Unity’s ‘Carte Blanche’ Virtual Reality World Builder Lets Everyone Create With Cards, Touch, and VR Siri

by Joe Durbin • May 2nd, 2016

Update: The video described below has since been made private.

Earlier this year, UploadVR broke the story about Unity’s upcoming Carte Blanche creation system that lets people of any skill level design VR worlds while wearing a VR headset.

This platform is a simplified version of Unity’s powerful 3D graphics creation suite. Carte Blanche replaces the more advanced user experience of the full program with a beginner-friendly, card-based interface that makes developing assets a snap for any skill level.

Unity has largely been keeping Carte Blanche in stealth and only a few glimpses of the system in action have been made available to the public. Now, however, a full length concept video has been released that shows off both the power of Carte Blanche, and its skillful adoption of the soon to be released Oculus Touch controllers.

The video, which premiered at this year’s Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco,  packs a ton of interesting features into just under four minute run time. Let’s tackle the most intriguing one at a time.

Hey “U”

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U is best described  as Carte Blanche’s bleeding-edge spin on that paper clip from the old Microsoft Word. If there is a particular asset in Unity’s massive library you want to find, all you need to do is say “Hey, U” during your world building adventures and this digital assistant will come to your aide.

You can also ask U for other hints, tips, and guidance while you work and her list of responses seems to be fairly exhaustive as far as Carte Blanche specific inquiries are concerned.

Heart Of The Cards

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Unity gave the world a brief glimpse at its Card-based user interface last month but this is the best look we’ve had it by far.

In addition to placing typical assets such as homes, mountains, and roads, this video also showed how one can scale their view to go directly inside a specific home and construct more finely detailed elements such as enemies and NPCs (complete with dialogue bubbles).

We also get to see just how much control Carte Blanche will provide over the characters you place into these worlds.

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Each card can be expanded to allow changes in a given character’s behavior, color scheme, control patterns, etc.

Reach Out and Touch The Future

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Perhaps the most impressive moments in this video come from its subtle revelations of Carte Blanche’s Oculus Touch utilization.

It is clear from the trailer that this program will take full advantage of Touch’s unique gesture sensing technology for its control layout. For example, the user in the video selects assets merely by pointing at them with his index finger. He then seems able to rotate that asset by placing his right finger on the table and sliding his left around in a circle.

Interactions such as these have the potential to set a new standard for hand tracked controls in virtual reality experiences. The HTC Vive may have months to saturate the VR market with its own hand control system, but if Touch truly is capable of things like this, then that lead may not be enough to keep the Vive on top in the interface arms race.

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