Meditation: What Makes a Scene: Space Station

I realize that I covered this in my initial musing about having a meditation application, but after some thinking I wanted to go over the ideas again.

The whole idea for the meditation application actually stemmed from a couple of videos that I came across from a couple of different resources.  They would take the ambient sounds from space stations of established games (like Elite Dangerous) and they would loop them for an hour, or they would create their own using soundbites or loops of audio.

I was listening to one in particular and found myself thinking that I could probably do this better.  Not saying that they did a bad job.  I’ve got a little experience digging through audio files of games to splice together my own radio broadcasts for listening to in the car, so I know it’s not an easy feat to dig through hundreds of files with ambiguous file names to find the one bit of speech you’re looking for.  So, I totally respect the people that dedicate the time to creating their own rendition of life in the space lane.

But they were creating videos that I was, admittedly, only half listening to as I was doing some watercolor painting.  It had been a while since I had last held a brush, and I was trying to brainstorm different ideas, trying to put together the ideal ‘toy rocket’ picture.

I started to notice distinct loops in the radio chatter, and the engine sounds I realized were the same wave file, with very minor pitch adjustments.  And, as I looked at the feeble attempt at a Buck Rodger’s era rocket ship, I was muttering to myself that I could do better.  And being fair, I was just as much talking about the painting as I was about what I was listening to, to inspire the artistic mood.

(It had been a ‘hot minute’ since I last tried to paint, so…)

I had no small amount of space resources, not just from my work on Pesky Humans but in general.  I’ve been stockpiling a tremendous amount of assets over the years, when things go on sale that I ‘might need’ and then discovering that Daz3D allows users to incorporate their models into Unity projects if they pay a fee for the licensing.  I had a decent amount of audio tracks, and I found some online resources where I could create pilot chatter.

This is an example of a ‘live screen’ inside of the VR. It’s displaying on the laptop what is also being viewed on Monitor 1.

It didn’t take long for me to throw together a space station to wander around in, with different areas and windows to look out of.  The outside world took a while to build, by comparison, and I needed to spend some time fiddling with the lighting to make the station look right.  I added in two jump gates that would regularly port in new ships that would fly past the dining area (which had a great view of the volcanic world the station was in orbit around).  I added ‘screens’ that showed camera angles of things from outside the station, including a second, small space station orbiting a gas giant planet (that was visible from the command area).

And, again being fair to those that create the relaxation videos, it took me a while of mixing to create what I felt was the ideal combination of low space chatter and background noise of the station itself.

I’m still on the fence about having other crew members on the station.  On the one hand, it would make sense that there was a ‘night crew’ that was manning various components of the ship (including the beam down area where I can switch to a different scene).  On the other, having other people complicates the idea of being alone to relax.

As I’m creating this for myself, I don’t really know if I need an alien to perform guided meditation or to explain proper breathing exercises.  This would be one of the few reasons why I might consider having other people present in my spaces, and it becomes more important if I wind up developing this for future release.  The other side of this coin is that at least one of my environments, The Crystal Loft, does show other people wandering around living their lives, from very far away.

The Space Station is going to be the jumping point for the other locations in the application, or at least that’s my idea.  I’m still experimenting with the menu system and environment.

I hope you are all doing well.  I’ll reach out again soon!  Have a great rest of the week.