Blog Posts

Blog: Weeks 10 + 11

Last week was primarily consumed by rehearsals for Halves. We wanted to give the best representation of our work possible so we put a great deal of effort into making our speeches and slideshow solid.

We left feeling very confident, as everyone did their part and said the direction of the project thus far. It also gave us an opportunity to show off our custom team T-shirts.

After that, we had a very productive meeting with Jesse Schell, where he advised us on how to make our VR design as simple and elegant as possible– by dividing scenes into “interactive scenes” where users can control the monster’s hands, and “cutscenes” where they are given less distractions to focus on the story beats.

We also recorded our voice actors from CMU’s School of Drama, Kyle Pitts and Eric Wiegand. They did an incredible job giving our script the emotional weight it needs.

Another talent we are collaborating with is student composer Elliot Yokum, who is experienced with sound in VR. They have been working to best capture the tone of the experience and have the musical flow match the sequence of events.

With everyone on board and a renewed sense of determination, we went into Week 11 putting the pedal to the metal. This week we implemented cinematic transition sequences, an intuitive new UI design, subtitles for dialogue, and a host of other critical adjustments.

On the installation side of things, we received the vintage desks and chairs from the School of Drama’s collection of props. The writers finished revisions on the diary entries and started printing them out on parchment paper in a handwritten-style cursive font. Justin F has started building a prop electrometer and some other 3D-printed lab equipment that will help to fill out the setup.

Tomorrow the ETC is holding its traditional Playtest Day, where a wide array of people from outside the program are brought in to try our experiences and give feedback from perspectives we don’t normally get. Since most of the people who try our experience at Posner will be “naive users” with no VR experience, this will be a great opportunity for us to see what is clear about our experience and what could be less obscure.

Thanks for reading and look forward to next week’s progress!