VR Development of Todd Damnit (Part 4): Testing, Showcasing & Accessibility

Roughly three weeks into my one-month VR development journey, I was able to quickly conduct four playtest sessions at Gamma Space. This was a few days before I recorded and implemented the final dialogue with my VO actor, so there was still robo voice at the time. The game played from start-to-finish, so that was a good time to start getting some feedback.


Playtesting Before Showcasing

What I then realized was that it was going to be hard testing out a VR experience that relied heavily on audio. So basically, I could not hear what the players hear. I asked for the testers to try to think-out-loud, but most of the time players were listening to the audio… so I guess they were immersed enough that they didn’t want to talk out of the experience? I’m not sure. I had a visual cue of players successfully attacking Todd the ghost with a 3D model of him pop up for a second.  To indicate when the player is able to stab Todd, I’ve designed it so that when the lights turn off, and dramatic music starts playing, the player is able to stab Todd.

ghost glitch wip.gif

Visual feedback of successfully stabbing Todd. 

Here’s some of the notes I’ve jotted down from each of the testers:

Tester 1

Behavior during experience:

  • This tester wanted to poke instead of stab Todd. She would slowly move the controller towards where she think Todd is, and when she saw him, she’d sweetly say “poke!”
  • Smiling throughout experience.

Feedback after experience:

  • Hard to hear music I’ve placed to indicate that’s when player’s can able to stab Todd. Crank it up!
  • Lighting needs to be more dramatic and obvious if it’s to be used as a visual indicator the player is able to stab Todd.
  • Todd’s dialogue help indicate when to stab as well. When he says “Come at me!” you know you can do that.  Narrative can help this tremendously.


Tester 2

Behaviour during experience:

  • Laughing at start and throughout.
  • First time stabbing ghost, she screamed pretty loudly and was surprised. Afterwards said with an evil tone “Ahha, I wanna mess with you!”
  • “Hiya!” was said when stabbing.
  • Flailing arm around the entire time Todd was moving. Tester though she could stab when he’s moving (player can’t, Todd is immune when he’s moving).
  • Eventually started stabbing through the entire game and moving around the space, instead of staying stationary.
  • Freaked out Todd’s voice was closer to her so suddenly (this is when players can stab Todd).

Feedback after experience:

  • Colour-coding the walls helped with player alignment.
  • Could not figure out that Todd was placed in the centre of the walls.


Tester 3

Behaviour during experience:

  • Lunged right into Todd, a perfect strike.
  • Then proceeded to lunge at all directions all the time. Eventually stabbed Todd when the trigger box finally became available.
  • Laughing.
  • Continued to stab at all directions.
  • Continued fierce lunges.

Feedback after experience:

  • Floor was a little high-up. Probably something to do with scaling or the camera position.
  • Voice-over was hilarious (at the time this was robo voice) and interactive.
  • Player wishes that when you stab Todd, he moves to a different location instantly rather than stay where he got stabbed.
  • Add SPX or audio cue when player successful stabs Todd.
  • Add reverb/mix channel to Todd’s voice when he’s hit.
  • Player felt that he had to stab right away, thinking it was a time-sensitive event. Which is why he kept trying to stab all the time.
  • Player had a dilemma: He wanted to listen to Todd, but he also wanted to stab him. Is this a good dilemma to have?


Tester 4

Behaviour during experience:

  • Player was ready to stab in the intro office scene. He was in his stabbing pose, ready to lunge.
  • “Yeah, fucking Brad!” player agreeing to Todd’s profanity.
  • “Whatta foul-mouthed ghost.”
  • Thought Todd was above him.
  • Rotating around, walking around room.
  • Player did not lunge or try to stab ghost. Did not know when he was able to do it. Kept waiting around for a cue. Had to tell player he can stab now.
  • “Got you, bastard!” Game encourages player to use vulgar language.
  • Decided to “scan” the room like how one with use the controller to set up room-scale in VR. Holding the controller out and outlining the room to find Todd.
  • Then started to stab all the time, constantly.

