Roles - Lead Designer, Programmer
Genre - Comedy / VR
Development Time - 8 weeks
Team Size - 5 - 8
Engine - Unity
Windows (HTC Vive)
In H2O-NO, experience virtual reality as a pirate in the wrong place at the wrong time. See how long you can delay your ship from sinking by plugging holes with a series of wacky items!
I led development by delegating tasks and ensuring assets made across the team could be implemented and receive quick feedback. Additionally, I was responsible for programming the core game loop, dynamic audio which ran through an audio manager, and a variety of other systems enhancing the experience. Development took place in a 'Building Virtual Worlds' class at Michigan State, and was given two extra weeks of development with a smaller team in the Games For Entertainment and Learning Lab, where I brought a programmer up to speed on the game's existing code. It was brought to Traverse City Film Festival 2018 and Meaningful Play 2018, where wide ranges of players enjoyed the game for its quick, silly gameplay backed by intuitive design!
Programming for VR
The game required multiple systems working together to provide an unpredictable experience to each player. I was responsible for implementing those systems along with the functionality of all interactions, managing audio, and continuous bug fixing. I quickly adapted into a workflow of planning and designing features with team members, programming them, conducting playtests, then reworking and/or balancing systems accordingly.
Many players who have never tried Virtual Reality before are able to enjoy without any troubles which is the result of many small design choices. One small trick for example, is adjusting the height at which most of the game takes place based on the player's height. This includes the range at which holes are created at, where the water starts, and where the water must reach for the game to end without the player feeling as if they're actually drowning.
Showcasing the Game
I had a blast bringing this game to a variety of events such as the Traverse City Film Festival (2018) and Capital City Film Festival (2019). The design of the game overall embraced VR for the fun in simple interactions such as grabbing and throwing objects, since it was my first time programming for the platform. It was very rewarding seeing players at events have a great time with these simple interactions within the game loop I designed. Especially when kids would keep coming back for another try!