Week 1: Milestone 1

For our first week, our group explored a plethora of ideas in VR. Some of the ideas included mental health projects, a virtual chemistry lab, and other small ideas. After much discussion, we narrowed down our choices to two projects. The first project was about a First Aid Trainer where the player would be placed in multiple different scenarios to teach them how to perform basic first aid. The project would be split into two different modes: learning and real-world situation. In learning mode, you would be guided on the process of first aid, while in real-world mode, you would be put into a “real” situation where you would have to apply your knowledge.

In the end, we ended up going with our second project which we are temporarily calling Jurassic World. In this project, the player will learn about dinosaurs and the Jurassic period in a fun and interactive world. The player will be sent back in time to learn about the dinosaurs and be able to interact with them in a plethora of ways. From collecting different foods to feed the dinosaurs to riding on them, our game will present an immersive world to educate our player.

For the milestone, some of the stuff that we are trying to implement is player movement, ray tracing, getting dinosaur models and animations, setting up the environment, and much more. For the player movement, we went for a smooth continuous movement instead of the teleportation method. This will make the game a little bit more immersive. We also wanted to implement ray tracing interaction so the player can point to an object and interact with the object. Overall, we are setting up our basic environment and making ways of creating an immersive environment.

For the dinosaurs, we are primarily relying on finding free assets online to since making the models ourselves would probably take a while. Along with that, we are specifically trying to find one’s with animations as that would make our lives much easier.

To review the success criteria, we have thought about each one. For technical sophistication, we believe Unreal Engine is able to create a project with little bugs if done right, which is why we believe this is the best choice. For novelty, we are still discussing ways of making this learning experience more interesting and unique, but we still believe that a VR education system about dinosaurs is unique in a way. For social impact, we believe that by educating our players about dinosaurs and the Jurrasic era, we are achieving a level of social impact. For XR emphasis, our project is making the player feel immersive in a world that no textbook or video could replicate. We are also including different interactions which makes it even more special to VR. Lastly, for financial sustainability, we believe a way of achieving something like this would be to sell our product for a certain amount of money, as well as other options like Patreon or a GoFundMe. This is still something that we are discussing but we are exploring different options.

To close off, we have contacted a few experts in the field. One person is a researcher at University of Michigan, while the other person is a member of the Museum of Paleontology.