It may seem odd that we as architects have been making a mobile game app but there is a reason!
We previously added Virtual Reality as one of services for a few reasons; the main being that allowing clients to explore their “finished” build allows us to better communicate our design and receive clearer feedback. This has been massively beneficial and is something we will continue to develop and offer.
However, there are a few limitations. Wearing a headset restricts viewing to one person, and being physically tethered to a computer means taking the equipment out of the office isn’t possible. Happily we now have a couple of office iPads which we bought to reduce our paper usage, and the idea was conceived to make a game level which could be explored on mobile.
The benefits of this are clear. We can take a finished version of our project wherever we go. We can even send the app to be downloaded by other parties to view on their devices. We can show the exact finished design to people on site to eliminate any miscommunications with design. Of course detailed plans and drawings can’t be replaced but the convenience of this will be very welcome!
With our 3D visualisers background in game design the process was clear but far from easy. Models had to be purpose built for mobile to optimise performance – we couldn’t just transfer over previously made models as they would be too detailed and large, and would crash. And crashes were a plenty, a common occurrence as any game developer will tell you! It was very important to strike a balance between performance and visuals.
Here is a video of the end result. We look forward to testing it in the field and developing it further!