CASE STUDY

Bird Hunter

VR bird hunting simulator with photorealistic locations and fascinating animations.

Solution

VR Game Development

Industry

Media & Entertainment

Outcome

The VR software solution was implemented in compliance with the client’s requirements and business objectives. The сlient received a photorealistic simulation game that delivers top-notch user experience and allowed increasing the number of monthly active users by 30%.

The VR software development process was managed by seasoned software engineers and project managers as a result of which several key tasks were solved:

  • Building realistic lighting simulation.
  • Enabling VR support for full-screen visual effects.
  • Providing support for Windows Mixed Reality and Oculus Rift.

+66%
Throughput, Users
+73%
Average Order
+60%
Increasing Revenue
+56%
Retention Rate
+30%
Monthly Active Users

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Bird Hunter is another milestone in Computools’s experience of working on VR-based games. The project’s objective was to create a realistic hunting environment with engaging and simple gameplay using VR technology. The highlight of Bird Hunter is captivating graphics that reminds of real worldwide hunting locations. One of the major client’s requirements was to enable the support of the desktop game on Windows Mixed Reality and Oculus Rift that are both responsible for creating immersive game experiences. Another crucial aspect of the VR game design was to provide realistic lighting and full-screen visual effects that are not typical for VR game development, but Computools’s team of engineers made it possible, bringing the quality of game graphics to the AAA level. The game is monetized through in-app payments on Steam where players are free to make purchases as they see fit.

The game is not supposed to support the night mode

There is no clear-cut list of birds to recreate in the game

The shooting process is not clearly defined in terms of design

Bird Hunter will have AAA graphics along with excellent immersive gameplay

The user will have no eye discomfort or migraine while playing it for long periods of time

The game simulator will create a true-to-life VR environment that gives the player lifelike and natural experiences

Communication Framework

Computools
Project Manager
Team Lead
Bird Hunter
CEO
Communication

The communication with the client was initiated through email and further maintained with the help of Skype, a versatile communication tool for business meetings. Skype became a connecting link between the client and the team of developers from start to finish of the project. It was a convenient platform to hold weekly scrum meetings in which the client could track the progress of project development.

Business Process Mapping

01
Consult

The VR game development process starts with defining the client’s requirements, business needs and limitations, as well as user requirements. At this stage, it is essential to determine all the stakeholders involved with the project and their basic interests. Similarly, a business analyst conducts research on the product competitors and estimates the risks in project development.

02
Design

The design stage involves making a detailed specification with the requirements for software functionality. Next, a tech stack and project architecture are defined in compliance with the software product’s functions and roles it will play in the client’s business model. Computools team produces the most beneficial solution that allows building the software in the most secure and optimal manner.

03
ENGINEER

The team of engineers begins working on product design. They distribute tasks according to their roles. The process of project development takes place under the supervision of a project manager that makes sure the product building corresponds with the client’s expectations. QA specialists test the code with the view of detecting bugs or glitches. Once the quality of software is approved, the product delivery is carried out.

Digital Platform & Technology

The choice of technology results from the project’s specification. The system architecture, languages, engines, and frameworks are all selected with regard to the project’s business objectives.

Computools
Project Manager
Team Lead
Bird Hunter
CEO
Communication
Unity3D

Unity3D is an all-in-one platform that creates a productive environment for agile game design. The engine is fit for the creation of 2D and 3D multiplatform games with excellent visuals. Unlike other engines, Unity reduces an average time of game design and simplifies the development process through quick prototyping and easy import process of image, audio, video and text formats band 3D packages. Light Baking, Color Correction, Volumetric Light are all image effects that were implemented using Unity3D.

Gaia

Gaia is used to create stunning landscapes for any type of games. It allows working with Unity manually as well as automatically, which speeds up the process of VR game development as a whole. It also gives access to massive assets that allow integrating a variety of landscape elements without difficulty.

CTS

CTS helps to create fascinating terrains using a rich library of textures. It allows changing different terrain features, such as snow amount, geo strength, smoothness, brightness, tintness, etc., which lets the dev team create lifelike locations that meet the client’s requirements.

C#

C# is a modern object oriented language developed by Microsoft and largely used for app design. It is easily integrated with Unity3D and commonly used in cross-platform game creation. C# main advantages include fast development speed, rich library, scalability and updatebility, and interoperability, as well as the ability to reuse other codes in software design.

Microsoft Mixed Reality

Microsoft Mixed Reality is a VR and AR platform used to create holographic immersive effects. The use of this technology results from the need for photorealistic in-game locations. The platform makes the game compatible with a variety of VR sets, which expands the target audience and contributes to the popularity of Bird Hunter simulator with players.

System architecture

Specification

The specification is written at the prototype stage and must contain the requirements for every single stage of product development as well as describe software attributes that the client would like to see in the app. The final version of the specification is issued at the end of project development.

