Twitch Plays Oasis makes solitary VR experiences more social and unpredictable, opening it up to the public to interact via the live streaming platform Twitch.
[ Background ]
The idea for OASIS was born out of four workshop sessions where we got to experiment with mixed realities. We felt inspired by the solitude we experienced in VR and decided to explore how to make it a more unpredictable and social experience connecting it to the live-stream platform Twitch.
[ Process ]
This project was a lot about just trying and failing and trying again. Using Unity as a base we were experimenting with different scripts to enable the scene as well as experimenting with different aesthetic expressions using GravitySketch. After finalizing the project we did a user test to see how they experienced the project.
[ Outcome ]
The end result of our project is called OASIS, an oasis in the dessert, and consists of a scene where the VR participant is the observer. The people participating through Twitch will be the active players enabling the scene, through inhabiting different objects in the sky. Thus, the more participants the more crowded the scene will become.
[ The Team ]
[ My Contribution ]
Throughout this project my partner Sina and I worked closely together on every step. We created the concept together and took turns coding, testing and building the scene.
[ Introduction Video for OASIS ]
[ Points of Interest ]
How does VR as a medium enable solitude vs. possibility for social experiences?
’Iceberg’ phenomenon - What is present in the scene vs. what can the person in VR headset see? Does the scene exist if you do not see it?
How does our knowing of the fragility of the real-real world objects translate to how game objects exist in VR?
How could we make the VR experience more social by using a live-stream site?
[ Prototyping in Unity ]
Our goal for the interactions was to make objects grow/shrink depending on how people interacted with the scene through the live stream. We started off by building a simple prototyping scene out of cubes.
Our goal was to make the cubes grow while another cube was passing over its trigger zone.
The next challenge was to make the cubes shrink while the cube, that we had now switched out to a cloud, were exiting the trigger zone.
When we had managed the interactions in Unity we connected the scene to Twitch - a live streaming chat commonly used by games.
We prototyped by giving each cube names for left, right, forward and backward. This enabled us to steer the cubes through using the Twitch chat.
We were playing around with how people could interact between the different medias VR and live stream.
One example was when we attached a controller to a water bottle that in VR had the properties of a cube. We were both playing in the same scene with cubes with similar properties. The only difference was that one was steered by commands in Twitch and one by the movements of the person in VR. We could then compete against each other trying to knock the other persons
[ Creating the Game Objects Using GravitySketch ]
[ Creating the Scene in Unity ]
We later placed the models from GravitySketch into our Unity scene and replaced the cubes. We tried with a few different expressions, playing around with colors and light until we found a look that we liked.
[ Twitch ”Emotes” to Steer the Objects ]
After reading more about the Twitch community we realised that they have a very strong culture of using emojis (or emotes as they are called on Twitch). Therefore we decided to let the most popular emotes replace the words used to steer the objects.
[ User Testing ]
When we finally had the project up and running we wanted to test it. We connected four different computers to the Twitch Channel and had one person participating through VR. Our thought was to see how easy it was for the people participating through Twitch to steer the objects as well as what the experience for the person participating through VR was.
The project misuses Twitch’s commenting feature to interact with the ecosystem and VR inhabitant.
[ Switches the Roles of the Traditional Gamer and the Live-Streamer ]
OASIS consists of a scene where the VR participant is the observer while the people participating in Twitch will be the active players enabling the scene, through inhabiting different objects in the sky. Thus, the more people participating actively the more crowded the scene will become. Consequently the scene does not exist / diminishes without active input from people in Twitch. Simultaneously, a user is free to experience the scene in VR- with no decision capacity becoming the observer, which effectively changes familiar gaming roles.
Twitch participants view:
VR participants view:
[ The More People Participating the More Populated the Scene Will Become! ]
[ Finding Trigger Zones ]
While moving around the scene the Twitch players will encounter different trigger zones that will make the scene unfold.