Mars Explorer Development


Showcasing the new presentation screens on Mars

Dale riding the Stellar Transformer Eagle on Mars (v015)

What we’re pointing at is Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. The grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. Version 014 gave us the ability to fly around the whole planet and take a look at its scars and patterns from a distance… or zoom in and see finer details of the landscape. Arriving at the same place opens up the possibility of educational VRtours on Mars – who would like to buy a ticket?

goggle eyes
the capsule was introduced v006, and crazy goggle eyes ^this is David^

serious work, testing material to see if the wands work, pineal glands explode, and… how smoothly we can fly through space.

Jousting in space.
“What if we make the heads explode?” At first, explosions worked when any part of the capsule was hit, then the target got narrowed down to a dot between the eyes – the pineal gland. A precursor to the next natural next step – jousting in space.
Version 015 saw us testing new events on the UI, or, the Monad, aka “the egg”.
it started as a plain ball, then we got to thinking… hhhmm what if it were a golf ball we could hit with our wands? David made that thought possible in following version (v012). This experimental experience has proven to be a truly creative, organic process, involving a LOT of laughter.
v015 a new game presented itself… putt a golf ball thru the stellar transformer target. We also used the target to fly through from great distances on each side to see if we could crash through the middle. Came pretty close once.
Digital Fireworks got spirally in version 019.
Bruce and David stop for a photo op on the Eye of Africa.
Are these volcano’s?? Visiting this planet through a virtual reality headset, noticing many earth-like patterns and imagining the events of its path through space has the average lifespan of a human being seem quite… microscopic.
perserverance and ingenuity landed, that’s David hanging on the side.
v27a experimenting with the avatar’s, creating character in the face and giving them a heart.
slightly animated face update v28


DJvanilly composes some lip syncing – introduced version 30a

version 36 David’s hands with the magnifying glass which acts as a camera.

avatars have a beating heart now.

this is what IT looks like, playing tag.

the mannequin is now transparent, and this image has the artwork on the left look like a transparent spine.
Dale is exploring a skeleton in Blender, the skull was added to see if the weight of .fbx files would distort the Explorer. So far, no. We’re like to push the limit to see how far we can go before something breaks.
v45 – now the whole skeleton is in Unity, a great way to learn about the bones… in this instance of the ribs. It’s not a cage, the ribs move and there’s no bottom nor is there a door. It’s more like an accordion that moves as the breath flows in and out.

v42 the mannequins are transparent. Dale is NotBob, she’s ‘it’.Matt’s Conference Hall

testing testing… our first working scoreboard, unfortunately reversed the reality. With red hands, Dale is ‘it’.

Mars up close… version 021 gave us the ability to fly around and explore the terrain.

the North pole of Mars. What if there’s an electric current spiralling through the core? (See Birkland currents)
Argos makes it happen…. presentations on Mars 🙂




Initial prototype began 16 October at 1am… then, first steps in collaboration:

