Erin Truesdell, PPJ, Fall Week 5

Enter the Murder Pentagon

The Piano Puzzle – it’s functional, it now just needs to be art-ed so it’s an actual puzzle and not a tech demo of a puzzle.


  • Meetings: 1h
  • Prototyping: 7h
  • Troubleshooting: 2h
  • Deliverables/Management: 30m

Total Hours: 10h30m


Positives: I got to have a little fun this week doing some reading about H.H. Holmes and starting to think about puzzle design. I got to pair coding and shader work with interaction design to put together a wall-moving piano puzzle with a punchcard system, which was very satistfying to see come together. I also had the opportunity to integrate Samara’s teleportation mechanism into that scene, and it’s been wonderful to watch this prototype come together.

On the team side, we had a wonderful meeting with grad student Jaleese Blanding-Coates, who showed us a VR space she was working on. I had the opportunity to step into VR, see what worked and what didn’t, and gain a sense of space. (I also took the opportunity to feed my inner research nerd and ask her a bunch of questions about her work.) We also had an incredibly productive meeting with Professor Rob Lloyd, who advised us on theming and experience design and offered direction on how to go about designing good puzzles.


Negatives: Things broke (again). My implementation of Shadergraph-compatible shaders briefly broke our project’s Oculus compatibility. And it took us a good 2 hours of work and a full night’s sleep to figure it out. (So much Googling. So many forums.) Additionally, it’s been a lot chasing down little deliverables and getting last-minute administrative tasks (adding folks to the Hacknplan, WordPress memberships, etc.) done. It was so nice to have some time this week to just sit down and be in the project, and I’m hoping in future weeks I can do more of that instead of getting bogged down by too much paperwork and administration. 

We’ve also decided to go with Oculus SDK rather than VRTK for our interaction development, and that decision required a great deal of cleanup and Github pain. It also meant reworking the way I’d been approaching testing, as I had to accommodate for not having VR hands when I wanted to test.


Looking Ahead:

  • Finalize single room greybox prototype
  • Oversee GDD overhaul
  • Construct Gantt chart with Sydney