Erin Truesdell, PPJ, Fall Week 3

 I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

Tasks:

  • Meetings: 8h
  • Prototyping: 5h
  • Team Website/Deliverables: 2h

Total Hours: 14h

Positives: This week marked a large pivot for our team. After a discussion with our advisor and some intense soul-searching, we determined that there isn’t enough time in the senior project development window to adequately handle the extremely sensitive and complex topic of sexual assault. We had two intense meetings, the second of which focused on our new direction. We have decided to create a different virtual reality detective game, focusing on tactile interactions while still hinting towards larger questions.

Sydney and I met with the sound subteam separately, where we discussed sound components, instrumentation, and the logistics of what tracks need to be created as well as how they will be recorded and saved.

Additionally, I completed a small prototype puzzle. It’s nothing fancy; in fact, it’s effectively a virtual version of a color matching exercise one might give to a toddler. However, I wanted to jump in as early as possible and get used to the third-party VR tools we are using: SteamVR and VRTK, both free assets available for Unity that will assist us in developing virtual interactions without getting bogged down reinventing the wheel. This included importing the assets, drawing prefabs from included example scenes, utilizing package functionalities such as “Set Up Interactable Object” and “SnapDropZone,” and integrating them with the simple test puzzle.

This week’s proof of concept allowed me to prepare interactions for picking up objects and snapping them into locations; handling events in Unity (I haven’t used events and delegates since I worked on rail design software three years ago, so a refresher was in order). The success of this prototype leads me to believe that we will certainly be able to develop the necessary interactions for our product.

Negatives: Many of the issues the team and I ran into this week are issues that will likely persist through the project, particularly difficulties in scheduling (we have folks from three departments, one person on a varsity athletics team, and two individuals who play in Drexel music ensembles). This will likely be a challenge up until June; however, the team is willing to be flexible in their schedules and is very good about keeping up with online messages, so I am hopeful that scheduling, while an issue, will by no means be debilitating. We had some minor repository issues, though this should be resolved relatively quickly as each team member gets used to our Git workflow. Finally, it was difficult, for me at the very least, to let go of our original hopes for what this project would be. We are passionate about designing meaningful play and tackling significant topics, so to stray from the original vision was tough. However, I am also excited about this new direction, and I look forward to seeing how our plans unfold in the next week.

Looking Ahead:

  • Renovate GDD to reflect new game concept
  • Prepare for second public pitch
  • More prototyping, greyboxing
  • Plan regular weekly meeting time

 

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