Sandbox VR, the location-based VR attraction, will be opening up to third-party developers soon, as the company will be releasing an SDK for its Sandbox ‘holodeck’ VR attraction platform.
Sandbox operates a number of VR locations in major cities across North America as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Jakarta. Combining both branded content such as its Star Trek: Discovery experience and in-house developed games, Sandbox offers its experiences in 20-minute gameplay chunks for around $40 per person, accommodating up to six people per session.
The company says in a blog post that anyone with the know-how will soon be able to develop new VR experiences for its location-based attractions using its upcoming SDK.
Company CTO Idan Beck says its Sandbox SDK will have capabilities like “high-performance inverse kinematics, rigging, and motion capture capabilities,” and will include support for Unreal Engine, Unity, and Native.
Sandbox’s locations make use of a few technologies that developers likely don’t have, such as the company’s haptic guns and its multi-camera motion capture system. Sandbox says however that developers can create using more modest setups such as an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Since professional motion capture can cost thousands of dollars, Beck says the company’s framework is going to “abstract away that component and put in placeholders so you can still build for VR without these expensive systems, with full confidence that things will translate correctly when deployed to our full-body motion-captured holodeck.”
Furthermore, Sandbox says its upcoming networking framework will make it possible to create a mocked-up, multi-user development environment for testing and building experiences.
“We’ll make it as easy as possible to build experiences that can take full advantage of the custom high-performance peripherals that we create for our holodecks and ensure compatibility with the HMDs and computing systems that we employ to power our holodecks,” Beck says.
Developers looking to create for the Sandbox VR platform can request access here. Beck says early developers should expect SDK access later this year.