I wanted to post an update every week. That didn’t go as planned for various reasons but here I am. I will try to keep it short and just mention the most fun stuff I was up to during that time.
Interaction with objects. To allow picking them up, to hold them in hand and release/throw. To make it easier to tell which item can be picked up, if you put empty hand over such item, it will be highlighted (and highlighting is optional).
As for controls, for Oculus Touch it is quite straightforward. You just use grab to grab, release it to release/throw. For Vive (wands) I decided to have a default behaviour to auto holster main weapon when close to an item that can be picked up. The other behaviour requires player input to holster main weapon to allow picking up stuff.
But then I needed an item that I could test that system on. I wanted to have these small spider robots able to be picked up but I wanted to have something new as well. A mushroom that when picked up, turns into a shield. It just bends and scales up. And then I had that idea that when released/thrown, it should not just fall down but it would be much more fun if it would find a place to attach on its own. I ended up with a flying worm, mushroom, energy shield hybrid.
As a shield it works really simple. You just grab it and hold it between you and the enemy:
More fun was with getting that worm part to work. When freed, it looks for a place to attach. If it finds one within one meter, it goes straight to it. If not, just tries random directions downward and to sides. I may attach not only to floor but also to walls.
As for the movement, I needed something simple and I ended up with just rotating slowly the whole thing around the centre and moving it in the direction the worm’s head points to. The animation is procedural and quite simple. The worm’s head rotates towards the desired direction and other bones are dragged behind. I had way too much fun putting my hands and guns in the way of the little fellow and watching it struggle to get to the ground.
But it’s not just a mushroom-worm hybrid that can be used as a shield. When stationary, it may suck in energy blobs (both ammo and health). It uses them to recharge its own shield. But there is one more thing that it can be used for. I’ll keep that for people to discover on their own.
And a final thought about the worm. I still have to do few small things but right now I like the way it flies, it moves. I decided to have more of such stuff. Not shields or mushrooms but things with different purposes, worms flying around or pretending to be some plants.