Daydreamer is a VR experience I created in collaboration with Stephanie Owens. The idea was to create a room that would simulate the experience of lucid dreams in a way that could help the player control their own lucid dreams in real life. We created dreamlike interactions and visuals including a clock that shows a different time every time you look at it, or items that change shape or color around you. The idea involved giving the player control over their environment, while leaving it up to them to discover the experience on their own. Daydreamer can serve as a helpful crash course in controlling your own lucid dreams.
Stephanie created the environment in Autodesk Maya and imported them into Unreal Engine 4, as well as creating the lighting and materials for the scene. I was in charge of the VR experience and programming. I also created the particles in the game and worked on some lighting used in a special scene. I incorporated the sounds as well and helped with set dressing some of the interactive items.
Daydreamer was the first VR project that I worked on in Unreal Engine. This was a short 2 week project in which Stephanie and I had a lot of ideas but needed to narrow them down to impactful concepts. I used an Oculus Rift S (the project can also run on a Oculus Quest) for this project, I kept teleportation as the mode of movement because I wanted to focus mainly on the interactions the game had to offer.
We decided to set the environment in a living room with busy shelves full of books. One of the ideas of lucid dreams is that things can tend to be inconsistent and often lack continuity. Since we had so many books we decided to make some of them actually change color and shape when the user is not looking directly at them. Specific Items would dramatically change; from a book to a pillow, to a bottle of pills etc. We also had some written notes that would change; to randomize some background story elements, and to further sell the idea of an inconsistent dream.
The main interaction works through the painting in the back of the room. It is an item the player can grab like any other item, but it will not change shapes or colors and will behave like a normal object. If it is placed up against the window however, the interior environment suddenly transforms to appears to be submerged under water. The lights turn off, and I added some green lighting and designed bubble particles to make it seem like the player is deep underwater. Atmospheric sound effects further sell this environment.
The candles that were previously lit are blown out,we intended on also having some items floating,unfortunately this did not make in into the final project. If the painting is removed from the window then the environment reverts back to normal again, and the usual sound effects resume.