Build Your World in a Snap
As kids, we built entire worlds out of simple shapes, and watched adventures unfold from above. Using the HTC Vive, Snapstreet VR allows you to build your world with easy tools and then take a step into it like we’ve always dreamed of. Building Blocks even become fun for adults when you can turn your imagination into a virtual reality.
Snapstreet VR is a virtual reality prototype for the HTC Vive that was created in 24 hours for HackUMBC Fall 2016.
At the time of demoing, Snapstreet VR contained the following features:
- Full room scale VR support with the HTC Vive and Unreal Engine 4
- Snap together tiles to build a custom city design
- Teleport around your own virtual space to build to your heart’s content
- Shrink down and explore your city streets from the ground
These features were planned, but not implemented within the time constraint of the challenge:
- Ability to access a library of blocks to place from your hand
- Custom hand models with UI designed for building
- Other environments and block types
As a one man programming team, there was no time for breaks or naps. This 24-hour project marked my first experience working with Unreal Engine, as well as my first experience creating VR content. Figuring out bugs in the code was quite challenging without another developer to rack my brain with, but it was a challenge well worth it for the experience I gained.
Aside from the fun application of using Snapstreet VR to build and explore worlds, this demo served as a proof-of-concept for architectural design in virtual reality. Not only can architecture be designed in a truly 3D space, but buildings can now be physically explored at a life size scale before any construction breaks ground. I believe that software which makes use of these advantages — especially when created by real architects, rather than amateur college students — will be the future of architectural design.