Aetherball: Easter Sprint

This Easter I’ve been working on my VR project, Aetherball. I decided to approach it as a kind of solo sprint, to produce something playable.

I separated my time into the following:

  • Concept
  • Core
  • Level
  • Art
  • Sound

Saturday: Concept

I found the easiest way to settle on a concept was using tonnes of images and short sentences, which is why I put it all into a Powerpoint presentation. The presentation is 30 minutes long, and it’s not truly a pitch – it’s more of a motivational piece, verbalising and visualising concepts that I’ve been connecting mentally. It’s a snapshot of what I’m most excited about in the VR/AR space.

Sunday: Level design

I took on level design with a simple aim: to lay out groups of targets with timers. If the player can trigger all the targets in a group, then the group disappears. The purpose of this level is to establish the expectations of the core mechanic. So in a sense, this is a kind of test and training ground.

Monday: Core development

I have implemented a first version of the flow mechanic; the player can wave their hands around, and the balls or “elements” will smoothly follow that path. I plugged in the teleselection mode I developed the week before, and put together the above video.

Tuesday: Work :(

Wednesday: Art

I had work in the afternoon, but I managed to learn and apply some noisy toon rim shaders to my balls, which is good enough for now…

Thursday: Sound

I was relying on an overnight download (Sonniss, see previous post) to give me sound effects, and on Thursday discovered that it didn’t have what I want. Instead, I decided to make this a “career” day and post some updates. This was inspired by a recent video showing off the office of a large Melbourne game studio.