VR Cricket

VR Cricket was a collaborative virtual reality project which used a tool called Electro on a stereoscopic virtual reality system with head and hand tracking called the C-Wall.

It consists of a virtual environment that walks through the rules, objects used and a typical playing scenario. There is a museum mode displaying the famous Ashes series between Australia and England where ‘bodyline’ bowling was used as a tactic. There are objects, newspaper clippings and photos related to the tour and sound explanations for every object.

There is also a play mode where the user can actually use the wand and bat for a bit.
Electro
Lua
C-Wall

Collaboration

VR Cricket was my first collaborative project and it was successful mainly because of the team meeting regularly and the members keeping up with deadlines. I played a project design and management role too for the first time because I knew the game more than anyone else. Yiwen did the Stadium,Pitch and the Browse Mode 3D models in Maya. Julian and myself split up the physics programming work among ourselves.
VR Cricket - Timeline

He did the cricket ball and the wickets while I mainly worked on the bat and the pitch. We had to finally test together with the C-Wall to bring everything together. Overall, we had lots of fun and I hold this project closer to my heart than many others I have worked on before and after this. It was interesting to see our timeline in the documentation website we had put up.


Video


by Arunan. Collaborators: Julian, Yiwen


Here you can see a detailed presentation of the 'Play Mode'. It behaves more like a mini game where you have cricket balls automatically bowled at you (in stereoscopic 3D!) and you use the wand (much like the Wii remote nowadays) which is hand tracked and voila you can just smash the ball around the ground. Being a mini game there are no rules as such, just a simple scoring system and a overlay showing where you hit the ball.

Browse Mode

This part of the VR world was where the user could navigate around a museum like environment in the stadium itself in stereoscopic 3D using the same wand and buttons. The objects in the museum represent a part of cricketing history surrounding the famous Ashes tour that is played between Australia and England.


VR Cricket - Browse Mode

Programming

We used Electro mainly because it was customized to run well in all the high resolution and stereoscopic displays at EVL (The Electronic Visualization Lab at UIC). It uses Lua 5.1, SDL, PNG, JPEG, ODE, FreeType2, and Ogg Vorbis providing a simple script based framework to build interactive applications quickly. The limited but very useful set of calls in the API worked effectively for what we had to do for the physics in the play mode.

Sound

I provided the voice-overs explaining different objects in the museum and other sounds in the game world. It was fun recording myself and hearing myself in the application. We had to encode the mp3 files to ogg vorbis format that Electro recognizes. It was so fun doing the design, writing and the recording for VR Cricket.