My Contributions: Technical Art, Level Design, Programming
At some point, everyone has thought about becoming a DJ. With DJ VR, the goal was to make that experience available to everyone. The idea was to have it at festivals as an installation. The experience takes place for a finite amount of time to keep the line moving along, so we had to make sure everyone who used it would know what to do right away.
When you first put the headset on, you're standing in on stage in front of thousands of festival-goers. When you're told "you're live", the music starts playing and the controls in front of you become active. I came up with some audio effects and tied them to these big, VR friendly buttons, sliders, and knobs in front of the user, so they can manipulate the song as thousand of onlookers dance to the beat. You can even scratch the records! If you raise your hands into the air, the crowd goes wild!
I was in charge of designing the environment, the particle effects, as well as getting the crowd in there. The crowd was a particular challenge. Our target machine was running a 7th gen Intel i7, and had a GTX 1070- not exactly a slouch, but it can't handle thousands of instances of these characters and their animator controllers in real-time. On top of that, VR makes the whole thing a bit more intensive- and means we need to target 90fps. 
My solution was to bake the majority of the characters into animated sprites that match the lighting of the scene, billboard them to the player, and have them make up the majority share of the crowd. The end result looks great! 
DJ VR was installed at one Toronto festival before the COVID-19 outbreak, and the feedback from participants we extremely positive. We look forward to having this experience featured at more festivals when they resume.
Video never does an AR/VR experience justice, but regardless- check out this video of the experience below!

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