Story Telling Engine

An authoring tool for Archaeologists and related scientists that allows to make VR games with 3D scanned data

This software is about one of the final products of DigiArt, namely the Story Telling Engine, a platform for easily designing and generating virtual tours for the presentation of the scanned items to the general public. The virtual tours are designed taking into consideration the story telling aspect of the project which was the primary objective of the project. Throughout the 3 years of the project, we have found the opportunity to deal with 3D scanned cultural related models – including also whole sites – that pose requirements and raise new challenges for the developed platform.

Several attributes of the 3D models related to quality and size defined the plans and the developments. In 2016, we had defined the architecture in a bottom-up approach in order to avoid dead-ends and heavy integration problems that would reduce the quality of the final product. The pipeline selected, using WordPress as a web system to start from, web 3D library three.js for building the web 3D editor, and the Unity3D game engine for compiling the game projects, was found accurate and, mostly, feasible to achieve.

We have proposed a novel breakthrough method to transpile entities from WordPress into Unity3D YAML format that will provide the basis for any future potential investments. This was achieved by making developments in a research like form which was useful for defining the final architecture. The upload of the code in Github, allowed for parallel coding in the DigiArt team, and the fixing of the bugs through the respective issue reporting system in the code repository. In the second prototype phase, the developments that took place regard the comments of the project reviewers, the use case partners, and the test end – users of the first testing phase. This process resulted in a robust, and user-friendly Story Telling Engine, a web tool that it is able to generate virtual tours through the Unity3D engine. The second publicly available version of the website for making virtual tours (games) is now available. The access is open for everybody, however, registration and login is required.