How CBS Uses 360 Cameras for ‘Instant’ Game Development

4 min read

With Insta360 Titan now available to creators around the globe, we’re continually surprised at their cutting-edge applications for high-res 360 video. “Let’s Make A Deal,” the American game show that’s been broadcast by CBS for more than half a century, hasn’t let its old-school credentials get in the way of embracing new technology.

They recently dove head-first into VR production, using Titan to create a lifelike video-game adaptation of the popular show. Amazingly, the game was developed — from concept to delivery — in half a year by a creator who had no previous game development experience.

We shared a booth with CBS at E3 2019 and interviewed Jersey Feimster, the “Let’s Make a Deal” VR producer behind the new game, to learn more about using 360 video as a tool for game development.

How do you imagine VR game development impacting the future?

Life as we know it in the gaming/consumer market will start to change. You just made an amazing tool that can transport you to any place in your wildest dreams, and at a great price. You can teach with it, you could go back to the moment when your child was 1 and taking their first steps. I could go on and on. 

How did you use Insta360 Titan for this production?

It was quite simple. Prior to the start of our show, I had the audience clap for one minute and then stand up. I used that footage as the world/skybox for our video game.

What was the development process like?

Six months ago, I had the idea of bringing a live studio audience to your living room/office. I found out it had never been done before and was told it couldn’t be done. So, I taught myself Unity late at night after my son and wife went to bed. Nighttime became YouTube university time. I did my first tutorial and then I was on to learning what a skybox was. I asked a ton of people all over the internet for help and got to a place where I needed some help from others. I called in for help and we made a great demo game.

What was the inspiration for the game? How did people take to it?

Inspiration for the game was a “Let’s Make A Deal” game called “Carpong”. It’s one of the popular games on the show. While shooting a behind-the-scenes 360 video, I thought it would be cool for anyone with a headset to play one of our games from their own home.

The reaction has been unreal. This is a fun game, I could play it for hours. Even gamers that don’t enjoy VR have loved playing it. When some of the large game companies are pitching you on how they can use your game, it’s an amazing feeling. I’m so proud of my team for putting our E3 booth together in a short amount of time.

What tips would you give to a new VR developer?

Don’t let people tell you it can’t be done. VR has so many worlds of possibilities. Dream big. I just turned 40 this year while working in a totally different industry, but VR turns me into an excited little kid wanting to learn everything about it. I’m loving every minute of it.

What would you tell game developers looking to incorporate 360 cameras into their process?

The cool part about doing a 360 video in a game is that the world only took us one minute to shoot. Then we added the digital assets and boom, we had “Carpong”. Others spend months building their worlds. Why waste your time when you can shoot in a minute.

Keen to keep up to date on Insta360 user stories? Keep an eye on our blog. See the latest and join in on the discussion by joining Insta360’s user group.

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