Earthlight is a first person exploration game taking place on the International Space Station, putting players in the shoes of an astronaut in a realistic simulation of the artificial satellite.
Opaque Multimedia created Earthlight to combine the powers of the Oculus Rift and Microsoft’s Kinect 2, using their proprietary Kinect 4 Unreal plugin to marry the two technologies with Unreal Engine 4.
Chris Mackenzie, a member of the team working on the body mapping system powering the way the Kinect 2 sees the player explained some of the challenges they faced.
“It’s been a real challenge to create a pleasant UX when you’re trying to combine VR with kinetic input. We have to pay close attention to a number of different factors that you don’t normally have to account for in conventional VR projects, particularly proprioception."
"Proprioception is the awareness of the position of your body and joints. When we replace people’s body with a virtual avatar that mimics their movement, we need to ensure that what they’re seeing matches what they think their limbs are doing, otherwise it makes for a deeply disturbing experience”.
The tech demo will be on display at the Opaque Multimedia booth at GDC 2015, which begins in just five days, and it will be released to the public following the conference. You can watch the launch trailer for the demo on Youtube.