Important events/things:

Preparation for 1/4 walkaround

Meeting with RCI Clients

Prototype building

Metrics matrix


Building our first prototype:

The week started by preparing for the quarters walk around. We decided on having the following options in our first prototype:

A rectangle block of Graham St and Centre Avenue.

Option to switch lanes between two and four

Basic models of the corridor

Basic ambient sounds

Weather change from sunny to rainy

We built our prototype and had it play tested with instructors and other faculty members. One of the feedbacks we got was that the scene lacked greenery. So, we made sure to add some trees to the environment. Then we worked on implementing other minor changes regarding the scale.

Meeting with the instructors:

After having the prototype built, we discussed with our instructors about how we should be preparing ourselves for the quarters. We were given few instructions on how to present and what to present. Based of that, we came up with our metrics matrix and schedule.


Meeting with the RCI clients:

Towards the end of the week, we had a meeting with our RCI clients. After being impressed by the progress we have made so far, they spoke about additional requirements for them from the project. That followed by us explaining the scope and time frame to them. We ended the week by discussing the additional features that we are planning to add in our project.






Important events/things:

  • Meeting with the RCI Institute clients and students
  • Brainstorming session with Educational researcher John Balash
  • Project description and mission statement
  • Idea for the first prototype – Art style prototypes, Programming prototypes
  • Attending the presentation of the RCI Students

We started the week by meeting with RCI institute and discussing the client requirements. They gave us an insight into the project and their requirements.

The first thing we did is to write down the requirements of both the clients and come up with a final project requirements, keeping in mind the requirements of both our clients and the scope of the project.

After we finalized the client requirements, we discussed as a team to come up with our project’s mission statement and the description. We came to a conclusion on our mission statement and description after implementing the feedback from our instructors.

Our project’s mission statement would be to prototype an immersive tool for city planners to test, visualize and communicate their ideas to the public. The project’s description involved three important points, who are we building this project for, what are they expecting and what are we doing. We finalized our project description as, “We have been approached by the city of Pittsburgh Urban planning department and The Reimagining Cities Institute (RCI) to explore how game technologies can enhance city planning. Digital District will prototype an immersive VR tool that will allow urban planners to enter a simulated Pittsburgh corridor, make changes and experience them from ground level. As part of a grant from the Heinz foundation, RCI will use our prototype to help their students visualize plans for the Baum corridor in Pittsburgh.”

Then we invited one of the educational researcher’s at ETC, John Balash, to conduct a brainstorming session with the team. The first part of the session was to come up with all the ideas we have about our project by writing it on the sticky notes. The person with the most ideas wins a prize. Then we came up with four categories,

Low cost – Easy to make

High cost – Difficult to make

Low impact – Not be a priority for the Client requirements

High impact – Will be a priority for the Client requirements

After doing this and filtering the ideas, We came up with our idea for the first prototype. The following things will be in our first prototype as a result of the brainstorming session

  • A traffic simulation
  • Rectangle block of Baum Boulevard (S Negley)
  • Pedestrians walking on the side walk
  • Rain (One weather change effect)
  • Few building models

We also finished making the poster, logo for the Project.

The week ended by attending the project presentation of the RCI Institute students who did the phase 1 of the three phases project. We understood that the first phase was the research done by the RCI students on ways to visualize data for city planning. The second phase of the project is us creating an immersive tool for the planners.

Art Style Prototypes:

Our artists tried different types likes, photogrammetry, Adding edges and bump map to flat pictures to give a 3D feeling.



For the next week, we will be working on the prototype and having it VR ready for out quarters walkaround.





Important events/things:

  • Meeting with our clients
  • Understanding client requirements
  • Walking around Downtown Pittsburgh with our instructor giving an overview of the street and the architecture styles
  • Started working on the branding material (poster and logo)
  • Playtesting session and Composition box

The week started with the first client meeting. Our clients are The City of Pittsburgh Urban Planning Department and The Reimagining Cities Institute (RCI).

After meeting with our clients, we came to an initial understanding on what our clients need from us.

They are expecting us to build a tool which will eventually be helpful for the city planners to visualize their ideas in an immersive way. The other main thing is that we will be a part of a bigger project which has different phases of which we will be the second phase. Our clients agreed on meeting with the team on weekly basis and providing their feedback on our work. The RCI institute also put us in contact with the students involved in the phase 1 of the project.

After the client meeting, our instructor gave us an overview of the street style, architecture style and living style of Pittsburgh. We walked through the downtown Pittsburgh and saw what kind of sidewalks and street styles are there.

Other than that, our instructor showed us some “interest” points like a green corner at a junction which was constructed to distract people from blocking the junction during a concert as there is a theatre there. Also, we went to this circle where there were chairs and tables with a chain of restaurants surrounding it. The purpose of this place is to give space to people who wait for their bus which will crowd and traffic at downtown.

This gave us ideas on how to design our product.

The team attended the Playtesting session by ETC faculty for we which we came up with our composition box which included our idea of the project. We received some suggestions and feedback of our idea from our peers.


We spent the rest of the week by thinking of ideas to design our project and also started designing our branding materials like the poster, logo.



We traveled to different areas of shadyside mainly Baum Boulevard, following our instructors advice, to explore the site and understand the pros and cons before we meet our clients for this project.
The other things we finished doing in the first week are:
Met with our instructors and asked them about the project
Created a RACI chart
A drive containing all the information about the team members
Finished the Self assessment forms
Daily work update document
Finalized the core working hours for the team
With all this in place, we are really looking forward to the meeting with our clients.