not solve the level design problem that well. However, I love how this game can touch and confort the player's heart, aspecially after I saw Vivi played the game. I never know that I can create a work that can bring out such strong emotions from the player.
As the world and international situation become more and more uncertain and treacherous, I hope I can continue to speak the truth of my heart and deliver my thoughs through my games.