(Ab)using portals for responsive content generation

Hello! We’re Triangular Pixels and we’re prototyping a Responsive Content Generation Tool. The goal is a system that will generate a VR world specific to a player’s device, location (play area), physical and mental abilities. That way games will adapt to players rather than players having to adapt to games. The prototype will focus on the physical accessibility of immersive content

In 2016 we created Unseen Diplomacy, a room-scale VR game designed as a physical assault course. In it we created a system we call Environmental Redirection, which was a great success in terms of accessibility and immersion.

But it wasn’t without it’s problems. As it was made for an installation it has quite high space requirements – much larger than the average person’s home! Due to the limited time we had to create it, there’s only a limited set of accessibility options for users. And to top it off, the content pipeline was very hacked together, so making the content was error prone and very time consuming compared to a more traditional vr content pipeline. These are some of the things we want to consider when making our prototype.

So let’s start with the content pipeline – why was that a problem? Most VR content is build like a school or a hospital – a series of rooms and spaces connected together, mostly horizontally. But for our environmental redirection technique it has to overlap. Instead imagine a block of flats, but compress it down to a single floor – rooms and spaces all overlapping in a crazy jumble of walls and geometry. It’s a nightmare to visualize and hard to author new content for.

Fortunately, we have a solution – portals. So we’ve been waist-deep in rendering code writing a portal system as part of the prototype. This will be the foundation for the new content pipeline and what we build the rest of the prototype on top of.