VR Design / Game Design
Skills Acquired: Unity, Blender, VR Design, XR Interaction Toolkit, Interaction Design, Oculus Quest 2, 3D Modeling, Animation
Unity, Blender, Oculus Quest 2
Mend is an asymmetric co-op puzzle game currently in development. It is 2 player game played using a VR headset and a traditional video game controller, and the players must work together to solve puzzles.
Mend came to our XR Terra VR Design class, asking us to tackle a few design issues they currently have.
COMMUNICATION: How can a player using a VR headset communicate with a traditional platform player in a more meaningful and clear way?
PAUSE MENU: Sometimes, we all need a break. How should MEND the game address users being able to pause the game?
Please watch the video to the left to view the final product or scroll down to see my design process.
To learn more about the game itself, visit their Twitter here!
The viewpoint of the VR player and controller player being completely different can make it quite complicated to communicate each other's locations. Our goal was to create a new feature to the game that allows the players to communicate to each other where they are within the large map.
The game being a 2 player game, it can be quite awkward when 1 player has to pause and the other player to sit and wait (especially for the VR player). A goal of our team was to create a pause feature that allows the players to have a separate environment to explore while on pause.
We were inspired by classic video games like Super Mario and Zelda as well as everyday way-finding tools like markers used on hiking trails and compasses.
We came up with 2 main features that could help with player communication.
1. Environment saturation changes depending on the distance between the players. When you get too far from each other, the environment color changes!
2. An inventory system (treasure chest) that gives players a communication tool they can use to communicate each other's location.
TREASURE CHEST ITEMS
There are 3 different items the treasure chest can generate. Each one has a different probability of showing up:
Compass (60%), Flag (30%), Teleport (10%)
Both the VR Player and Platform player can collect and use these items. The items function differently depending on the player.
- Compass direction guides the VR player towards the direction of the platform player.
- Compass direction guides the platform player towards the direction of the VR player.
- Allows the VR player to “signal” their location by releasing the flag into the air and launching a firework.
- Allows the platform player to leave a trail of flags so that the VR player can track and follow them.
- Allows VR player to select a location with their raycaster and move the platform player there.
- Allows platform player to select a location with their controller and move the VR player there.
PROBLEM 2: PAUSE MENU
We were inspired by the Temazcal, an igloo shape- real “pause” area used by the Mayans as a sauna or ritual place.
We decided to create a pause scene, inspired by the Temazcal, that players can enter while the game is paused.
Inside the Temazcal, players can interact with a mirror that displays different "masks".
This allows scalability to create more characters and new skillsets, like swimming, climbing, etc.
We also redesigned their menu screen to visually look more aligned with the game itself.