Client OCCIPITAL (occipital.com)
Date JULY 16th - AUGUST 2nd, 2018
Seán Conroy (VFX Artist, UX Design)
Samantha Yueh (Scrum Master, UI/UX Design)
Nick Kubash (3D Artist, Graphic Design)
Viet Phan (Developer)
Andy Yao (Developer)
Thalita Karina (VFX Artist)
Manni Zhang (3D Animator)
The Bridge headset allows for incredible mixed reality experiences, bringing virtual characters into the real world, where they can directly interact with our environment. This project was an exploration in creating a prototype that leverages on the features of the Bridge.
- Short production time (15 working days)
- Working with a new device and engine
- No established UI/UX conventions
- Generated many ideas that made full use of the Bridge's abilities.
- Provided and tested a variety of intuitive control schemes.
- Created highly stylised particle effects that complimented the art style of the prototype.
- First time working with the Bridge headset, a new xR system.
- Explored various UX approaches for this new medium.
- Greatly improved my knowledge of Unity’s particle system editor.
- Learned how to design and test various control schemes.
Despite this being the longest production cycle our team had within the xR Prototyping Lab, we still jumped straight into ideas on the first day. We collaborated with our client and began exploring a variety of ideas that utilised the capabilities of the Bridge headset. After this meeting, the team took these ideas and broke them down in terms of features and what could be achieved in 15 days. This helped us to settle on a solution that we were all excited for: a mixed reality RC car racing game that could be played anywhere.
Brainstorming during our first client meeting
The following day, our client visited us once more, this time to show us the pipeline of the Bridge plugin for Unity. We were shown how to calibrate the structure sensor for both an iPad and an iPhone, as well as the workflow for putting our assets into Bridge's mixed reality environment. By the conclusion of this workshop, the team fully understood how to begin making prototypes for the Bridge, which greatly sped up our prototyping process.
Bridge workshop with our client
Much like the other projects we worked on during the xR Prototyping Lab, after we'd planned out the flow of the experience, we dived straight into rapid prototypes. The day after the workshop, we had developed a basic prototype that served as a foundation for future iteration as the project progressed. Having this low-fidelity prototype allowed us to better test and improve the experience of playing the game.
The first version of the prototype
At the end of each working day, all team members would test the current version of the prototype. This proved to be extremely useful as every member of the team had varying levels of experience with games. To ensure that the control scheme we were developing was fun and easy to use, it needed to be enjoyable for all types of players.
We also visited our client in the BC Tech Cube building so that they could also try out the prototype and give us feedback on the experience. The prototype went through many different iterations as a result of the wonderful feedback that we received through regular testing.
Testing the prototype in the Cube
Throughout the development of this prototype, one of the areas that I had a particular focus on was the visual effects of the game. Rather than opting to take a realistic art-style, we had decided to explore using a cartoon-like aesthetic, to see how it would feel overlayed on a real environment. To this end, I wanted to ensure that the effects of the game reflected this feeling, so I created a series of highly stylised, comical effects that would trigger during gameplay.
I began by creating a tyre-smoke effect for the wheels of the car, complete with floating words that mimicked the sound it would make. This was the foundation for the remaining effects I created, all following a similar lighthearted and highly animated approach. Below are videos of each effect created for this prototype, all using a combination of After Effects, Photoshop and Unity.
Examples of VFX used in the prototype
15 days after our first meeting, we handed the final prototype to our client to play with. Our client and the team alike spent a great deal of time just trying out the experience, scanning different areas of the room and trying to get the best score. Needless to say, the client was pleased with the outcome of this project. He wanted to share our prototype with his team for minor polishing before possibly adding it as an application for the Bridge.
Playing with the final prototype at CDM
4 days later, Occipital tweeted about our project on their account, even including their own screen recording of the prototype being played in the Cube. This left us all pretty excited about where the project could go in the future.