How the Insta360 Titan allowed an amateur developer to recreate ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ in VR.
If you were lucky enough to stop by E3 2019 this year, you may have come across a line of people waiting to check out a small booth set up by CBS and Insta360. There, players could step into an interactive VR experience based on the popular game show ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ and compete in a game of “CarPong” for the chance at winning some sweet prizes, including Insta360 cameras, t-shirts, even a few Oculus Quest’s.
What you may not have realized, however, was that the entire VR experience was built in the span of just six months by a first-time developer.
VR Producer Jersey Feimster, the amateur developer responsible for the experience, was able to produce a functioning game so quickly by incorporating 360-degree video into the experience as a substitute for a hand-crafted VR environment. Using the Insta360 Titan, the companies recently released 11K cinematic 360-degree camera, Feimster—who also happens to play one of the zany mascots on the show—filmed the ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ audience for one minute before having them stand up.
Feimster then began building the interactive portion of the experience, using this high-quality HD 360-degree footage to create the skybox/world in which the player inhabits.
“Six months ago, I had the idea of bringing a live studio audience to your living room/office,” said Feimster in an interview. “I found out it had never been done before and was told it couldn’t be done. So, I taught myself Unity late at night after my son and wife went to bed. Nighttime became YouTube university time. I did my first tutorial and then I was on to learning what a skybox was. I asked a ton of people all over the internet for help and got to a place where I needed some help from others. I called in for help and we made a great demo game.”
As 360-degree video continues to progress, its appeal as a game development tool will only increase; especially with the recent advancements in 3D depth-mapping technology, which allows players to physically walk around 360-degree scenes with six degrees-of-freedom.
“The reaction has been unreal. This is a fun game, I could play it for hours. Even gamers that don’t enjoy VR have loved playing it. When some of the large game companies are pitching you on how they can use your game, it’s an amazing feeling. I’m so proud of my team for putting our E3 booth together in a short amount of time.”
For more information on the beastly Insta360 Titan and various other Insta360 cameras, visit Insta360.com.