Conceived at a Krispy Kreme
Late one night, while working on another VR project over a coffee and donuts at our local Krispy Kreme we were struggling with a particularly difficult coding problem. We sat there, bellies full and heads over sugared in a way only the sweet sweet soft donuts of Krispy Kreme do, starring off into the distance. That extra sugar helping to power our tired brains figure out 3D transformations and relative vectors. It was in that sugar filled haze of thought that an idea sprung.
While starring blankly into space our eyes drifted to the staff going about their duties, one was making coffees, another sorting out donuts into boxes and a third working behind an ice cream counter preparing ice creams for customers. Who eats ice cream at midnight?
Luke broke from his haze and said to me, “How much fun would it be if you could make ice cream cones for people in VR and then just f**k around with it and throw it around the place?”. A moment passed, and I replied…” that would be great fun”. Looking at the same activity going on around us I added “what about if you could do the same for making coffees and packing orders?”.
We pulled out a fresh sheet of paper and began sketching out the scenario, a simple 3D set and the gameplay mechanics. By this time it was well past midnight and we’d already had a long day, but the obvious question was in rattling around both of our heads. “Should we go back to the office and prototype this up?”.
Twenty minutes later we were in the office, computers fired up, and a new Unity project created. 26 Rob Plays was born (the project had no name at this stage but more on that later). For the next 5 hours we toiled away making some basic 3D models, writing code and building the prototype game.
[Insert picture of working in the office, at PC, VR gear all around, Krispy Kreme coffee cup on desk]
The game was pretty simply, you stood in front of an ice cream counter containing a range of ice cream flavours, on top of the counter an ice cream scoop, 6 ice cream cones and a list of orders that had to be filled (each with three flavours). The task was simply to scoop out ice cream from the tubs and create the orders.
[Insert screenshot of first game]
I put the headset on and we pressed play, I reached out and grabbed the ice cream scoop and started scooping balls of ice cream out of the tubs. “This works” I said and reached out to grab a cone then carefully placed a scoop of ice cream onto it. The process of adding one scoop of virtual ice cream to a virtual cone was surprisingly fun. I scooped out another ball of ice cream and tried to add it on top of the one just placed. Snap, it sat there perfectly and now I had a virtual ice cream cone with chocolate and strawberry scoops in my virtual hand. I repeated for the final scoop and the order docket flashed to show I had completed one of my orders. “That’s really cool” I stated to Luke as I admired my handy work.
I stood there in the office at some ridiculous time in the morning after working nearly all night, VR headset on, holding a virtual ice cream. “There’s really only one thing to do now” I said as I leaned back, drew my arm back then heaved the virtual icy treat as hard as I could. It flew over the counter and landed some distance away on the virtual floor making a satisfying splat sound. “This is really fun, I think we have something here. We just need to make more of these, add some cool music and we’ve got a game here.”
We sat there for the next hour and mapped out new mini games that we thought would be fun. By the end we had 26 levels listed out on a sheet of A3 paper. In less than 8 hours 26 Rob Plays was conceived and born.
[Photo of 26 levels on office wall]