Feedback after experience:

  • Cue to stab is needed.
  • Particle effects, lens flare, or a glow could help determine when the ghost is nearby.
  • Colour or pulse effect can help let players know there is a spiritual presence.
  • Floor is high-up.


Iterations Needed

Because that week was the last and I had to focus on getting the recordings produced, edited and implemented, these iterations were not implemented before Damage Camp. What to work on next is:

  • Players shouldn’t be told to stay stationary. How can I design it so that players will know to remain stationary in the centre and are welcome to lung forwards?
  • Lighting, music and other visual cues need to be more obvious to let player know when they are able to stab Todd. Most players think they can stab him at anytime, even when moving.
  • Visual cues to help hint to player they need to stab in the centre of the walls. Or should Todd’s positions be placed diagonally in the corners of the room?
  • Add more dialogue lines as cue help player know when they are able to stab him.
  • Adjust floor to avoid player disconnect or motion sickness.


Set Up Flaw & Emergency Design Implementation

Setting up the day before the showcase, the game was all well and functioning. Except one thing that I anticipated early on, but it still proposed a problem at the party. And that was of course, the audio.

Because the game relies on spatial audio and the player needs to hear in order to play the game, the venue was echoing everyone’s voice so it was very loud. Again, I predicted this would happen, so I bought expensive noise-cancelling headphones. But even with that, the computer’s audio couldn’t go any louder, so the noise-cancelling function could not work as well because it needs the audio to be loud in order for it to work. Even with just around 6 people in the room setting up and talking, it was really loud. So I had to quickly come up with some sort of solution.

In my game I designed it so that Todd is quieter when is immune because he is moving around the player from a further distance. That way when he is up-close to the player (vulnerable), the player knows they can stab now. However because it was hard to hear the immune dialogue, I decided to boost up all the audio files so that everything is at 1. So now, the distant quieter (immune state) audio is now at the same volume as the stationary and close audio (vulnerable state). Basically, now the players would be unable to tell when they are allowed to stab Todd because the volume for all the dialogue lines was the exact same.

I quickly decided to throw in a dramatic light effect to help with this. I threw in a few nodes into uScript to do the following:

  • If Todd is close to the player and vulnerable: Turn ON a pink spotlight underneath the player.
  • If Todd is far away, moving around and immune: Turn OFF the pink spotlight.

This was an emergency design decision thrown in last-minute for the party. As long as the player doesn’t have a tough time understanding the game, that’s all that matters to me.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset  Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Game set-up at Damage Camp.


Night of the Party

The night before the party, I forgot to leave a build behind on my computer, so when I arrived late to the party, I had friends huddling around my computer browsing through my Unity project trying to find the correct scene file to play. Whoops.

The event was to celebrate our success in creating our first VR prototypes, (and be one of the first artists to showcase work at TMAC!) so I did not have to worry about playtesting… but I wanted to anyways. So I conducted very informal playtests here and there throughout the night. Jotting notes was too much work that night, so I decided to easily film people playing to understand their actions, behaviors, facial expressions and movements.

Playtester playing the game at the opening party. Note how player tries to stab at all directions and had to squeeze headphones in ears to hear better. 

Before someone wanted to play the game, I had to made sure to state various things before they are given the headset in order to provide them with an optimal experience.

  • Stand in the centre of the space. Stay stationary throughout the game, however you are encouraged to lunge forwards to stab the ghost.
  • Due to the loud environment it will be hard to hear the audio. Try to listen carefully to pinpoint where it is coming from.
  • When the pink light is lit under you, that means you are now allowed to stab the ghost.
  • Aim for the centre of the walls. The ghost is not in the corners.

I did not want to state the last one… but for a better play experience I had to. Some players were spending so much time stabbing at the wrong area that Todd stopped talking, which means they lost his position and got stumped.


