Week 43 - The world is a big place

This week, I’ve been shipping. 4 downloads and counting! Oh, and scanning things.

A busy week

This week has been a proper whirlwind. Moving off development and putting on a product owner hat has been fun; it’s also added a huge amount of work onto the backlog. Priorities are being juggled, strategy is being drawn, colour schemes are being considered.

Anyone who’s worked with me knows i’m not an artist. Anyone who’s (un)lucky enough to be trying out the Scanner Alpha will come to that realisation very quickly. The product on the play store this week “works” (for some loose definition of works) but I wouldn’t say it’s at all user friendly, Still, I’ve seen a scan from someone other than me on Sketchfab, so I know it’s actually making meshes somewhere out there.

The grand plan

The goal at Evryway is to build a Holodeck - as much like the one in Star Trek (probably Voyager, to be specific) as possible, given the constraints of today’s technology. I always used to chuckle at the Holodeck scenes in Voyager, given the sheer amount of content they were working with. Lush, realistic environments? check. Believable interactive humans (real or synthetic)? check. Storylines, goals and sessions? check. Even when you ignore the physically impossible aspects of touching the scene or walking forever inside a closed room, the amount of data, time and effort to produce content even remotely similar to that seen on TV is crazy.

When making games, one of the largest areas of budget is always creating content (be that art, audio, gameplay, models, pick your poison). It’s hard to do well, and it requires talent, skill and expertise to use the tools that are out there right now.

If I were to start building a true holodeck experience - something like Tom Paris’ Captain Proton perhaps - I’d still be working on making the Robot this time next year, let alone writing the script. Somehow everyone in Star Trek can create holodeck content and narratives with a mere few words to the computer. It’s not that easy right now in the real world (although AI and procedural generation is going to be very cool to watch in this space).

One thing I think has been super-cool about mobile phones is the way it’s democratised photo and video production - Anyone (with a bit of skill and thought) can take great pictures and videos. I’d love for 3D content capture to be that simple. Unfortunately, it’s not - yet. Hardware isn’t easily available and it’s expensive, tools aren’t easily available and they are expensive, etc.

Evryway Scanner is really my attempt to solve that problem, for me. How do I make 3D content quickly and cheaply that’s “good enough”? Hopefully it’ll end up usable enough by other folks that they can get the same benefit.

Of course, it’s a tiny part of the grand plan. I may be talking about it a lot for the next month or so, but the goal post-Christmas is going to be getting multiple feeds working into a static capture, then dynamic capture.

The tiny plan

The boys are on holiday for Christmas as from today, so I’ll be doing very little between now and the new year. I might tinker with things here and there, but don’t expect much!

The small things I’m hoping to get around to:

  • Adding an Export to Sketchfab button into Scanner
  • fixing up the welds on the chunks

pretty much everything else is going to have to wait!

Next week

PARTY TIME! Mince pies, beer and chillaxin with fam.

Written on December 16, 2016