The Riddle – Story of Progress

Introduction

This is the fourth project of the Udacity VR Developer Nanodegree program with focus on VR Design. The task was not only to build a VR experience in Unity3D but also to document the process from initial sketches to design considerations and through to including video and screenshots of the final game.

Outcomes

Due to problems with implementing the given code for a „Simon Says“ like puzzle, I coded a much simpler text riddle myself, based on the things I learned about interaction with interfaces during the course. The player enters a mysterious dungeon to solve a ancient riddle with the intend to reach the exit on the other side.

Story of the Progress

To flesh out the purpose of my game, I developed a persona to define a specific target group for the project.

I started of my project with some simple sketches of how the scene should look like. Already in an early stage of the concept I wanted to have a ditch filled up with hot lava in the middle of the room, that makes it impossible to get to the other side without solving the riddle.

After sketching out a few UI Designs I decided to go with a very simple and clean approach to convey the information without distracting the user too much.

User Testing

To verify the intended mood, interaction, sound and animation in the game, I did some user testing. Due to very helpful feedback I was able to iterate and improve the overall impression of the game.

Examples for user testing situations:

Tobias:
How big/tall do you feel in the space?
Close to the right size, maybe a little small.
What do you think of the atmosphere of the space?
Looks like a old school dungeon. Should be darker and more mysterious.

Analyzing the feedback received, I made slight changes to the scale of the scene. I took a deep dive into the look of my project. I got a lot darker with a mystical saturated blue for the whole scene and changed the skybox to a atmospheric cloudy night sky.


Sabrina:
How does the movement through the space feel? Too fast, too slow?
Speed feels a bit quick but it’s okey
Considering it’s a WIP, is it generally clear from the UI what you are supposed to do?
Yes its pretty clear and easy to understand

After the second round of feedback I adjusted the speed of the movement. Then I was ready to go for the final build.

Breakdown of the final piece

 

The user finds herself in front of a start screen. There is a little bit of information about the background story of the game. Then the player is able to start the game by pressing the start button.

A quick animation moves the user inside the dungeon. There is another screen waiting for her. It shows a riddle with 3 multiple choice answers.

If the player chooses the wrong answer, she is moved back to the start position. There is the option to „try again“ from the beginning.

If the player solves the riddle, a bridge moves up and the player can move to the other side of the dungeons.

At the exit of the dungeons a screen informs about the success of the player and asks if she wants to restart the game.

Conclusion

Coming from a designer background I had a hard time to get the mechanics and all the coding to work in that project. But I’m slowly evolving and while it’s not my goal to become a hard core coder in the future, I think its necessary to understand the basics. Although I couldn’t get the “Simon Says” mechanic to work in my project, I’m proud having coded a simpler version of it on my own. I’m happy with the atmosphere in the dungeon and the bridge element turned out to be a nice little addition that makes my project stand out from the others.