VR Hub / Apartment Trashing Simulator

As part of the International Festival for Business last week I helped out at Realspace’s VR hub in the Liverpool Science Centre. Realspace have recently set up, amongst other things providing a space for local businesses to experiment with VR. They knew I was working on a VR game and asked if I could demo it at the event – but the game is such an early prototype it’s still full of coder art, which I’m not keen to show to people! Instead I showed the very first thing I made after getting my DK2: I took Epic’s ‘Realistic Rendering’ environment and added some physics-based gaze mechanics. So you could walk around Epic’s beautiful apartment lounge, and turn the lamps on and off and pick up and smash objects ‘with your mind’. Ludicrous but oddly compelling – it was fun to see Serious Business People light up with joy when they realised they could smash the place up.

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VR Molecular Visualisation

So this was a fun little demo I put together for a client: the first chain of insulin (apparently, I’m not a scientist!) loaded from a CML (Chemical Markup Language) file and displayed as a model in UE4. There are over 400 atoms and ~1200 bonds iirc, so I used one instanced static mesh per atom type and one for the bonds. Then I mounted the whole thing on an invisible sphere which is physically simulated and fixed in place – meaning I can then spin it like a globe using the Leap Motion.

Neat effect, and very quick to put together; the part that took the longest was reading the CML and figuring out where to put the bonds (I had no idea until wikipedia told me about covalent radii!).