Final week of #3DJAM

Only 5 more days until we have to submit our final 3DJAM project. We still need to find a title for our final submit. So far, everyone from our team was able to make suggestions (e.g. VRonc – as a combination of VR and oncology – and AirVRay). We cannot decide though because the two favourite titles (Sektor78 and VRΩ) were each picked by four of us, so we need your input.

Ok, now that we got the title matter out of the way, let me tell you a little bit more about the process of how it all started. This is a snippet of our project so far: you can detect and move towards cancer cells. Once you find them, you can fight them:

Games Science Center in Berlin – where it all started

In August, the Games Science Center in Berlin invited everyone to the Leap Motion 3D Jam Tour. That’s when we first heard about the challenge and we were taken away by Martin Schubert’s „Weightless“ project from last year – it won 2nd place. Martin wrote:

„I wanted the player to have an experience that’s only possible in VR. That meant taking advantage of the ability to look around in any direction and having good spatial awareness. This led to investigating a weightless environment that allowed freedom of movement in any direction.“

Martin, along with his colleagues were in Berlin, speaking about creating a believable space in VR with points of interest, interactive environmental elements, taking depth and proximity into consideration, adding music and/or sound effects, enhancing the visual background and also being aware of the audience. Reps from Leap Motion explained the process of the 3DJam competition and essentially just encouraged all of us to start thinking about projects to submit.

This is where it  started. Stephan and I knew right away that we wanted to try out a VR approach with edutainment elements and we came up with our basic idea right away: going into a patient’s body, explaining medicinal procedures. Talking to friends, the very specific idea of fighting lung cancer cells was born. That was the point when we were looking for a team. And we got an amazing interdisciplinary team together. Now look, if you don’t know our game designer Marcus Bösch, then „you know nothing, John Snow!“ He was able to bring all the gamification elements into our story. Ronny, Jens and Stephan were working out the visuals, in how far the leap can be integrated and the navigational aspects of our approach. Annett, our biologist, taught us so much over the last six weeks. About the way lungs are “built”, what treatments might be helpful etc etc.

No Leap Motion without a story

Needless to say, there are endless opportunities for Leap Motion scenarios for our story. I strongly believe that there is no point in making use of such a cool device without actually having a narrative. The audience will always be able to play around with e.g. an Oculus attached to a Leap Motion but they will not care about a scenario that is not part of a greater story. I don’t even think you have to overuse the Leap in your scenario as long as it makes sense and as long as the use seems effortlessly.

Leap of faith

Days have gone by too fast and it is time to actually submit our final version of the Leap Motion challenge. We are so excited. Not because we think we might win (far from it!) but because we have learned so much over the past six weeks – from lungs, to cancer treatments, how to use hands in VR. Most of all, we have worked with a great team and we are looking forward to seeing all the other submissions.

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