VR UX Design: MNPUL8R

Senior Year Capstone Project

Diving into Virtual Reality and Leapmotion Orion Hardware

Overview

Capstone is the name of Indiana University’s Senior project program. Within a group of 4-5 people you are to design, develop, prototype, and showcase your final project over the course of two semesters. I created a group with fellow seniors at IU, because of my previous experience with Maya and background with Unity software I was the main 3D modeler and UX Designer for the project

For the beginning stages of our project we decided to do background research, and chose two different games that gave us aesthetic and gameplay inspiration. Panoramical has an amazing art and music schema, and we’ve decided to implement music into our environment gameplay because of it. Proteus promotes different actions a user could take in order to trigger different forms of music and environmental change. Both games heavily influenced the look and feel of our project in different ways.

A picture example of Proteus in it's light springtime form with colorful trees and flowers.
An example of Proteus in it’s light springtime form.

Execution

For my UX contributions, I conducted two different user tests and created the User Flow within the level plan. I worked with our 2D Artist to make sure the aesthetic and drawings that she created was appropriate for what I had intended the gameplay to be. I then took these designs and tested them on potential users to see how the gameplay was going to be received by people of all skill level. A large part of my documentation can be found at the bottom, the most important being the High Fidelity Mockup before we started prototyping in VR.

User first testing out our environment with controllers before we implemented the LeapMotion.
User first testing out our environment with controllers before we implemented the LeapMotion.

In addition to the UX Design, I also created all of the 3D models off of the 2D Artist’s drawings, and through the implementation of my models and design I contributed to the overall programming within the Unreal Environment to make sure our project looked and felt the way we had intended it to be.

Tree model created in Blender
Tree model created in Blender

I worked closely with the Head Software Programmer and the Hardware Integration Specialist to implement the design and user experience considerations for our project, which included hand-grabbing and touch interactions. I created most of my 2D iterations using Adobe Illustrator, my 3D Iterations with Blender and Maya, and the Environment Iterations within Unreal.

User test with the LeapMotion implementation
User test with the LeapMotion implementation

Level 1 Transformation

 

Final Result

Postmortem

All in all the project was a huge success. As my first VR game, I am immensely proud of the work we did as a team. We finished three different levels of the game, the second and third both being as fun to design as the first. I personally realized early on how difficult it is to work in a new type of hardware system. Designing for Leapmotion hand interaction systems provided a completely different interaction system for the user, which in turn allowed me to prototype different forms of gameplay. Different iterations of the gameplay allowed us to grow and learn the extent of the technology that we were using, and from our failures we gained new knowledge.

This is a screenshot of the Level 2 environment which is partially outdoors with a user entering a cave system
This is a screenshot of the Level 2 environment which is partially outdoors with a user entering a cave system

Overall, the project was a complete success. My absolute favorite part was getting to showcase our work once it was finished. I had the joy of putting our booth together to have users and people on our university campus come demo the work that we had done.

Two different users utilizing the LeapMotion to play the final version of our game, MNPUL8R
Two different users utilizing the LeapMotion to play the final version of our game, MNPU

Links to Documentation

Low Fidelity Mockup

Level Plan, Models, Color Scheme, Gameplay

High Fidelity Mockup

User Test 1 (Low Fidelity Mockup)

User Test 2 (High Fidelity Mockup)

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