One design problem we faced implementing ARKit into Waggle Words related to scale and perspective.
First, a little background information: Waggle Words is a 3D game originally designed for for iOS and then diverged into SteamVR development. We have hundreds of hive layouts (with infinite letter configurations), all of which are up to 3 stories tall and dozens of meters from the camera. In vanilla iOS, this works fine with our camera field of view and focal length settings. In VR, this works fine was well. In AR there were some problematic results!
The primary issue that resulted from a huge hive, which is very far from the camera in AR, is the following: Even though the hive looked the right size (same as in vanilla iOS mode), one could rotate away from the hive, but not walk closer or further away from the hive!
This is not an expected behavior for AR! Our play testers that were familiar with AR, all pointed this out immediately after demoing our beta builds! Others, who were not so familiar with AR, didn't seem to notice what was wrong, but felt something was off.
Our solution came to use via a tip from someone at Unity Labs! The Unity ARKit plugin is available on the Unity Asset Store; however, one may download the plugin directly from Unity's BitBucket Repo! More specifically, the Unity-ARKit-Plugin repo has a scaled-content-test branch which offered us our solution! (This branch has been merged into the main branch as of a day or so ago).
We now implement one AR camera to track the world and give us the video feed, and another camera which we scale to track the hive! This is a simplified explanation, but essentially the result is a convincing AR experience! One may now walk up, around, away from and through a hive!
We hope this is helpful to all those developing for ARKit in Unity! For more tips on ARKit with Unity, check out Unity's ARKit forum!
With all the excitement around Apple’s much anticipated announcements today, we thought it’s a perfect time to unveil Vermont Digital Art’s Waggle Words iPhone teaser trailer (featuring ARKit enhancements for iOS 11).
Besides conveying Waggle Words being a lively game with lot’s of character, We want to communicate that Waggle Words for iOS will run on devices that support AR, as well as devices that don’t support AR. Players may choose to play in whatever mode suits their fancy (and hardware)!
Waggle Words continues with a few more updates as we get ready to launch! Thank you all for your overwhelmingly positive feedback on our last post. Your positivity has given us that extra momentum to work on suggestions from designer, developers and play testers to make our UI even more slick and intuitive. We’re honing our tutorial to make it playable as well as instructable. We are definitely feeling the 90-90 rule.
The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time. — Tom Cargill, Bell Labs
We are hope all of you are as excited for the release of iOS11 and ARKit as we are. Waggle Words AR is pretty cool as we play it with the Vermont fauna and flora in the background and we think it will be fun you city slickers too.