Day 1 – 21 October 2021

  • 10/21/2021 – version 001 – photonvoice activation – unsuccessful
  • 10/21/2021 – version 002 – photonvoice activation SUCCESSFUL!
  • 10/22/2021 – version 003 – Allshape petal instancing testing
  • 10/25/2021 – version 004 – Allshape fin connection, debug interface
  • 10/25/2021 – version 005 – Allshape XYZ glove transparency look at text for face matching on all-shape
  • 10/26/2021 – version 006 – exploding capsule, all shapes return to Mars
  • 10/26/2021 – version 007 – first flock – murmuration large scale martian surface 1st trip to the sun 🙂
  • 10/27/2021 – version 008 – HBN, smaller tetrahedron’s
  • 10/29/2021 – version 009 – YES! screenshots, petal indicate occupied
  • 10/30/2021 – version 010 – Butterfly balls added for exploding pineal gland jousting. Head and eyes turn and we have wings!
  • 10/31/2021 – version 011 – A sphere was introduced with loading screen.
  • 11/01/2021 – version 012 – Golf ball physics with sound, added HBN, button for pineal gland, murmuration switch
  • 11/01/2021 – version 012(a) – Attempted photonview unsuccessful, next version – instancing, petals removed XYZ
  • 11/01/2021 – version 012(b) – Golf ball added with a different sound (no longer metal ‘ting’)
  • 11/01/2021 – version 012(d) – photon rigid body view into prefab – 12x rigid body velocity on collision enter, problem with synching collision processing
  • 11/03/2021 – version 014 – testing with Bruce for golfball variations on photonview
  • 11/03/2021 – version 014(c) – large scale flyover with elevation golf ball on tracking max velocity (36), glitches, transfer double hit problem, navigating people to large scale terrain for possible tours of the Mars surface
  • 11/04/2021 – version 015 – teleporter elevator to golf station, initial build of presentation processing, tracking velocity to 12, changed skybox  galactic
  • 11/05/2021 – version 016 – Loading screen injection of user nickname into photonnetwork.localplayer.nickname view successfully broadcast, events processing using NetworkingClienteventReceived, actor number to offset way point locations on +X
  • 11/06/2021 – version 017 – rotational modelling in blender, decided to readdress entry screen due to oculus input hijack, trail renderer A1_RB1 on the XR rig, Missiles instanced at the location A1_RB1 oriented with A1 update in the network player spawner
  • 11/06/2021 – version 017(b) – duplicate instantiation of missiles found, movement exploration with line renderer. Debug messages need to be addressed. “Screen position out of view Frustrum” 
  • 11/07/2021 – version 018 – instantiation of missile with two audio clips testing both local destroy (work) and network destroy (not working) event processing on presentation working on first attempt.
  • 11/08/2021 – version 019 – pulled the event test.cs out of panel 1 on the MonasUI put it on the mainUI handler, was having problems with dis/enabling the MonasEggUI renamed it to eventprocessor_PUN. Changed explosion selection, network destroy. Got universal control of the presentation.
  • 11/11/2021 – version 020 – bugs: when attempting to move during teleport crash, right thumb rotation. Timers working master client/event identification under the hood. Event processor start time co-routine working to capture start time on master client. Start time written by master client to room, custom properties able to read and sync.
  • 11/12/2021 – version 020 – rotation synchronisation
  • 11/13/2021 – version 021 – gearing ability to stop motion of the planet through counter rotation, networking teleport selections, first golf hole, wait point initiation now different because of multiple potential event remote procedure calls from different network clients. Jitter – combine counter and rotation rotation in same script to avoid (float) errors.
  • 11/15/2021 – version 022a – 4 players London, Melbourne (Aus), Sebastion and West Hollywood
  • 11/15/2021 – version 022b – introduced frisbee the aloe monster particle system explosion, exploding lungs, skeet shooting, glass soccer balls (insect heads) collider problems… locking of wand tip rigid body on surface on golf platform/terrain platform. Entry problems state situations re-entering: there needs to be a custom properties need to reflect room state and clearing of network events for clean entry. Consider the access rotational transition, how it’s done what it’s doing.
  • 11/17/2021 – version 23 –  initial magnification of surface with pyramid perspective visual aid, mirroring glass shader was interesting, ingenuity and perserverance arrived, flight through headset, internal HDR reflection on upper plane of pyramid. Soccer ball stations, pineal gland readdressing collision processing. Visitor from Argentina, another Rift user successful. Talked about microtransactions. Bruce gave a presentation.
  • 11/17/2021 – version24 – green pyramid, flatband component with a cap lowered 12 units to avoid intersecting surface
  • 11/18/2021 – version25 – NASA presentation slides
  • 11/18/2021 – version26- NASA presentation slide selection expanded
  • 11/20/2021 – version27 – render to texture with internal facing normal’s on a sphere with wide angled lens field of view around 170degrees, bug 2pronged wand on master client is a problem to figure out.
  • 11/21/2021 – version28 – second rendition of the face, keyboarded added for name update – successful custom properties room, bugs: occlusion of the pyramid with basic mars surface, position of the marks of DTM locations with green and red starcut indicator, networking collusions still to do, higher resolution on head mesh. Examine the texture basic North Pole. Audio – spatial distancing.
  • 11/22/2021 – version29 – Pentagon mouth, keyboard with reporting into photon network player list.
    Bugs: Mars collisions sticking
    Things to do: priorities of shader for surface change shader parameter, re work of scale Mars co-routine shaders for surface, toggling Mars zoom properties related to zoom presentation, Mars scaling presentation state which terrain.
  • 11/26/2021 – version30 – happy thanksgiving, first test of lip-syncing successful!! Audio changes in observation deck, unsure why volume increases, spatial 3D audio worked. Shaders on Mars next, room custom properties need to reflect the navigation state ie on surface vs planetary view.
  • 11/27/2021 – version31 – audio distance inversion, added beating heart to avatar, re enabled mapping function, digital twin URP unlit vs lit shader. To do: the states of the North Pole navigation buttons have to be included in the room custom properties. Face – eyes are whiter.
