Description

This was a 3 week project with the goal of using an innovative 'new' technology. The technology that right away crossed our minds was the holographic screen called the Looking glass holographic screen.
I teamed up with another programmer to try and tackle this machine. We both needed some interesting project to put on our portfolio, thus we wanted to learn the api provided by the looking glass factory. This was challenging to say the least. It had many bugs and features that we felt lacking.

Specifications

Duration: 3 weeks
Team Size: 2 programmers, 2 designers, 2 artists
Programming Language: C#
Game Engine: Unity
Role: Gameplay Programmer, Tools Programmer

Photo of tools

Unity Tooling

The map as you might think was 3D. This meant that we needed a way of looking around the map. We realized that showing slices of a 3D map might be too complicated for a user to comprehend on a limited screen like the looking glass. Because of this we decided that it would be easier to instead only have the map exist on the outer layer of a cube. Meaning we would have 6 times a 2D map instead of a complex 3D labyrinth.

This didn't come without its struggles. After a round of user testing we found out that it was harder than we thought to take into account 6 sides even when simplying the sides to a simple cross pattern. Thus we lowered the side count to only being able to rotate the map horizontally, meaning just 4 sides. This seemed to be the sweet spot. During this process the debugging info shown in the inspector helped a lot and simple serialized parameters helped the designers adjust what was necessary.

Lastly I made a map editor using unity editor code to make it easier for our designers to design new maps and test the best setups. The code can be found at the bottom of the page.

photo of unity scene view

Looking Glass API

Oh boy, the Looking Glass API. Coming into this I was prepared for a challenge and it was. Of course I enjoyed learning this new piece of software but it was a struggle to say the least. Because the screen is 3D and holographic, you need to take into account that it has a focus point and you can only view objects from a specific angle. Meaning the 3D aspect of it is very much limited. Because of these two limitations you can only have a very small playing map if you want it at a resolution where you can see what it happening in the game.
Last but not least, at the time of using the API, there was absolutely no reference documation available.