Week Ten Newsletter

Team VT Newsletter

An amazingly productive week of spring break carried itself head strong into the week of halves presentations at the ETC. Being able to complete the majority of the functionality in our many features we spent this past week polishing what we had into a testable and presentable demonstration for the faculty and public community to soon experience.

We started off the week with an internal play test and the Entertainment Technology Center in which we gathered two groups of fellow students and brought them in individual over two days. During this playtest we gave our guests no information regarding the tour itself, the controls, the end goal or anything of the like and then set them free into our virtual destination. Most guests immediately started off by pulling up the menu screen by pressing the space bar and began a guided tour. As mentioned in last week’s newsletter the guided tour transports the guest between predetermined locations to highlight the best features of the building.

So once our guests were familiar with the guided tour they would typically stop (by pressing the spacebar again) and then begin to move freely by themselves. We found that most guests would in fact interact with the kiosks as we had hoped for. Although not the sole intention, playtesting was able to expose a few bugs that we had known existed but prompted quick remedies for these issues.

Last week was a frenzy of rather small changes albeit extremely important to the flow and overall experience of the simulation. Most of the changes regarded the timing of events as opposed to the direct functionality of a feature we’ve included. For example we were able to add more targets as well as a delay feature to allow the guided tour to move through the space in a more realistic manner and pause once it arrives to the prime location to allow the guest to look around and take in what it was we set out to highlight. In addition to the guided tour and the teleport functions we included a script that will keep the camera facing in the general direction of travel to ensure guests are never turned around or disoriented.

Following up on giving the guests reference points as to location we revamped the look and feel of our mini-map to help orient the guest as quickly and easily as possible. In addition to the mini-map changes we are including physical maps within the space that will direct the guest to the nearest point of interest and reinforce the information provided elsewhere on the screen.

Our halves presentation for the faculty on Friday was a huge success for our team. We clearly demonstrated what we have done and hope to complete with the overall reaction being as positive as we could have hoped for. Yesterday we met as a team to discuss the definite assets we will be creating, developing and iterating upon between now and our official deadline of April 23rd. Today we received feedback from the faculty regarding our presentation and it reaffirmed for us the plans we laid out yesterday to complete. We feel confident and enthusiastic as we move forward in adding more content and making this tour a truly unique experience.

If you would like to view our halves presentation and see for yourself exactly where we are in the process of making this first-of-its-kind/one-of-a-kind interactive experience please view the video clip in the link provided. Soon we will have our project to a point that allows us to open it to the public and begin gathering feedback on a grand scale. Team VT would like to thank everyone for their continued support and we look forward to getting you into the simulation as soon as possible.


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