Informal Conclusions

Very similar to the previous playtest obviously, but some other things to note:

  • When Todd is vulnerable, players kept stabbing at all directions, because they could not figure out where he was due to the volume of the party outside of VR.
  • Most players squeezed the headphones into their ears when not stabbing to try to hear the dialogue and pinpoint Todd’s location.
  • Because this was a casual social event, players were not comfortable expressing criticism or feedback. Almost every person after playing said something among the lines of “That was soooo cool” and quickly proceed to leave.
  • Players were laughing and smiling.
  • Players found enjoyment in the dialogue, most expressed their condolences about the unfortunate audio situation.
  • Bystanders were recording others playing the game and enjoyed watching.


Potentially Making It More Accessible #A11y

Recently, I went to the Game UX Summit hosted by Ubisoft Toronto and learned a tremendous amount of content in regards to how to make one’s game more accessible through game, UI and UX design.  Bryce Johnson, a designer at XBox, talked particularly about how to make a card game accessible to a player who is blind or has low-vision, and even presented videos of how this sort of gameplay would look like. Later on in the summit, there was a panel that even included Steve Saylor, a blind gamer. Hearing from a user at a panel was heart-warming and really helps put this into a better perspective.


Inclusivity & Accessibility Panel at the Game UX Summit in Toronto, ON. 

With this VR game, it heavily relies on audio. The player needs to listen to where the ghost is in order to figure out it’s location, and then proceed to attack. Even there will be more visual cues to help players out, the game seems like it has the potential to be playable by a player who is visually impaired or blind. Obviously, I cannot make assumptions as to how this sort of user would interact with the game. So in the future, I hope to have the opportunity to find a tester who is visually impaired or blind to be able to see how they play this VR experience, and to iterate on it’s design to make it more accessible towards this audience.




VR Development of Todd Damnit (Part 3): Prototype Development & Recording

Let me just front out and say it, I’m not the best coder. I only had about one month to develop my prototype on the Vive. So to prevent myself from pulling out my curly hair and raging at what the hell is wrong with my syntax, I decided to do visual scripting.


Visual Scripting, The Saviour

In the past I’ve used Playmaker in my first year of college. I was hoping to go back into that tool, but the price was $65 USD, which calculates to about $80 CAD. So I looked up other — free or cheaper — tools I could use, and found uScript. This tool had a free learning edition, a basic version for $35 USD and the full version for $135 USD. Sounds good to me.


Learning version of uScript available for free on the Unity Asset Store.

I started diving right into the tool, experimenting with it and looking at their official documentation. I found the documentation to be helpful when it came down to getting an understanding how it the entire tool works, but I was not getting enough information on what sort of nodes were available. Fortunately, I found a YouTube playlist by Brent Farris that goes over the basics and even covers some common nodes one may come across using. I highly recommend checking out this playlist if you are interested in using uScript!

There’s are shit ton of nodes in the tool, which is fantastic, but also extreme overwhelming because it was hard to find the right one I was looking for. I spent a majority of my time searching up my questions in uScript’s forum, which helped me a lot.

Here’s how my node map started off looking like for the main gameplay scene.


Early process screenshot of developing the game’s system, and dialogue tree using the visual scripting tool uScript.

Basically here is what is going on:

  1. Start Todd’s Dialogue instantly. He is immune and moving around the player.
  2. Turn on the Right Trigger’s collider and play Todd’s rambling dialogue at that location. This is where Todd will be located for the Intro Round. He is vulnerable and the player is able to stab him.
  3. If the player stabs him (Player’s controller enters Right Trigger), Todd will react to being attacked with a reaction dialogue line. Also, the Right Trigger turned it’s collider OFF.
  4. After the reaction dialogue is said, Todd will go back to moving around the player, immune, to give the player time to get ready for his next move.
  5. Todd is now located at the Front Trigger. Turn on Front Trigger’s collider and play Todd’s rambling dialogue from there. This is a new round,  so he vulnerable and the player is able to stab him again.

