Creating a showcase VR experience of our local galactic neighbourhood


Paid two month contract work to deliver a project, remote working or based in Guildford, UK. For remote working you will need your own VR kit. You will also need your own software and be familiar with Unity. Below is a breakdown of us, our product, the project and our requirements:

Escapist Games:

Ex-Electronic Arts AAA console game developers gone indie. The team have held senior developer roles on many multi-million selling franchises including: Need For Speed, Burnout, SSX, NBA Street, Black, etc. Escapist Games are best known for their hit astronomy app: Star Chart. They are looking to expand upon their offerings through 2018 with significant updates to current apps as well as the release of new IP.

Star Chart:

Star Chart is used by over 30 million people worldwide and available on over 10 platforms and 14 languages. Star Chart started out as a mobile AR night sky viewer and has expanded over the past decade to become the de-facto astronomy app on most platforms. Most recently VR platforms have been added to the roster where significant downloads have meant a continued focus on this area. Star Chart has 3 main modes which can be summarised as: 1) Sky View - viewing the night sky from your GPS location on Earth. 2) Explore Mode - a 3D exploration of the solar system and all its various bodies. 3) Moments In Time - famous and important scenes from human exploration of space.

We are looking for:

A person who can act as an extension of our own team for the duration of the project. The goal of the person should be to create the best possible implementation of the deliverable, not just “tick the box”.

We are looking for a person with passion, and a desire to excel at the job. This is a fantastic opportunity to create something that millions of people will experience. The person should be looking at this as a way to make something utterly amazing - a showcase of their capabilities.

Although the job / project is already defined, a certain amount of the work will be R&D, and will inevitably lead to changes, enhancements and improvements. We develop through a process of “layers of polish”. This means we expect quick iteration on getting content in and then improving the experience over time. We define Alpha & Beta milestones as: Alpha - all features in but ugly and potentially lacking depth. Beta - all features complete but bugs & localisations remain. We expect to get to Alpha as soon as possible and then polish through to Beta.

A person who understands the issues of creating something like a galaxy in VR. As VR creates issues in traditional vfx, we need a TA who can solve these issues alongside our CTO.

The job: “Star Chart - Galactic Mode”

Create a new mode in Star Chart that allows users to explore the Milky Way and the local galaxy group. This is a fun, but complex task. The creation of a galaxy and nebula in VR will bring with it its own unique challenges. We are on a relatively tight time line, but the end goal is to create something new and never before seen that will be a great showcase of your tech abilities. This is a fantastic opportunity to blow people away with your talent.

  • Working with our CTO your job will be to create a new mode to Star Chart (a Unity scene) that gives an overview of the Milky Way galaxy and the local galaxy group. In VR this experience should give the user the sense of being at a larger scale within the universe.

  • Create a 3D galaxy for: Milky Way, Andromeda & Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy
    Include some elements like the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds / etc.

  • Produce a sky box of galaxies / deep sky objects / nebula / etc. beyond the local group.

  • View the Milky Way from the outside. Standing looking down upon it from above. About the size of a large table.

  • Various UI overlays will be displayed on the Milky Way - eg Quadrants, location of sol system, spin and more

  • Visualisation of galaxies including the stars, gas clouds & central black hole

The artwork will need to be tailored for two platforms:

  • Low-end: Mobile VR - eg Daydream, Gear VR.
  • High-end: Desktop VR - eg Rift and Vive.

Deliverable dates:
End Jan: Delivery first alpha
Mid Feb: Beta delivery
End Feb: Final delivery

To clarify, the work is paid, needs to start ASAP and will continue to the end of February. Remote working is fine, but we expect multiple daily conversations on Slack / Hangouts, etc. You will need your own software and VR kit if working remotely.

For more details and or to apply. Please contact - San at Escapist Games dot com. We will need to see examples of previous work and especially an ability and understanding of Unity and VR.