Inside the Aquatic Advancements of Vacation Simulator, Out Tomorrow for PS VR
Of course, having visually appealing water is great, but if it doesn’t react properly to your hands or other objects in the world, the illusion is immediately broken. At Owlchemy Labs we’re all about physics interactions, so we put together a system that makes items bob around and provides satisfying splash and ripple effects. All of this happens dynamically with all of the objects in the game, including ridiculous player-created objects like giant waffles or custom shrubs. Our system automatically figures out the best way to make things float based on their shape, volume, and other factors, blending realistic physics with those only possible in VR for the most fun.
In Vacation Forest, water takes the form of a swiftly flowing river. The river is powered by the same buoyancy system that makes the beach work, but with a new twist: While the ocean focuses on gentle waves, rivers need to flow!
The forest’s river has lots of turns, rocks for water to flow around, and even a small waterfall. We needed a way for water to flow around all these elements and translate that into water physics motion for not just items floating down the river, but the fish who live there as well!
To do this, we created a map to show how the water should flow — in technical terms, a flow map.
Lastly, the frosty climate of Vacation Mountain may not seem like the most obvious place for a body of water, but we didn’t want mountain vacationers to miss out on any of the fun!
The lodge’s hot tub combines buoyancy with another one of our more complicated systems — temperature. It can be set to cold or hot, freezing items solid, heating them, and even cooking them! Of course, what’s a hot tub without jets? The flow feature we developed for the Forest’s river made it easy to get swirly in the hot tub as well.
Large bodies of water are certainly complicated, from rendering to physics to the way they interact with all of our other systems, but we knew the world of Vacation Simulator wouldn’t be complete without them. Wherever you choose to vacation, we hope you enjoy splashing around and playing with all your favorite items in the water — and remember to stay hydrated!
– Graeme @ Owlchemy Labs
Vacation Simulator is available tomorrow, June 18, for PlayStation VR.