The World SF #Convention started today. I had planned to fly to New Zealand and attend in person but this damn pandemic got in the way.
However, instead of cancelling, they switched over to an online convention. So I'm going anyway, but I'm driving a few miles to get to a decent Internet connection to do it, instead of flying to Wellington.
I also got roped into helping create it. (This is the big project I've been working on for months. I'll talk more about it later.)
So, what project did I work on for the World SF #Convention?
I've been wanting to talk openly about this since I started on it a bit less than three months ago. Now the convention has started, I can.
Working on my own I created a Virtual Reality toolset and runtime for 3D walk-through simulations in a browser. With the help of a team of 3D artists and another programmer adding multi-user capability we used my code to create a virtual exhibits hall for the convention.
It goes live today.
Can you go take a look? Sorry, but unless you are a member of the ConZealand World SF convention – no.
The code exists in two parts. One of which is all mine, SquidSpace.js, and the virtual exhibits hall itself, Squid Hall, which is a collaborative effort. Both are open sourced, but the latter includes copyrighted materials belonging to artists and other exhibitors, which are not free to share.
Frankly, I'm amazed we pulled it off. IN A BROWSER! Rendering as much as 200K active faces at once.
* Python3 for tooling (asset pipelines, code generation, etc.)
* Babylon.js for the 3D library https://www.babylonjs.com/
* Colyseus for the multi-user functionality https://colyseus.io/
And that's it. No deep dependencies. Everything else was custom code. AND IT FREAKING WORKS!
Over the next few weeks I'll rework SquidSpace.js into a more generalized tool, available for anyone wanting to create walkthrough simulations in a web browser. It has been, and will be, a fun project.
NOTE: I'll be posting some screenshots of Squid Hall this week, once the hall goes live.
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