designed and created by So Young Han

Building Virtual Worlds

overview

type

course projects from Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), Carnegie Mellon Univerisity

date

2 - 3 weeks for each project from aug 2018 - dec 2018

location

Pittsburgh, PA

USA

role

producer

interaction designer

artist

company size

5 team members including artists, programmers, and  a sound designer

tools

maya, unity 

course overview 

Building Virtual Worlds(BVW) is a core course from Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), Carnegie Mellon University. This course challenges students to work quickly, creatively and collaboratively. BVW gives small teams of students two weeks to create a virtual world, with new groups and goals for each round. Students are welcomed to user diverse platforms such as VR (HTC Vive, Oculus), AR (Google AR kit, Meta II), immersive installation (CAVE), and other interactive digital tools such as Phidgets, jam-o-drum etc. 

role and work process

The key learning point in this course project is team work and the value of rapid prototyping and iterative process. Since every round goes on for 2 weeks (even 1-week sometimes), students need to follow compact schedule with repetitive user test / play test to check whether the project goal is on a right track. 

as an artist

In this project, I participated as an artist mainly responsible for making visual design such as concept art, 3D modelling, environment design.  Since it is a team work, communicating and finding the most efficient way to make things work smoothly highly depends on having a work ethics and principles. Following is the overall process of work flow I took for all projects. 

as an interaction designer

Other than an artist, I personally was interested in interaction design, therefore, I paid extra attention to how guest / user behave at certain point, where they feel most confused, etc. Also, I actively participated in user test / play test process in both planning, conducting, and delivering insights gained from the test. 

01      Babies on a Plane

platform 

Meta II (AR) 

constraints

Character A is afraid of Character B. Guest (User) should protects A from B. 

role

concept design, 3D modelling 

description

A hectic balancing act played on a game board shaped like an open-top plane, the guest is kept occupied by a combination of popping bubbles (that symbolize the crying), plane stabilization by touching the wings, and finding the parents hiding babies in their seats. Once you’ve found a baby by gazing at the appropriate passenger for a few seconds, you must move all 3 babies to “First Class” which will ultimately calm them down and save everyone!

02      The Darkness

HTC Vive (with controllers, and a tracker)

platform 

constraints

The project should aim for targeting naive guests, users who hardly have experience in the given platform or even game. The team using HTC Vive should use at least one tracker. 

role

3D modeling, interaction design, user test 

description

The Darkness is a VR game using HTC VIVE. The guest is in an abandoned supermarket trying to find some water, bandage, and painkiller to save his/her friend. The only guide is the friend talking to the guest over the walkie-talkie and flashlight. The guest is in pitch darkness but by using the flashlight (controllers), he or she can find the objects he needs. However, everytime the guest turns on the light, the unknown creatures get close to you. The guest needs to find the objects as soon as possible before the monsters break in. 

user test report

03      Back Home

platform 

Oculus (with controllers) 

constraints

Tell an interactive story through VR experience. The story should have its beginning to end maintaining its interest curve. 

role

co-producer, environment artist

description

Back Home is a story-based interactive VR experience. The guest is living on an iceberg in the north pole with his/her dog, and one day, the ice breaks and he/she gets floated away from home. The dog tries to follow the guest with a rope, but a big wave comes in and he is gone. When frustrated, there appears a hallucination of the dog leading the guest to get back home safe. When the last iceberg breaks and the guest sinks into the ocean, there appears the dog again. Is it real or just a dream after a tragic disaster? It doensn't matter. This experience allows the guest to feel the emotional connection they can have with their dog. 

04      Oddly Satisfying

platform 

CAVE, Vive controllers

constraints

Any experience that's is suitable for festival - meaning, something unique, highly interactive, and of course, fun!

description

Oddly Satisfying is a unique audio-visual art crafting experience in CAVE (3 walls surrounded immersive space) with Vive controllers. The experience is divided into three parts - first sculpting, second, scaling and color changing, and lasting drawing. 

role

concept design, environment design / modeling