It is 11:03. I get up at 5.55 but I don’t want to wait to write this. When the going gets hot, get with the going.
It is 12:40. The hot got going. It all began on the bus. I’d spent 8 hours of my day training to be a 1st line Call Desk operator, went home to recharge, and, recharged, headed to cover the Unity 3D meetup in Budapest. My only expectations were that I would be at least an hour late, but I figured I’d go with the flow.
The reason for me going there in the first place begs a bigger story: a year or so ago, my future wife Dora Gabriella organized an interview with the organizer of the event, Zsolt Balai, for the Hungarian magazine Roboraptor. The interview was to be about Virtual Reality experiences, and I tagged along on the promise that I would write an article.
Zsolt let the Roboraptor crew and us play with a couple of VR games; it was a singular experience.
The Roboraptors wrote an article.
To make up for the transgression, and to fulfill a promise, one year later, I headed for a Unity 3D meeting that Zsolt hosted at what turned out to be a fancy game-themed pub. Inside, nine people sat around a circle table, and a projection on the wall showed blocks falling onto each other. Apparently I’d missed the best part of the meeting, when, at the beginning everyone demonstrated their projects.
Instead, I’ve had the pleasure & privilege to chat with another participant, Stephen, who used photogrammetry to reconstruct statues & other architectural curiosities and place them in an outdoor environment in VR. As part of the same project for a Hungarian museum, they have created a “dummy” cardboard 3D “box” with image patterns that decode into an image of a stone statue for the user of the VR interface. The interface, in this case, being your smartphone, placed inside special goggles that you wear like a VR headset.
Zsolt’s current project was (is!) a VR simulator of being a cop who pulls over a car at night, and, by identifying the intent of the driver by his movement in the dark, you must decide whether they are going for a gun.
If they are, if I understood correctly, you shoot them.
Zsolt cited his main motivation behind the project the many deaths that better training for the police might have prevented.
That being said, I had a secondary objective in coming to the meetup. I wanted to get some feedback on an idea of my own Unity game, a simple one that I can use to solidify a team of developers with whom to move onto more complex projects …
The game’s working title is Fingerful Type.
At my Help Desk job, I have a colleague whose fingers were eaten away by flesh-eating bacteria; he has a few on each hand. To type, he has to look at the keyboard.
Most of us who learnt typing in school learnt how to position 10 fingers across the keyboard in such a way as to reach the keys faster. When you have less than 10 fingers (in any configuration), it would be faster for you to type differently. For example, if you would have only your pinkie on the right hand, you would position your right hand in such a way so that it would be easier for you to hit letters used in most words. The program would teach you to type fast taking into account how many digits you have on each hand by helping you practice typing in the form of some kind of an elementary game (for example, you are flying a spaceship, and you must type out a word to dodge a meteorite).
The two people to whom I’d mentioned this at the meeting said “it’s too niche” and “most people have 10 fingers.”
It is 1:31 AM.
My journey continues.