On Wednesday 26th November 2014, myself and the other students working on the project were fortunate enough to visit chain bridge forge. Although it was only for a few hours it was an incredibly worthwhile experience, as it provided each of us a unique perspective on the heritage craft of blacksmithing.
While at the forge I got the opportunity to take in the sights, sounds and even smells of a working forge. This was an incredibly valuable experience, it allow me to grasp the physical scale of the forge something that had eluded me since the project began. Although it is true I did have access to the floor plans of the forge that can only take you so far. It provided me a feel for the atmosphere of the forge giving me an indication of what the simulator should attempt to replicate and also gave me insight into the relative “tightness” of the forge (in all honest it was a lot smaller than I expected) indicating that perhaps all my previous work was a little too “grand”, undoubtedly influenced by my excessive Game of Thrones watching.
I also got the opportunity to blacksmith a small “hook” this was an invaluable experience as informed of on the process of blacksmithing, providing me with a deeper understanding of how the system needs to function and how the virtual metal will change through interaction. This process also allowed me to see the techniques that I will need to replicate inside the simulator to ensure its accuracy.
It’s been roughly a month since work “officially” began on the project and its about time that an update is given to those of you reading this blog and are interested in the project. Much of this first month has been a learning curve, without a vast amount experience in the “art” of game development much of the past month has been learning how to use the large amount of tools available in the game engine. That said success has been made in producing a traversable environment that hopes to replicate the forge.
As can be seen from the images the developed environment is quite basic, however work has been done to ensure that environment can be used in conjunction with the Oculus Rift technology allowing for a more immersive game. It is hoped that in the coming weeks the environment is improved upon further to better simulate the forge.
Hello Dear Reader,
I would like to formally welcome you to the “Official” blog of the Heritage Craft Virtual Simulator. The purpose of this blog is to allow you, the reader, to track the progress of our project, find out more information about what it is we are trying to achieve and perhaps get involved yourself.
For this project we intend to use a collaboration of modern technologies to create a virtual simulator that will bring the Heritage Craft of Blacksmithing into the 21st century allowing individuals the opportunity to experience this craft in a safe and exciting manner.
I for one am excited for this project to begin and hope that you are too.