Project1: HOOKED

Overview

Hooked is a collaborative VR game based on the parabolic mechanism. Whether the guest is an inexperienced player or an experienced player, we aim to provide an interesting VR journey for players with no skills and no complicated instructions. It was necessary to conduct more than 30 rounds of playtests, and then carefully adjusted the motion parameters (gravity, speed, acceleration) to minimize the dizziness. We simulated the motion of hooking objects and swinging in the air in the VR game.

Design Challenge: Design a VR experience for naive guests

Contribution: Usability testing, Interaction Design, 3D Art 

Platform: HTC Vive

Project Duration: 2 weeks, 2019

Tools: Maya, Unity, Substance Painter

Team: 2 Artists, 2 Programmers, 1 Sound Designer

Level Design & Interest Curve

We tried to create two interest peaks for the whole experience. The first one is when a player reaches the top of the mountain, he/she can see the whole scene of the temple and Ganesh down below the mountain which can stimulate his /her interest to go down.

The second one is when the player reaches the destination. There will be a mountain of gold and treasure to reward the player. During the beginning part of the game, the player's interest increases. Because after gradually becoming proficient in using the tool, she can reach any place that wants to go.

Scene design

​We use indirect control to guide player, such as paths, gates and statue of Ganesh.

​User Testing and Feedback

Visual Occlusion

Some over-sized branches will obscure the player's field of view, causing the player to be unable to hook the branches behind.

​Getting Stuck

Some mountains are too different in height, which makes it difficult for players to climb them.

Things we did to improve playing experience

Decrease Dizziness

Add a black mask around the visual field and reduce the visual field when speed increases.

​Light up branch

During the playtest, the player always tries to hook the branched which were far away. But the hook can only hook the near branches, so the player will be confused and helpless. So we choose to light up the branches around the player to indicate that they are hookable.

Adjust inappropriate route

There are some inappropriate routes that make it difficult for players to reach the next height. So we made some adjustments for mountains and branches to make sure the player can reach their destination successfully.

Project2:

Don't Stop Staring

Overview

Don't stop staring is a VR based immersive experience which based animated story that revolves around the idea that the protagonist was watching a video about some supernatural event, and find the supernatural event happened around him. The audience shall be playing as the protagonist of the story.

Design Challenge: Design a immersive experience to tell a story

Contribution: Story Board, Script, 3D Art 

Platform: HTC Vive

Project Duration: 2 weeks, 2019

Tools: Maya, Unity, Substance Painter

Team: 4 Artists, 1 Programmers

Storyboard Overview

  • Act I: 

The TV turns on either using a controller as a TV remote or on its own, showcasing a documentary about a monster and describing horrific elements related to it, such as “Don’t Blink” mechanism, light flickering, strange noises, and supernatural activities.

The narration keeps changing its tone from a normal documentary to something crazier, the idea being that the overall tone of the environment feels eerie.

  • Act II:

The narrator starts describing in detail, the events that occur when the monster arrives, and the guest starts experiencing those events in the environment, such as light flicker and strange noises. 

  • Act III:

The final act shall focus on strong visual elements including the monster's presence itself in the environment, the environment seems to change drastically and intense sound effects. If the guest is distracted by the surrounding sound and stop staring the monster, it will come closer.

  • Finale:

When things would feel like they're about to break loose, everything would switch to normal. And for that matter, you sitting in front of the TV, you can take off your VR headset.

We use indirect control to facilitate the feeling of something feeling off or wrong in the real world. The narrator in the documentary would start making comments which would feel personal (for instance breaking the fourth wall, he would mention: "Let me ask you, the viewer, sitting on the couch, yes you, do you… do you feel scared yet? Do you feel… that he's here?" We use the surrounding sounds as indirect control with the help of the narrator speaking directly to the guest at points where they would feel they have to look around in fear of being threatened by a supernatural entity. 

We also try to extend the VR experience into the real world. When the guest take off his VR headset, the actor will sit in front of him with creepy facial expression.

Things we did to improve immersive experience

3D Artwork

I did the animation of the monster, including two states.

creepy walking

idle

Project3:

SAVE MY HAIR

Overview

Alopecia caused by stress has become one of the problems among university students. Inspired by this situation, we designed an AR game to stop losing hair by sticking hair back and create a new hairstyle.

Design Challenge: Design an AR experience reflect daily life

Contribution: Game design, 3D Art, 2D Art 

Platform: Leap Motion

Project Duration: 2 weeks, 2019

Tools: Maya, Unity, Substance Painter, Sketch

Team: 2 Artists, 2 Programmers, 1 Sound Designer

Background Story

Jack is a graduate student in Entertainment Technology Center at CMU. He is a programmer and works on his BVW project whole month. He has to stay up late and feels stressful. Until one day, he found out that he began to lose his hair. He was afraid of becoming bald. Because his father is bald and hie grandfather is bald too. There comes up with a magic glue that can stick hair back to the head. Please save his hair!

Gameplay

The hair starts to fall, and the falling speed is gradually increased

1

2

Pick up the fallen hair and choose to dye it into different color

3

Put the hair back to head

4

Create a new hairstyle for Jack

Visual Design

The characters are designed into a humorous style, which is consistent with the overall game atmosphere.

​Picture on the table

​Grandfather, father, and Jack

​The bar shows the remaining hair on the head

© 2020 by Gloria Deng.