Project Goal
Design a prototype of photorealistic Hunter Game

Precondition
Download the game app on Steam

Main Flow
Plug in your VR headset
Start playing the game
Select your weapon
Look for bird tracks and shoot

Postcondition
Create different traps

Alternative Flow
Update or buy new weapons

COMPUTOOLS TEAM

Computools houses the best tech talents skilled in various technologies and assigns IT specialists to projects in accordance with their expertise and experience. They work as a team and individually as a result of which the client receives a high-quality software product fitting with their business goals.

Project Manager
Nikita Abelmasov
Team Lead
Nikolay Smorgun
Developer
Software engineering team
UX/UI Designer
Panchenko Valerii

BACKSTAGE

Effective communication within Computools’s team is the key to programming productivity. They use different problem solving techniques to find the best solution and optimal approach to software development.

Dev meetings
The team has weekly developer meetings at every stage of development that are intended to make sure the programming process takes place with no or minimum risk. The use of Agile framework allows achieving high software quality standards and making changes if any inconsistencies are revealed throughout the project.
Team Brainstorming
To find an innovative VR game solution, the engineering team has regular brainstorming sessions. Each team member actively participates in discussions and proposes adequate solutions from their professional perspective. In the end, the programming team gets on the same page in their vision of project building.
Feedback
At the end of each sprint, the client and the dev team arrange a feedback session during which engineers present their work, whereas the client gives feedback and recommendations on further project development and improvement.

Internal Communication Flow

The internal communication within the Computools team was backed by Skype video calls used to hold face-to-face scrum meetings and retrospective meetings. Trello was the primary tool for task assignments and tracking project progress. Both tools enabled the team to work efficiently, completing every stage of the project on time and eventually delivering the product, as it was stipulated in the contract.

Project Management Methodology

Scrum chosen as a relevant Agile framework for productive software development. It implies splitting the entire VR game development process into a number of sprints, each needed to design one or another software feature. The Scrum methodology allows for increased adaptability in project development. The dev team is able to change the scope of work depending on the task priority and complexity, but it affects the project costs in no way, which is the main benefit of scrum. Similarly, scrum lets software developers start working on the project earlier and deliver positive results faster without putting the quality of software product at risk. Since the client is capable of supervising the project development process from start to finish, it greatly reduces the chance of project misalignment with the business objectives.

PROJECT TIMELINE

1 week
2 weeks
12 months
1
CONSULT
Defining goals
  • Identifying high-level project goals
Analysis & Exploration
  • Researching and analyzing the existing and ready-made solutions
  • Defining main restrictions and providing solutions for them
  • Identifying the main risks
2
DESIGN
High-Level Architecture
  • Selecting basic architectural patterns and tools
  • Forming an application stack, work processes with VCS
  • Forming the main development guidelines
Interactive prototypes & Specification
  • Development of a prototype in parallel with specification
  • Choosing Project Management Methodology
Build Development Process
  • Calculating the number of project teams
  • Configuring the technological processes and interactions between roles
3
ENGINEER
Build The Team
  • Making the initial scope based on the specification and estimate, calculating the optimal number of specialists for each role
  • Adding executors to the team's core
  • Conducting an intro meeting
Development
  • Development of a road map, dividing the development process into parts
  • Implementation of birds and landscape design
  • Creation of the custom render pipeline
  • VR module implementation
Testing & Stabilization
  • Developing a testing plan
  • UI & Unit testing
  • Applying improvements
  • Code stabilization/refactoring, increasing system stability, reducing the probability of bug emergency

Design Development

Bird Hunter’s design builds on the game concept, namely bird hunt. The designer’s role was to provide an intuitive interface and extreme responsiveness that together will provide superior UX and high user retention. VR design was implemented without a prototype and aligned with the client’s expectations.

Computools
Project Manager
UX/UI Designer
Bird Hunter
CEO
Communication

CODE DEVELOPMENT

The Scrum methodology was at the core of code development. This part of software design was carried out into short sprints under strict supervision of the project manager, team lead, and QA assistants. Scrum meetings became an effective method to make sure the code is free from bugs and inconsistencies.

CODE SAMPLE

Scan QR code to find code sample

Or use link below

https://github.com/computools/Bird-Hanter

Implementation On Client’s Side

01 LAUNCH

Bird Hunter project was finished on time with all the necessary testing and verification prior to the delivery to the client. The game app delivers optimal performance and complies with the agreed standards and requirements.

02 TRANSFER

The client received the game app on due date and according to the contract terms and conditions. The product was further tested on the client’s side to prove its working order and functionality.

03 EDUCATION

The client did not request additional training materials, but Computools is ready to make up corresponding documentation and tutorials, if necessary.

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