GhostBusters VR - Now Hiring
Who you gonna call ?
Promo vid for our experience!
Ghostbusters VR is a Google Cardboard experience available on both  iOS and Android   . The project itself was developed in the Unity engine . I developed portions of  the localization system ( audio and text),  gameplay mechanics, UI , generated navmeshes for the environments, deployed the first Android versions of the app ,  got the app working with the Google Cardboard V1 magnetic triggers   , and more.

For my first adventure into VR games I couldn't have asked for a better title to work on . I got the chance to learn a ton of new things  ,  think about gaming in an entirely new way , and on top of all that do it with a license that I have enjoyed since I was a kid . 

 Ghostbusters Now Hiring is a VR experience available on the Vive and other VR devices but I worked on the Google Cardboard version and had a great time doing it . for the purposes of this portfolio piece I am going to just share  the 360 view version of the app  because it provides a larger clearer picture versus the simulated lenses of the Google VR SDK in unity.

 Disclaimer :  I do not own and did not create  any  of the assets shown here. The ghostbusters license  ,  the plugins used in this project , and ownership of the project  are the property of Sony Entertainment  and the assets were created by other sub-contracted entities working with my studio at the time . 
The localization needs for the project slowly grew over time . At first we just needed basic text localizations , followed by the app title needing to be localized, and then the inclusion of Voiceover localizations .   Our system was able to account for all of those and  I was responsible for the first release german and french text localizations ( seen) as well as implementing the first german and french voice overs .
The project itself is split into two acts , the tutorial environment  exterior to get the players accustomed to the  headset , and  interior which includes deeper mechanics . Due to the way our project was staffed it made the most sense to have an engineer on each act . I wrote some of the functionality of the interior firehouse but the majority of the exterior firehouse was my domain . So the tutorial / game flow  , generating the  navmesh for player travel  and then constructing blockers to limit exploration of some areas , the voiceovers, tutorial panel displays, were all done by me . It was the first time in a released title I could call a section of a game mine even if the average player won't see it more than a minute or two I enjoyed working on this exterior scene.
Development started with the firehouse interior so I had the job of implementing the interior  functionality in the exterior environment before we had gotten the final art .  Setting up this navigation reticle was a part of that
The door was fun to work on because it was the first time I wrote code that essentially reacted to the players action or inaction . If a player moves within a certain amount of time they skip the tutorial voiceover and once they get near the door a voice whispers to them . Conversely a player who doesn't move gets the tutorial and still the door whisper. Very basic functionality but it was a fun and nice little touch to add to the experience.
When I first joined the project this interior was a pretty empty room with just the core architecture defined, it was fun seeing it  grow more and more intricate over time . Also 90% of the prototyping for all game features happened here.
The answering machine is a fun little easter egg to give the players a little bit of a reward for exploring .   I developed the voiceover localization system for it , unlike the global references to audio clips for the voicovers this had to be dynamic  , which was a lot of fun to brainstorm and implement . One more of those simple implementations that make you proud as a programmer.
The proton pack pieces were my first major task on the game   ,  Basically I prototyped 3 objects that could possibly spawn at 6 random waypoints.   Very basic but once again a lot of fun to do . They were the first interactive object  in the game and the code used for them became the foundation for the interactive object classes we  used across the entire VR experience.   By the end creating an interactive object was as simple as creating an object , plopping a script on it , and having some sort of callback response when it was selected. 
My Magnum Opus of this project , the piece de resistance for me was being able to create and implement the proton gun . It was the one area where I was able to have free reign . The client let us have our way and my producer had minimal notes so I tinkered with the proton pack beam  to my hearts desire , customizing how violently the beam shook , how large the sub beams    looked, and just had a lot of fun going ham with it . It looks way better in motion and in a headset trust me haha. I also worked on the overheating functionality, including implementing the overheated  look for the gun . Which was created by my amazing Technical Artist Apel Keshishian ..  this was definitely my baby in the project and the closest I've ever gotten to working on an FPS  .   Being such a big fan of the Terminal Reality Ghostbusters game just made me want to get the most out of this  feature and while it's not perfect everyone seemed pretty satisfied overall .
Once the experience Ends you capture Slimer and place him in the containment unit. I wrote the base logic for this but our other engineer  definitely made it a much more satisfying  and rewarding sequence by including the animations of the deposition and a captured Slimer at the end .
Overall this was an amazing introduction to working in the VR space  , I feel extremely fortunate to have contributed to the project . I hope people enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed working on it and I hope this is just the beginning of me working on several more VR projects. I'm personally very excited to see what the finished Vive version of the project looks like .
GhostBusters VR - Now Hiring
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GhostBusters VR - Now Hiring

Ghostbusters VR is a Google Cardboard based VR experience developed with the unity engine available on both iOS and Android platforms
3
142
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Published:

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