Advice on creating a VR lab at Brooklyn College


#1

Hi All,

Some of you know me as the guy making interactive VR stories from a few months ago. I’m also a professor of film and television at Brooklyn College in New York. My overlords at the college are considering my request to build a VR lab, which is great news except for one problem. I’m not really sure what this lab should look like or how it should be set up. I’m seeking advice from anyone here who has experience or can imagine a room dedicated to creating VR work in room-scale environment with capacity for multiple workstations/users working at the same time in the same place. If anyone has pictures of such a space, I would be very grateful.

The class size will likely be 10 students. I’m not thinking that we’d have 10 workstations, we wouldn’t have room for that. Maybe 3 or 4 at most. Each workstation of course needs the proper computer and HMD and lighthouses and space for the user to move around.

I imagine this lab will allow students to create VR worlds, experiences, stories, etc. Using the same hardware and software that we all use here in HiFi. I’ll probably also teach 360 video but those needs are much simpler than trying to create multiple room scale VR stations.

My first thought was to just place each workstation in a corner, mark out some space on the floor with tape or something, keep it really simple. But I’m wondering if maybe some partitions would be nice to keep each space more isolated so that it’s less distracting for people?

This space would start off as one large empty classroom, BTW. I’m looking for advice or tips on the design within that space.

What are some ideas, tips or essentials that you would want to see in a space like this if you were teaching this class or taking it?

At the front I’m imagining a lectern with A/V stuff: DVD player, speakers, computer, large projector screen. So I could do basic lectures to the whole class.

One thought I had was about the viewer/audience experience. Should or could that space be different from a creators space? So once a student has created a VR piece, it would be viewed at a station designed just for viewing - and if so what does THAT look like?

I have not been to any VR production facilities nor have I seen VR installations so these issues of space and design are very new to me.

Any references, images, ideas, or tips are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Jason


#2

Mario Rodriguez talking about setting up several Vives in one large room in this blogpost:
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MarioRodriguez/20170221/291948/VR_Game_Development_Problems_and_How_We_Fixed_Them.php


#3

VR Cave at High Fidelity This is long, large room at HiFi, but if you want to see some good caves There are some other photos of the VR Caves in UploadVR of San Fransisco in that stream.

Since you are in NY, you might want to join this MeetUp group: Meet up NYVR

They might be able to advise you more, and going to their meetings could help you see how VR is provided.


#4

Here’s what I would do…
Place all computers in the center of the room. Each machine will have a double monitor, one facing inside the circular desk where development or ‘experience driving’ can occur, and one facing out for ease-of-use during setup.

Objects obviously not to scale. Lighthouses are Red. Desk is Blue. You might also choose instead to allow the desks to act as natural barriers (screenshot 2)

In the words of famous Chris,

‘Good Luck!’


#5

Great article, thanks Dr. Alta.


#6

Thanks Alph! Great advice.


#7

Great pics and yes I’ll join the NYVR meetup, see you there!