After a few days and over 250+ nodes later, the game turned into this:


First complete draft of the visual scripting map of the entire game. 

Oh boy.

Overall, my experience using uScript was great. I hardly run into any problems. When I did, it was usually something stupid like forgetting to save my node map before going into Play Mode. I’m definitely going to look into buying the Basic version of the tool.


Developing for VR… Without VR

The VR setups for the SPF90FPS program was at Gamma Space in Toronto. I was welcome to come in any time to work on my game there which was awesome! However, I could easily develop at home when I don’t necessarily need to test with VR. Working from home also means less time commuting and more time developing! I would go to Gamma about two times a week to plug my game into VR to check to see how it functions and plays.

So at home I don’t have VR, so I created my game using a third-person controller at first. Whenever the player hit the right Trigger Box, the dialogue went off. I was able to play a complete run-through of my game, and it ended up being around 3-5 minutes long. Which is pretty good for a game made in one month on my own. Later, I went to implement it into VR at Gamma. I come home and the project file crashed on startup and was broken. Thankfully I had a backup of the game before I implemented all the VR packages, so I was able to keep working on it at home. ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS FRIENDS. ❤ HEY YOU READING THIS, BACK UP YOUR STUFF NOW.

The following week I head back to Gamma, this time leaving backup files on the computers there, and also re-opening all my updated files with the VR content onto various different computers to make sure it didn’t crash. Luckily, it didn’t and I went home to a working VR project file! Yaaaaaaay.

The game prototype using, at the time, a third-person camera. This was the VR file brought home successfully. What a momentous day it was. 

Once I got VR working in my Unity project file at home, I decided to switch over to a FPS camera instead — since VR is first-person after all! Over the weeks I would create a new save file and bring it to Gamma and toggle to the VR camera. I got to spend hours there testing in VR and adjusting content that I wouldn’t be able to do at home, so I made sure to have a priority list and backlog of what needs to be done first before heading home.


Creating Dialogue Placeholders

Because this game is mainly audio, I had to have audio in my game in order to prototype it properly and get a better sense of it’s timing. I had friend interested in doing temporary dialogue to help out, but unfortunately I realized it would take up too much time to work on something that will not end up in the final game. So I went to www.text2speech.org, to get some robo voice dialoge of my writing. I typed in my dialogue lines and it created audio files in a automated robotic voice. It only took about 20 minutes to get all the lines produced, and I was able to quickly drag and drop them all into uScript. Only bad side was… I felt so uncomfortable typing in all my foul-mouthed disturbing dialogue into an online converter. And then later on, I found out that Adobe Audition has a new feature that does exactly that… offline! So I’ll be using that for future projects. The more you know.




Recording The Dialogue

I absolutely love voice directing. Getting to spend so much time designing and writing games and then finally hear your story coming to life is such a magical feeling. So of course, this was one of my favourite parts of this VR dev journey. ❤

I only got to do about two drafts of the script before realizing I have’t even organize recording sessions. So, uh, the voice recordings were literally done three nights before the party. I unfortunately forgot to put out a casting call earlier, so I quickly message VO actors I’ve worked with on Disco is Dead! — my previous project. Luckily, one was available and happy to play Todd the Ghost, and I also got my friend’s boyfriend to take on the smaller role of Brad. I was hoping to do recordings the week before Damage Camp, however one of my VO actors lost his voice! So it had to be pushed to a later and tighter date. Thankfully he healed and it all worked out! I still created a tiny casting call package and sent them the scripts and reference material. To see the scripts and reference material, check out Part 2: Narrative & Comedy Design.



Brad is a minor character of the story. To establish the VR game’s story, Brad leaves a voicemail for the player in their office before heading into the game. The voicemail states the player’s objective, which is exterminate Todd. I was lucky enough to get my friend’s boyfriend to provide the voice. Brad is meant to be a normal, typical nice guy — whose personality is highly contrasted to Todd’s profanity, thus being a foil. Todd quote “fucking hates Brad.”

