BVW Round 4 Final – Fall, 2018

This week marked final presentations of the Building Virtual Worlds (BVW) Class  ‘Round 4’ for the Fall, 2018 semester.  If you are not familiar with this class, students are challenged to build five virtual worlds throughout the semester.  They must work quickly, creatively, and collaboratively as they have two weeks or less to create each world.

This semester, Round 4 was the “story round”, meaning the focus of the world must be on story.  Previous worlds focused on many different interactions, but now students are asked to integrate story.

During the middle of the assignment, we caught up with five first-year students, Xuhao Du, Liam Philiben, Yi Ting Tsai, Jinyi Ye, and Joey Yeo, who make up Team 54 to ask them about their world.  This team is using the Oculus with touch controllers.  They decided on the platform before the story as they knew they wanted to create a world in Virtual Reality.

The team originally planned to focus their story on a student being far away from home and the things that are familiar to them, much like many students who come to the ETC to study abroad.  Realizing this topic may have been a bit too broad, they needed to focus more on a single theme, so deviated toward the idea of a ballerina moving across the country to attend a conservatory dance school.   While the ballerina is unpacking, there are short “cut scenes” from her memories that cause her to reminisce about her desire to dance ballet and her relationship with her mom.

The students created many “items” for the ballerina to unpack, but they indicated the biggest challenge was creating dialog for each of the items.  “Dialog can easily become boring if there is not much going on visually so we have to deal with the correct timeline as well as gaps of time”.  They also indicated it was challenging to create a great ending.

When asked if they were trying to achieve a particular feeling or emotion, the team noted the main character (ballerina) was very dependent on her mom so they were trying to convey her transforming, becoming more independent.  They used art and lighting to evoke a deep emotional experience.  They hope the audience will relate one’s self to the ballerina.

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