Beam Me Up Games (BMU for short) is a Canadian video game studio based in Montreal and specialized in virtual reality. I had the chance to work there as an intern for three months.
During my internship, BMU was developing a new technology based on the Gear VR headset, called HoloRoom. A set of cameras is used to track in space a sensor put on the headset, to allow the player to move in the game. This looks like the HTC Vive system, but with a Gear VR and without cables. However, the graphic quality is lower as the Gear VR uses a smartphone.
I worked on several VR experiences destined to be used as promotional tools and on VR games using the Unity Game Engine. The games were destined to be used in the first VR arcade room of Montreal.
The first game we worked on was HoloChess. It’s a chess game in VR. As in Harry Potter, the pieces are alive, and fight each other. The player has the same size as the pieces, and is on the board with them. It’s a very nice and impressive experience to live. However, it’s a chess game, players became rapidly bored. They were like “Wooaa” at start, and after a few minutes, they stopped because they didn’t play the game to think seriously about a chess game but to see how nice it is to be in VR. VR here is only a distraction, a decoration, and is not a part of the game mechanics. It was more a game in VR that a VR game.
The second game I worked on was HoloFlight. It was based on a Unity game from the asset store, but reconverted to VR. The player controls a plane with a game pad, and has to collect energy globes before the plane runs out of energy. It’s like pilot a remote plane in real life. Here VR is more interesting, because the player has to move around and follow the plane to maneuver it. It’s a part of the game mechanics, if the player does not move and look around, he can’t play. That’s what makes the game fun.
During this internship I learned a lot about VR Game design and programming games with Unity. I learned about game assets integration in unity (3D models and animations, textures, musics and sounds with mixers, chess engine AI) and some other functionalities (network, asset bundles, unity profiler, multi platform builds, Photon plugin, Mecanim). It was my first experience in professional game development. I discovered the pros (work with a team of passionate people on games) and the cons (budget constraints, time constraints) of working in a game studio. It made my desire to become Game Developer stronger.