Because this was only 1-3 lines of dialogue, it was not worth my time to go all the way to Gamma Space just to record it. So I found my old-school wired Sony microphone I had since high school. The cord wasn’t USB so I had to use my Mom’s older laptop, so I had to install Audacity in order to record with it. Because it was a phone call dialogue clip, I recorded it in various different ways with different phones. We recorded it on it’s own, recorded it through my friend’s mobile voicemail, and recorded it through my home phone answering machine. I ended up going with the one that was recorded through my friend’s voicemail, cause it felt more authentic. The plus side to recording it this way was that I didn’t have to spend time editing and designing the sound to seem like a phone call!


Todd the Ghost

Since Todd is the star and his voice is very very important to the game, I needed a better audio setup than a long wired-Sony microphone in my living room. Also… I needed to record in a space that was quiet and also where people would be comfortable if my VO actor screamed and threaten terrible things… without calling the cops. Luckily I got the opportunity to record at Gamma Space in the evening hours (Thanks Robby)! I got to use a Zoom H6 for recording. I’ve had experience using a Zoom H4 and Zoom H5 for past projects, so I was excited to try the newer one. With this setup I was able to record crisp audio with hardly any white-noise, pops or muffles… and thankfully no one called the cops.

Image result for zoom h4 Image result for zoom h5      Image result for zoom h6

Left to right: Zoom H4, Zoom H5, and what I used for this project: Zoom H6.

Here’s some behind-the-scenes of recording Todd, who’s voice is provided by my (insanely talented) friend Paolo! Note how highly expressive and loud these recordings had to be.


Click here for Part 4: Playtesting, Showcasing & Accessibility!


VR Development of Todd Damnit (Part 2): Narrative & Comedy Design

Many people already know that I enjoy creating narrative-driven games and interactive experiences. So when I got the opportunity to make my first VR game, of course it had to be just that. I’ve played VR games at showcases and exhibitions in the past, so I started to develop an understanding of the challenges of designing narrative in VR. The biggest problem is this:

Being place in a VR world causes the players to be driven by their own curiosity. So if there’s a narrative, players are more likely to not pay attention to the story, due to being distracted very easily.

Players can choose whether or not to pay attention to a narrative, especially in VR. However for my game, I want players to pay attention, listen and take part in the narrative.  So I designed my game so that the players need to listen to the ghost talking, in order to figure out where he is located to stab him.


Designing Fluid Narrative Flow

Todd the Ghost needs to be constantly talking in order for the player to determine where he is located, but Todd blabbers on for only a certain amount of time. So when he stops talking, the player could potentially lose where Todd’s position is. So now what?

I want the players to interrupt Todd’s raging by stabbing him while he is talking. However, one problem I noticed early on is that players may want to keep listening to him rambling on. I obviously can’t record a massive endless run of dialogue for this small project, so I had to figure out a way to finish off Todd’s dialogue without the player forgetting where he is located when he’s done. I designed a fluid dialogue tree so that Todd will spit out roughly 3 insults to the player when he is in a vulnerable state (meaning the player can attack him). After those insults, he will do around 10 seconds or so of exertions — like laughing, aggressive breathing or screaming. This audio line is meant to hint at players that he has stopped talking and that the option to attack him is still available. After that, there will be about 3-5 seconds of silence and then Todd will scream out a bark, intending to attack the player. Due to scope and time, this mechanic of Todd attacking the player if they do not attack him first has not yet been implemented. So there currently is no lose state. I’m hoping to design it so that if the player gets attacked a certain amount of times by the end of the game, they will get a certain type of ending. For example, if the player was attacked 3+ more times out of the 6 rounds, they will be killed by Todd. This first-draft diagram shows how I originally wanted the player to die right after failing to attack 3 times, however that’ll shorten the VR experience and prompt the player to restart, which they may not want to try again. Potentially having various endings based off how well the player plays the game will at least give the player a full satisfying experience.

