“Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…?” Turning Ideas Into Virtual Reality

Computer programming takes our 3D models from static artifacts to dynamic, immersive 3D environments. What’s a game without programmers? A photograph! Our team’s motto “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” starts the creative phase of dreaming up scenarios for the game. It’s the level designers, 3D modelers, and programmers who bring these ideas to life inside…

Introducing VR Hoover Dam to the Classroom

By Michelle Turk Ph.D., Department of History, UNLV Writing a game narrative and imagining how to integrate it into a classroom setting takes an open mind and a lot of collective creativity. Dr. Michelle Turk is a historian of occupational health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and author of Gambling with Lives:…

Being Realistic: 3D Models and Modelers for VR Hoover Dam

Each artifact and environment in our game requires time and creativity from digital artists – specifically 3D modelers. In the VR Hoover Dam game, players will find themselves surrounded by objects they can see and interact with; it’s the 3D modelers who bring these things to life. What is a 3D model? A 3D model…

Go with the Flow: Level Design in VR Hoover Dam

It takes a team of experts working together to share their knowledge to build a game as comprehensive and detailed as the virtual reality Hoover Dam game. Dr. Scott Ahrens is the primary level designer for the VR Hoover Dam project. How Does Virtual Reality Work? Dr. Scott Ahrens, Professor of art and design at…

Meet Winthrop Davis

The premise of the game is based on the real-life story of photographer Winthrop A. Davis, whose work chronicled the construction of Hoover Dam and the early days of Las Vegas. One of the ways Davis made money during his time at the dam was by selling prints of his photographs to tourists. He had…

Team Sets Initial Module Design

Our first game module scenario involves laborers at the dam, specifically the “high-scaler” job of swinging from the canyon rim by ropes, drilling holes in the rock face with 44-pound jackhammers, and setting dynamite in the holes for blasting. Employment office: In order to gain access to the damsite, the player must acquire an ID…

Who is This Game For?

Our project will be available to anyone, either through the Oculus store or downloaded here from tour website. Our initial target audience, however, will be K-12 educators, Nevada State Museum visitors, and Boulder City Museum visitors. We have learned through our NEH summer programs that this will particularly benefit teachers in low-income areas whose students…