Presenting our TechCrunch Hackathon Winner: A trip to space

September 4, 2018
Presenting our TechCrunch Hackathon Winner: A trip to space

Many of you might have already heard it. On the 16th of August, the three winners of the VRdirect Sponsor Prices from the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Hackathon were announced. In this article, we want to take a quick look at the winner experience and dive into the reason why we loved it so much.

First of all – we want to thank everybody who participated in the Hackathon! We are incredibly proud that so many of you submitted their experiences to us and that we got so much positive feedback from everybody in the community.

The Winners

The decision wasn’t easy, but it had to be made. As of 16th of August, the official winner experiences are:

VRdirect – 1st Place: A Trip to Space
VRdirect – 2nd Place: Make A Change
VRdirect – 3rd Place: World of Adventure

Congratulations to our three finalists! You can watch the Video-Demos of these and all submitted experiences on Devpost. All three winner experiences are also published in the VRdirect app! Download the VRdirect app in the Apple, Android or Oculus app store and check out the winner experiences.

The Winner experience: A trip to space

We now want to dive into the 1st Place winner experience : A trip to space.

“I was always inspired by going to space and visiting other planets. Since the VRdirect platform lets you create new worlds beyond reality, I came up with this storyline. In this experience aliens are taking you into space, you will have to solve tasks and challenges in the spaceship and on different planets. If you succeed, they will take you back to earth.”

The experience consists of different mini-games and quizzes. The experience starts with the immersive character being abducted by aliens after entering their spaceship and being taken to space. From here the user has to solve different problems to get back to earth and win the game. The mini-games are great wayto use the VRdirect builder in a creative and yet easy way.

In the first game, the user has to search for different aliens in a 360° environment. Only when he found all of them – by gazing into them – the user can enter the next room. For that, Nina implemented different graphics into a 360° image and afterwards imported it into a VRdirect node. She then placed invisible interactive elements onto the aliens. By gazing into them, the user triggers the disappearance of other static, invisible elements that blocked the exit button. After finding all of the aliens, the exit button can be selected.

The second part of the experience was a multiple choice questionnaire game. Only by answering all of the questions correctly the user was able to continue to the next task. If the user failed to answer a question correctly he had to start over from the beginning. To do this, Nina implemented an interactive computer screen into a 360° image. The screen showed the different questions and answers that could be selected by gazing into them.

After answering all questions correctly, the user is ready for the next task. For that Nina created a 360° environment of our solar system. By gazing into the different planets the user triggered a node transition that teleported him onto 360° image environments that represent the selected planet. On one of the planets, one alien was hidden and the user had to find it to continue with the fourth and final task.

For this final task Nina created a labyrinth of different nodes, that represent different rooms of the spaceship. For this, she used photos from real live offices and factories. She edited the colors of the images and implemented different aliens to create the look and feel of a spaceship.

By gazing into arrows on the ground the user is able to go through doors or exits to switch rooms.

To improve the immersive experience, Nina used different background music and used sound effects to create feedback for the user. For example, by gazing into an alien, that alien triggered a suitable sound effect. Furthermore, the user is guided through the experience by a little alien, who explains the different tasks. For that Nina used a distorted recording of her own voice.

Watch our CEO announcing the winner on stage

Our CEO Dr. Rolf Illenberger was on stage at Disrupt 2018 in San Francisco and announced the winner experience. Watch the video below:

Decision for winner

Altogether we were convinced by the level of interactivity, the unique look and feel as well as the intelligent use of the possibilities and features of the VRdirect Builder. We are thrilled to see that the VRdirect Builder was used so creatively and offers so many possibilities to anyone – even if they have never worked with VR before. For Nina this is one of the key takeaways:

“I’ve never created an interactive VR experience before, because I thought building something like that would be pretty complicated and would require coding skills. After downloading the software, I didn’t expect it to be so easy to work with the VRdirect Builder. It was very intuitive and I had so much fun creating A Trip to Space!”

For Nina the creation of the VRdirect experience offers even more opportunities. She works as a Graphic Designer in the Munich-based production agency Contentkueche. After winning the Hackathon, Nina was offered to establish a new business branch in the company and is now in charge of VR production. Constantin Duge, COO of the company, states:

“We are very proud of the experience that Nina has submitted. We were always looking to get a grip of VR but never found an entry point. Nina can now help us to establish our company in the VR niche. We think the VRdirect Builder can offer a lot of benefits for our clients.”

If you also want to find out, how easy it is to create your VR experience with VRdirect, start your Free Trial here

About VRdirect

The VRdirect platform is the easiest solution to create and publish Virtual Reality projects. There are no expert skills needed. Moreover, Virtual Reality projects created with VRdirect can be published instantly via any VR enabled device, smartphone or web-browser and you can update them easily and in real-time.

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