The first-draft of Todd’s dialogue tree based off player actions.


The Character of Todd the Ghost

Todd’s character is highly amusing to me and I really enjoyed writing him. He’s a college frat who died in the basement of his fraternity. He’s a complete douche and died being a douche. A minor character I have in the game for a small section is Brad, who a typical normal guy who is used as a foil to contrast how self-centered Todd is. One challenge I wanted to take on was designing Todd as a villain you’d love to hate. Originally I wanted his character to be drunk like at a party, but I found early on that players may not want to attack someone who is this vulnerable. So Todd had to be a terrible — yet entertaining — character on purpose. He is responsible for and in control of his actions. So if he decides to act like a dick, you do not feel as bad hurting him. In order to making him enjoyable to hurt, his reactions to the player’s actions are vital. His reactions had to be extremely expressive, which is why I decided to throw in a lot of profanity and curse words.

Todd the ghost is a character you’d love to hate. Due to his expressive reactions, you find enjoyment and satisfaction when attacking him.

For this character I heavily found inspiration from Borderlands 2‘s Handsome Jack. He is exactly the type of character I wanted Todd to be, so I wrote most of Todd’s lines in Jack’s voice to help me quickly visualize and understand his character. Luckily my voice-over actor was comfortable and excited to do some very loud dialogue recording like yelling offensive content and screaming.

I sent my VO actor a YouTube playlist of Handsome Jack portraying his personality at his best in a variety of small slips (the longest being 6 minutes of barks). I avoided putting in very long videos not to overwhelm my actor, however he ended up finding and listening to an hour long video containing ALL of Jack’s dialogue lines!


Video playlist sent to my VO actor for reference.

Instead of writing the game’s dialogue in a film-styled script, I wrote and organized it into a spreadsheet instead. That way, I can visualize more clearly where and when the dialogue would play, and spend less time reading through the script. Each round is colour-coded and each dialogue line is assigned a type and a code name that is referenced in Unity.


First-draft spreadsheet of all of Todd’s lines. 

To learn more about recording the dialogue and see behind-the-scenes, check out Part 3: Prototype Development & Recording.

Encouraging Player Comedy

For this game (and practically all my games), I wanted it to be comedic. I’ve written a few research reports of this topic in the past, so taking what I’ve learned so far and implementing these concepts into my games helps me get a better sense of how we can create comedy games. And also… it’s a ton of fun.

Before I go into how I designed the player-centered comedy, let me tell you about how the name of my game came first. It’ll come full circle later!

When it came down to naming the game, I was stumped. I had a previous game idea years back that was called “Todd Damnit,” and that was somewhat similar to this game. So I decided to just name the ghost Todd for now, so if I couldn’t think of a better name, the title made sense. I kept saying my game was a ghost-stabbing game on social media and around Gamma Space, so I really wanted to call it “Ghost Stabber VR.” That way, players know what they are in for. Back on Disco is Dead!, the game’s name doesn’t highlight the fact that the game is about slapping zombies (literally). It eventually got known as the zombie-slapping game, but if the title actually contained the words “zombie” or “slapping,” would it have helped players quickly grasp the context of the game? So should the game’s name highlight the mechanic or not? I decided to ask Twitter for help. With that, I got an answer… and lots of really fun puntastic suggestions!


Results of the Twitter poll for game’s name.

So Todd Damnit ended up being the winner, which was slightly pleasing. Later on after some quick playtesting, I realized that Ghost Stabber VR would have not been the best choice. Why? Because it would have put into the player’s head that they are only obligated to stab ghosts. Limiting a player’s fantasy — specifically a player’s comedic fantasy — will cause all players to have relatively the same experience. One tester wanted to adorably poke the ghost with no force and found enjoyment through that by being the Ghost Poker. I found that players did not just want to stab: they want to poke or lunge or jump attack. I was really happy to see this because it means that the game is open to comedic expression, meaning players can be a comedian and have their own personal experience.

