Lead Designer (2017)
MNPUL8R is a game created on the HTC Vive headset with Leapmotion Orion hand input tracker. This project was based in Unity and completed in May of 2017. Capstone is the name of Indiana University’s Senior project program. Within a group of 4-5 people you are to design, develop, prototype, and present your final project over the course of two semesters. Because of my previous experience with Maya and background with Unity software I was the main 3D modeler and UX Designer for the project.
INTERACTION & UX DESIGN
Concepting and Reference
For the beginning stages of our project we decided to do background research, and chose two different games that gave us aesthetic and gameplay inspiration. Panoramical has an amazing art and music schema, and we decided to implement music into our environment gameplay because of it. Proteus promotes different actions a user could take in order to trigger different forms of music and environmental change. Both games heavily influenced the look and feel of our project in different ways.
User Testing and Prototyping
During the life cycle of the project I worked closely with our 2D artist and engineers. I worked with the 2D artist to make sure the aesthetic and drawings that were proposed could be brought to life in what our team had developed for the level plan. I created an optimal user flow that operated within the gameplay, and took these designs and tested them on potential users with the ultimate goal of seeing how our gameplay was going to be recieved by individuals of varying skill level.
I conducted two different user tests during different stages of the project. A large part of my documentation can be found at the bottom, the most important being the High Fidelity Mockup before we started prototyping in VR.
"User Test 2"
"High Fidelity Mockup"
3D Art and Implementation
In addition to the UX Design, I also created all of the 3D models off of the 2D Artist’s drawings, and through the implementation of my models and design I contributed to the overall development within the Unreal Engine to make sure our project looked and felt the way we had intended it to be.
I worked closely with the lead programmer and the lead hardware integration specialist to implement the design and user experience considerations for our project, which included hand-grabbing and touch interactions. I created most of my 2D iterations using Adobe Illustrator, my 3D Iterations with Blender and Maya, and the Environment Iterations within Unreal.
Level 1 Transformation
Renders from Home Screen, Level One, Level Two, and Level Three
As my first VR game, I am immensely proud of the work we did as a team. We finished three different levels of the game, the second and third both being as fun to design as the first. I personally realized early on how difficult it is to work in new types of hardware and softwares, as prior to this I had never worked in the Unreal Engine or with the Leapmotion input system.
Because of this project I found two key takeaways. The first takeaway was how hard it is to provide an accurate walking simulator while (trying our best) to prevent motion sickness. The second was how difficult it was to design for hand input systems. It was difficult to clue the user in to how to interact with specific content in order to complete the level.
To this, designing for hand input provided a completely different interaction system for our end user than they were used to, or even one that I had designed for previously. This allowed me to prototype and iterate on different forms of gameplay. Different iterations of the gameplay allowed us to grow and learn the extent of the technology that we were using, and from our failures we gained new knowledge.
My absolute favorite part was getting to showcase our work once it was finished. I had the joy of putting our booth together to have users and people on our university campus come demo the work that we had done.