  • 11/29/2021 – version32 – custom room properties updated across network, map switching, aurora switching, huntien switching, teleport switching and magnetic map switching all working across the network. Orientation of the head to match eye movement. Added animation controller to the render2 texture camera animation.
  • 12/01/2021 – version34 – first iteration of hand interface, turn wand on/off, texturing on observation deck reflection, testing of multiple interaction with custom room properties.
  • 12/02/2021 – version35 – digital twin on observation deck, green arrow teleport at each way point, presentation slides. Teleport location highlighted on observation deck. David’s mouth not moving.
  • 12/04/2021 – version36 – presentation slide control on left X&Y buttons, suppressed the debug console (worked), introduced experimental render to texture, need to instantiate camera so it can be shared, move buttons to back of the hand, move UI to left hand. Galaxy terminator faces.
  • 12/05/2021 -versions36a/37 – mostly working on presentation arrangement
  • 12/07/2021 – version38 – frisbee placement, tracking rotation angular momentum/velocity moved the info screen in monas egg, worked on particle system with frisbee explosion, frisbee’s disappear after 2 minutes.. discontinuity from zoom level to planetary changed end point position to match current transform. Moved Perserverance to the correct position.
  • 12/08/2021 – version39 – tool tips on Perserverance, rigid body on frisbee, slides are updated.
  • 12/19/2021 – version40 – network tag – the tagwhacker pineal, head explosion pathway on trigger enter sends a network message through pineal hit in network tag. Created a class called player link which gets synchronised in the network manager, OnPlayerEnterRoom(Player NewPlayer) OnPlayerLeftRoom (Player player) Masterclient updates who’s it in room custom properties on pineal hit through RPC. Missiles are colliding with the collider on the tip of the wand – added Matt’s Convention Hall (a pretty good sketch).
  • 12/20/2021 – version 41a – hand star movement red and blue on both network player and local player updated on PUN RPC player tagged ‘it’. Added hand collision detector with pineal collider. ‘It’ is known by lion mane and banner/hand change of colour, makes location of ‘it’ very easy. Master client player state ie ‘it’ or not is not registering for master client.
  • 12/21/2021 – version 42 – when the player is tagged ‘it’ in network tag synchronise player list if the photon network current room player count is not equal to the player list count. Polyfjord display added to spacecraft conference centre. Network tag seems to be working decently. Experimented with glass shaders, seeing phylotaxes in array animation. Check if keypad can be grabbed. Only right hand trigger collision with pineal. Met with Brenton from RUN to discuss tokens and NFT’s in the explorer and gamifying entry – very possible.
  • 12/22/2021 – version 43 – added skull to the mannequin, tested with 3 players (Bruce joined) to transfer ‘it’, worked seamlessly. Noticed player behaviour/psychology began to shift with the ‘it’ factor.
  • 12/23/2021 – version 44 – added skull to the condition on the network player, parented the jaw to the armature for lip sync, added the ‘art of code’ shader to the collision mesh experiment for the conference centre (disco). Recorded a quick promo – need to analyse and isolate network disconnection problem(s). Both hands can touch pineal to make ‘it’, missile/fireworks is also now a functional pineal whacker.
  • 12/25/2021 – version 45 – the whole gigantic skeleton has been added, disconnection problem persists, time to do a dive on why. Encapsulate the tagging into a timed game.
  • 12/30/2021 – version 46 – forward motion on scoring and game tracking statistics for experimental tag, incorporated the InverseKinematics prototype that we’ve been working on to see if we could get interactivity through VRInteractionFramework (VRIF) – yes, it worked! Still experiencing disconnect issues reading through player log from debug build to source the issue. Noticing more disconnected issues between LA<->Melb vs solely US players. Package coherency?
  • 12/31/2021 – version 47 – got the three of us in, extended disconnect issues, discovered bottleneck on NetworkingClient EventReceived(EventData obj), Bruce lower incidence of disconnect. Showed Bruce Inverse Kinematics, basic game function of ‘it’ worked.
  • 01/02/2022 – version 48 – added remote procedure call structure to tag game inverting recognition of players between clients. Time sync problems. Application quit button tested and works.
  • 01/04/2022 – version 49 – Happy Birthday Ingun 🙂
  • 01/05/2022 – version 50 – stiff wands selector, problem when the game is over and start again – problem with timer, clear ‘its’ isn’t working, final score do the addition (because of rounding errors), add user velocity to missile trajectory, debug screen works. Scores are correctly allocated to players.
  • 01/05/2022 – version 50a – int Rounded Running Time = Mathf.RoundToInt(running Time); 3right handed grip from soft to stiff, enlarged pineal gland, issues with starting times. Bruce and David discussed doing a Riemann sum
  • 01/07/2022 – version 51 -created a scoring sphere, a trigger collider, bug: rigid body on tip of wand gets caught on the sphere,  dynamic of game changed when the focus shifted to preventing other people from scoring – funny, yet bothersome intention to keep somebody from being productive.
  • 01/08/2022 – version 52 – interaction with Quaternion Cascade, ‘it’ has some reference to the player list that needs to be analysed, seemed to be impacted by idle time. Consider alternative to frisbees, scoring – master client needs to report score to room custom properties… they are what gets reported to the scoreboards, right now they’re independent and not syncing. Dale to figure out what’s happening with disappearing keyboard, listen for the haptics.
  • 01/10/2022 – version 53 – incorporated photon network load level included two new scenes in the build, master client is able to transition pretty smoothly between scenes, playing with variations of the array tentacle. Boxes are transportable from scene to scene, wands not showing fireworks are possible. Face animation disappeared. Geophysical Field Modeling For Geophysical Intelligence.