Hell, players in my game can hump the ghost if they’d like to.

Having a simple open-ended mechanic allows players to create their own comedy.

I actually originally wanted to design the attack/stab mechanic so that players need to put in a certain amount of force in order for it to count. That way, it can stop players from accidentally touching the correct trigger box unintentionally. But because this would restrict player creativity in how they’d like to attack — and also because I’m not the best at coding — I kept the mechanic simple. In order for the player to attack Todd successfully, these conditions need to be met:

  • Todd is stationary and close to the player, meaning he is vulnerable.
  • One vive controller must hit the correct trigger box he is in.

That’s it.

Even though players can still accidentally hit Todd due to their positioning, there can be other solutions to prevent this from happening, such as re-positioning trigger boxes.


Click here for Part 3: Prototype Developement & Recording!

VR Development of Todd Damnit (Part 1): Goals & Conceptualization

In the last two months I was fortunate enough to be selected to take part in Dames Making Games‘ first VR intensive program called SPF90FPS. Spending one month conceptualizing and the other in full development, I was able to have a fully playable prototype of my 5-minute game — titled “Todd Damnit” — at the opening party of DMG’s first conference, Damage Camp.

The premise of the comedy horror game is simple:

Time to stab ghosts in VR! As a paranormal exterminator, you are sent down to a fraternity basement to exterminate an annoying ghost named Todd.

Because the enemy is a ghost, the player cannot see him. The game is designed specifically with spatialized audio. So in order for the player to attack Todd the Ghost, the player must listen to the him rambling in order to pinpoint his location.  The game plays with the HTC Vive on Steam VR.


My Dev Goals

When I first pitched my game idea in SPF90FPS program application, I stated I wanted to create a small VR game that had a disembodied voice yelling at the player’s actions constantly. Basically, I wanted to do The Stanley Parable in VR.

With this in mind, I had created these goals:

  • To create a short narrative-driven game in VR, not just a narrative “experience.”
  • Want players to pay attention to the narrative.
  • Have a simple mechanic to drive the player through the story, providing agency.
  • Mechanic is open-ended enough to provide comedic player expression.
  • Character reacts to players’ actions.
  • Have one simple goal that’s easy to understand and accomplish.

And of course:

  • Explore and learn about spatialized audio!

2017-09-16 04.37.23 1.jpg

VR workspace.


Starting off fresh with a new notebook, I drew visual maps of how I wanted to design this game that doesn’t rely much on visual cues. It’s hard to visual a game that’s mainly driven by audio, so I had to constantly keep drawing up maps and diagrams to get a better understanding of how it should potentially work. I drew this everywhere. On the bus, train, at work, at Gamma Space, and not just in my journal either. I drew it on receipts and any sort of paper I could find. The diagram was permanently stamped and infused into my brain.

I drew this diagram everywhere like alien-like crop circles.

Prototype diagrams… everywhere!


Choosing Which VR To Work With

During very early prototyping stages, I was using the Oculus. Eventually I learned that my game does not play that well with this VR set, particularity the controllers. In my game, the player will have a dagger-like weapon to attack the ghost. The Oculus controllers are slightly rounded and short, and the grip does not re-enact gripping a dagger. It was uncomfortable and I felt disconnected with the weapon I was holding, because my brain could not register that I was really holding a dagger.


Image result for oculus controller     Image result for htc vive controller

Left to right: Oculus controller vs. HTC Vive controller.

So I quickly made the switch to the HTC Vive. Its controllers felt more natural, and seems to support better and more fluid body movements for the player to attack Todd the Ghost. I’ve also personally had a better experience playing VR with the Vive in the past, and found that I hardly got motion sickness using it.


Click here for Part 2: Narrative & Comedy Design!