theBluVR

Role

  • VR Designer

Studio

WEVR

Platform

Samsung Gear VR (Launch Title)

Release Date

  • Q3 2014

Skills Used

  • Unity3D
  • Oculus SDK
  • Google Spreadsheet
  • Google Docs
  • Adobe Photoshop

theBluVR was a launch title for the Samsung Gear VR. It’s an underwater educational tour that pushed the limits of photorealism for the early days of mobile VR. The VR headset operates almost like scuba goggles in theBluVR and each segment flows like a theme park “dark ride” while voiceover guides your experience.

As this was a launch title debuting on brand new hardware, there was a lot of R&D done by the small design team in the early days of the project as we worked through whether the final product would look more like a traditional “game” or more like an immersive experience. As members of the design team left the project (one to get married, one to return to school), I became the primary designer for the final released version.

This project worked as a precursor to theBlu: Encounter, which is an HTC Vive VR experience that runs on much more powerful hardware (PC) and delivers a significantly different experience than is capable on a mobile device and is what WEVR is now best known for. I did very early preliminary proof-of-concept work on that version, setting up the R&D version of room scale VR with the prototype Vive, before I left the studio to work on Nevermind with Flying Mollusk. As WEVR is now focused on room scale VR experiences, it appears they have dropped support for this mobile version as it will not run on the latest versions of the Android operating system. If you have a Samsung Gear VR and a device that is running an older Android version, you can still download theBluVR at the Oculus Store site.