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Picnic Panic

A VR "Picnic" game about throwing ants so they can cart away food

Click here to play the game (requires a Steam VR compatible VR headset)

Team and My Responsibilities

"Work in Progress" Studios consisted of three programmers, one sound designer, one UI designer, and one 3D artist working in a two week time frame. I served as a programmer and was responsible for importing assets, handling ant behavior before and after being thrown, tweaking throwing physics, and managing the food trackers.

Game Description

Picnic Panic is a VR game about throwing ants at a picnic in order to carry away as much food as possible within the time limit. Different food types have different weights and require greater or fewer ants in order to successfully carry them away. weightier food items are worth more points. In the final round, a large turkey is dropped and the player is encouraged to throw as many ants as possible in the few remaining seconds. The game includes a human character as a diagetic reason for why food items are raining down.

Challenge

As this was my first VR game, I experienced a steep learning curve in using VR. Rapidly learning the basics mechanics of VR, such as picking up and releasing objects smoothly, was a challenge. Making the arc of the throw powerful enough to reach the farthest food items, while still giving the player enough control in throwing the ants to close items further compounded the challenge.

Development Environment / Tools Used

Picnic panic was made using an Oculus Quest, the Unity Engine, and the Steam VR plugin. We used Unity Collaborate for version control and file transferring. Slack was used as our offline communication.

Highlight

The game took inspiration from the targeted throwing aspects of games like corn hole and lawn darts to recreate a classic lawn game in VR. The game also took inspiration from Pikmin in which players use groups of small plant creatures to lift obstacles. This led to our idea to have each food item have a certain weight and require a number of ants to be thrown on it in order for the food item to be carted away and increase the score.
 

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