Adopting a Game Engine for Large, High-Resolution Displays


The steadily decreasing prices of display technologies and computer graphics hardware contribute to the increasing popularity of multiple-display environments, like large, high-resolution displays. It is therefore necessary that educational organizations give the new generation of computer scientists an opportunity to become familiar with this kind of technology. However, there is a lack of tools that allow for getting started easily. Existing frameworks and libraries that provide support for multi-display rendering are often complex in understanding, configuration and extension. This is critical especially in educational context where the time that students have for their projects is limited and quite short. These tools are also rather known and used in research communities only, thus providing less benefit for future non-scientists. In this work we present an extension for the Unity game engine. The extension allows – with a small overhead – for implementation of applications that are apt to run on both single-display and multi-display systems. It takes care of the most common issues in the context of distributed and multi-display rendering like frame, camera and animation synchronization, thus reducing and simplifying the first steps into the topic. In conjunction with Unity, which significantly simplifies the creation of different kinds of virtual environments, the extension affords students to build mock-up virtual reality applications for large, high-resolution displays, and to implement and evaluate new interaction techniques and metaphors and visualization concepts. Unity itself, in our experience, is very popular among computer graphics students and therefore familiar to most of them. It is also often employed in projects of both research institutions and commercial organizations; so learning it will provide students with qualification in high demand.