This week was quite a lot to talk about.
The team put together three blocked-out scenes in Unity. As these have the architecture, lighting, and object placement set up, they are effectively able to show the tone we hope to portray in our experience. In this way, our vision is easier to communicate and we hope to use that to our advantage with playtesting.
We went over a number of installation elements that had been vague up until this point. The way the physical installation will look was a big part of this. Our goal thematically is to make it look as if this is something of a historical archive. In other words, we’ve taken these documents and items from the creature himself and are preserving them for attendees to see.
In addition to putting these scenes together, our artists have also continued to think about how to best approach art style. We’ve been thinking both in terms of what best fits our experience thematically, and how to be mindful of scope. With these in mind, we came to the conclusion of using a cross-hatch shader to give the visuals a moody, illustrated look.
What’s more, we finalized the plotline for the experience. There may be some tweaks or rearrangements as we get more feedback, but at this point we know for sure what each story beat is going to be. We also have an outline for how the story of our Diary experience is going to look, and how it will shed light on points the VR experience will not.
Above all, though, our biggest accomplishment this week was having a fully playable mirror sequence. We now have it set up so that the guest can stand in front of the mirror representing the creature’s consciousness. They can select dialogue to provide an inner monologue for the creature, which is augmented by sound effects and other features we’ve worked on. It’s been great for all of us to see something we made together in motion.
From testing, though, we learned how to better make the guest’s interaction with the mirror more intuitive.
To be frank, our faculty advisors have suggested that we are slightly behind on meeting our projected goals. With the amount of work we have on all fronts (VR experience, Diary, Installation, etc), charting our progress is going to be especially crucial in the coming weeks.
The process we’ve made in that time, though — in between numerous meetings, seminars, and other events — has been strong enough that we remain optimistic about what’s to come. Oh yeah, we also had an awesome team dinner at the Cheesecake Factory! Everyone enjoyed the cheesecake too much to remember to take pictures, though…