User Stories: BENBENBEN

Posted by Christi Kroll.

Users discover key checkpoints at Rice University

Users discover key checkpoints at Rice University.

60.5 billion US dollars. That’s the 2020 value (so far) of the gaming industry in the United States alone. When you think about game development, context is key to setting the stage for the experience. At Geopipe, we merge the best concepts of geospatial and game design with a proprietary machine learning approach to create the authoritative whole-earth digital twin: data-rich, immersive 3D worlds for gaming, simulation, and architecture.

This latest in our user stories series amplifies how Geopipe saves game developers time and money, optimizing existing 3D workflows to be smarter and more impactful. Recently, we had a conversation with Ben Lyaunzon and Ben Yoshiwara, co-founders of the Los Angeles based creative tech studio, BENBENBEN.


What is BENBENBEN?

BBB is a team of creative software developers which prides itself on designing and building software experiences across multiple platforms: apps, websites, XR, installations, and more.

What was the inspiration for BENBENBEN?

BBB started almost two years ago because of a passion for using creative technology. We wanted to be inspired by our work, build software experiences that are more interactive, and to really use our diverse skills to create something both functional and visually entertaining. We create digital experiences that are captivating, fluid, and enjoyable to use-- something that makes the user want to engage with it even more.

BENBENBEN's 3D installation at WHYTEBERG Dance Studio in Los Angeles

BENBENBEN's 3D installation at WHYTEBERG Dance Studio in Los Angeles.

What sets BENBENBEN apart from other studios?

BBB works to create software experiences that are more meaningful: we are less bound by utility and more inspired by creativity. We build expressive experiences using software that features interesting visual properties and interactions.

What does the process look like to accomplish that?

We collaborate remotely and prototype ideas together. Our projects span multiple categories, and we’re focused on translating real life experiences into the virtual world and vice versa. We want to create interfaces that are fluid and easy to use, drawing users back into the experience.

Where does Geopipe fit in that process?

BBB used Geopipe in a recent project building a virtual college campus tour for Rice University. While BBB does some 3D modeling and asset creation, we leaned on Geopipe to save time on a project of this magnitude and scope. When you’re working with clients, you don’t have months to work on assets—you have to work on everything else.

In building a college tour, we were working to capture some of the same emotions that students would have in the tangible experience. We wanted them to have a sense of seeking and finding: a sense of the surprise of interesting discoveries. When you’re in a physical space, there is a natural sense of curiosity—an inherent sense of wanting to explore. We wanted them to experience that in virtual space.

What are the benefits of using Geopipe for that process?

Geopipe simplifies the process, saving us time and money by providing assets to create a 3D experience. I think on one hand, if we were using still images, we’d lose the 3D, immersive effect, and both the aesthetic and the experience would fall flat. If we were manually bringing in 3D images, the experience would be much less performant in a web browser, it would take a lot more work to generate assets, and the result would not be as close to reality as Geopipe’s data. It would also take months versus days to provide high-level assets, not to mention the time needed to accurately lay it out in a geospatial area.

What was your experience with Geopipe?

From a developer’s perspective, Geopipe makes the whole process really simple. The technology was really streamlined and straightforward. Geopipe’s 3D models load quickly and smoothly. BBB is not fully game dev, not fully web dev, so a multi-use tool like Geopipe is very important because we want to create web experiences and quickly push them to other platforms as well, and Geopipe has SDKs for all situations.

What was the most exciting thing about working with Geopipe?

The idea of seamlessly bringing the real world to a virtual platform --it makes it really easy to build physically accurate simulations based on real world values. We believe it has limitless potential to various applications, from games to other use cases like self-driving cars. At BBB, we’re excited to use new tech and expand our tool sets, and bring those capabilities to future clients.


Watch this space for more interviews with Geopipe users who have joined us in our mission: to automate understanding the characteristics of the physical world and democratize engagement with its virtual counterpart.

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What story do you want to tell using Geopipe data? Can we help you import the real world into a simulation or game? Let us know!