This was an exciting project that started off as an installation in Madison Square Garden, paid for by Bud Light. The most important thing to me was that actually shooting the basketballs felt great and intuitive. Every other ball-throwing experience I’ve had in VR has felt terrible and sluggish. Fortunately, I was able to develop my own secret sauce that allowed plenty of users to make baskets after a few attempts if not their very first (WITHOUT any sort of auto-aim or assistance).
Additionally, I was tasked with generating videos of each user’s gameplay including a webcam feed, saving that video, and then emailing it to the user automatically (they entered their personal info at the beginning of the experience). Also each user’s info was passed along to Bud Light’s CRM database.
After the initial success of this first version, we were hired to make a multiplayer version. I developed this as a side by side freethrow contest. This made it simpler to determine which player “owned” each ball in play and determined its physics. Additionally, using the predictable nature of the balls’ trajectories when passing them between players allowed me to smooth out the process of transferring ownership of each ball as much as possible.
We continued to develop prototypes using this project for both Leap Motion and the Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Each of these provided their own technical challenges and requirements. I enjoyed being able to work with more platforms and SDKs but nothing significant ever came of those platforms.