Role

HCI Researcher

Game Designer

Game Artist

Team Member

Taizhou Chen, Unity Developer

Yi-Shiun Wu, Hardware Engineer

Applied Skills

Concept Evaluation

3D Animation Design

Video Production

Deliverables

Enemy Parameters

Models and Animations

Posters and Videos

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Introduction

The recent development of head mounted display offered a type of immersive virtual-reality experience with high-quality spatial graphics, sounds. Besides, wearable haptic devices, such as vibrotactile headbands and belts, have been incorporated peripherally with the HMDs. With these technologies, a psychological question could be asked: How would different types of sensations affect people's perception and performance in immersive VR?

The Golden Guardian, an immersive VR game developed under Unity, attempts to experiment multi-sensory feedback in VR gaming. In The Golden Guardian, the player wears the HMD (Oculus Rift DK2 for the early version, HTC Vive for the Siggraph's version), the spatial auditory earphone, and the Arduino-controlled tactile headband with an array of vibration motors. The player is immersed as an archer to protect the gold mine, and defeat the randomly appearing attacks, including the enemy archers, little dragons and large dragons.

The following three feedbacks are the main bright spots of the game:

Visual Cue

The game provides directional arrows to indicate the coming little dragon, and this kind of feedback are often used in the state of emergency especially high-speed intruders.

Audio Cue

The rage of the large dragon can expose its location through binaural effect, and this kind of feedback tends to be used in non-urgent but important occasion.

Haptic Cue

The tactile headband which receives real-time USB signal from the game will provide haptic feedback for taking a hit and it is likely used in in-game events which have already happened.

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Game Mechanics

The aim of the game mechanics is to create the basic rules for the game including the basic rules and difficulty levels to enhance challenge and the random system to enhance the playability.

Enemy Actions

The game involves three kinds of enemies corresponding to the three feedbacks mentioned above, and their features are so different that they are clear and distinguishable.


Enemy Parameters

Besides enemy actions, the changes in enemy parameters can indicate the difficulty levels. This is a survival game so that the more time you survive, the stronger enemies you will meet in the field.


Bright Spots of The System

A game should be rich in variations of enemies so that the following three systems can be beneficial to flexible movement of enemy archers. The first two systems randomize their paths and moves, and the last one make them miss the target in a certain probability.

Locating Point System

Different colors of the points stand for different number of adjacent points, which can be considered a path diagram so as to lay the foundation for the enemy AI.

Decision Probability

There are two kinds of moves for enemy archers, attack and rush, and they will randomly occur in a certain probability. Sometimes enemy archers may move backward.

Aiming System

A deviation may occur in the horizontal or vertical angle of enemy archers by chance, and it will contribute to target-missing of enemies.

Game Settings

We choose low-poly aesthetic as the game art due to the trend of this kind of art style in independent games, and we use the means of minimal viable product to implement our idea.

Character Design and Modeling

The character is not accomplished in an action but from sketching to modeling. The details of the shapes and the proportion are determined after repeated adjustments.


Rigging and Animation

Rigging, especially weigh painting is the most difficult phrase to vivify a character, because the shape of the model is likely to be distorted. While animation is much easier just like playing a puppet.


Game Scene Design

The process of game scene design follows the principle of MVP (minimal viable product). At first we build a simple scene with blocks and put it into development. Then the basic elements of the scene are created. At last we use these elements to build the final game scene only after the game mechanics work.

Low-Fidelity Prototype

Environment Elements

Unity Implementation with Details

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Further Thinking

For Improvement, three enemies can be designed much better to correspond with the three spatial feedbacks. For example, the enemies can be designed as three kinds of invisible ghost which can only be detected with the three spatial cues. In facts, this game originate from a VR experiment of spacial cues. And the first experiment has failed because the subject can find the target without any cue, which we have to add plenty of distracters to avoid. This game also meets the same problem although it is not so serious as that in the experiment.

For design approch, I tend to use the principle of minimal viable product to implement the idea of the game, which is worth being applied in my next project. Due to this principle, the phase of Unity development and that of art design can be executed simultaneously. Once a primitive prototype is completed, there is no need for the developer to wait for the delicate models, and the designer does not need to wait for the completion of the detailed features.