Published: 07th March 2019
Why you should definitely check out this new age VR cricket game developed by two BITS Pilani students
These students from BITS Pilani developed a new-age cricket game using Virtual Reality. They went on to win the title of National VR Student Developer of India
With the aim of encouraging students to build next-generation products using Virtual Reality (VR), Facebook School of Innovation along with the Startup Village Collective (SV.CO), organised a VR Day Programme for the first time in India. They received around 1,191 applications from students of different colleges for this competition and the Facebook team and an industry expert shortlisted ten teams who could potentially turn their ideas into products. From developing magnificent historic monuments to a cricket game that can be played by anyone, students built everything using VR. Among the ten teams, VR Bro’s from BITS Pilani developed a game called Bails Down and won the National VR Student Developer of India trophy for it. This game that Mayank Bhutani and Koustubh Gupta developed is about a street cricket player’s rise and how he become a successful cricketer. At present, Mayank and Koustubh are pursuing an integrated dual degree programme in MSc and BTech and we got in touch with them to find out more about Bails Down.
Excerpts from the interview:
Can you explain what your game Bails Down is all about?
Bails Down is not just a cricket game, it's a journey of a boy who starts off by playing cricket on the streets and eventually, becomes a famous cricketer. His hobby is to play cricket and after school hours, he makes it a point to play on the streets with his friends. In the meantime, he realises that he can pursue cricket as a career. There are five levels in this game. While the first level is about playing a game on the streets and winning it, the second level requires the boy to qualify to play for the school cricket team. The third, fourth and fifth levels involve playing and qualifying for the district, state and the national cricket team respectively. The final stage of the game is all about winning the World Cup for India.
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What lead you to develop this game?
We were given particular themes to develop our game and cricket was among them. There are many cricket-themed games which use VR, but we thought that we should create something different. Therefore, we came up with this storyline and the Facebook team really liked it. We even included videos in the game, as and when the storyline offered scope for it, to offer a different kind of experience.
What were the challenges you faced while developing this game?
We divided our projects into two parts. The first part was about the mechanisms of the game, about moving the bat and ball and this was the most challenging part of developing the game. We included seven types of bowling techniques like spin, full toss and so on. Meanwhile, the second part was about the storyline which also included different characters. We also added animation, created 360-degree videos and recorded dialogues for all the five levels. This part was even more difficult as synching the head with the movement of the lips took us some time.
Mayank is pursuing MSc in Chemistry and BTech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering while Koustubh is pursuing MSc in Mathematics and BTech in Civil Engineering
Who mentored you during this project?
Pradeep Rangdhol, Director, Gridraster Inc and Sanket Thakur, Research Scientist, Bell Labs were the two mentors allocated to us by SV.CO. They are known for their expertise in VR and they guided us throughout the project. But it was not just them who clarified our doubts, even the student community which was part of this competition clarified each other's doubts.
How has this platform provided by the Facebook School of Innovation and SV.CO helped students?
This platform has helped students showcase their ideas and turn them into products, which we rarely get to do. During our project, Scapic team provided us with basics like a stadium, bat and ball. Whenever we placed a request for stadium modifications, they did not take much time to carry them out, it was usually done within a day or two. The whole team has been very supportive and helpful.