Creating a 3D Brainstorm App in Unreal Engine

Blank Vortex is a conceptual idea for a brainstorming app being built using Unreal Engine by myself and with ideas and input from Loz Turner who I am collaborating with.

Concept

The user explores immersive environments during which they can shoot ‘nodes’ with each node representing a thought or idea based around whatever theme they are brainstorming over. The general idea is to create environments that inspire creative thought and intuition and then providing a 3D environment that can inspire the process of creative thought. Users are spawned into a central hub (ThinkHub) and then can explore and teleport to several environments each with different unique features and attributes.

So far I have started building the ThinkHub as well as Zero G environment which turns off gravity and allows the player to shoot nodes in zero gravity. The overall aim and objective of the game is to inspire thought, provide an interface for creating mental structures and then also output them in some diagrammatic form.

This video demonstrates the early prototype / proof of concept build.

Mechanics

The players view is first person, and follows a familiar control system of mouse controls to generate new nodes in the game world, each node is assigned a number according to the order of its creation and the user will eventually be able to teleport to any individual node using a menu accessed pressing shift.

In the current build, nodes can be edited by colliding with them and each node has an associated text file which contains information on the structure of the node. Each nodes number value can also be edited to contain information on it’s content and the user can do this by either colliding with the node or navigating to it via the node menu.

Future Scope

The app is in the early stages with three days of development time invested so far, it requires more functionality and testing to determine the effectiveness of the mechanics, as well as looking at UI / UX considerations for accessing nodes as well as developing more levels and areas for the player. However I am please with the general progress of this so far, and will continue to incorporate these changes as I progress. Future considerations include creating a Mobile / Tablet version and possibly creating a version compatible with VR devices. My philosophy at the minute is to get a working version on Desktop and then work on a version on Mobile devices after that version is working to a standard where it can be demoed in public.

Overall happy with progress.