It is only one week left before the soft opening. We are wrapping up our deliverables for the soft opening. Our project consists of two components: the PC version and the VR version.
In the PC version, there are only 4 steps need us for the Unity Interactions. Because we need to build up our Unity interactions based on the website framework done by HCII, we could only finish 2 steps out of 4 before the soft opening. However, we will make sure that we will deliver a complete product by the end of the semester.
Here is a peak of our PC demo for the first 2 steps:
Our artist has finished adding the textures of the machine and some interactable items. The programmers have implemented the new textures and let’s take a look:
We also fixed a few bugs but there is no time for a big change or implement new features for the VR version. We are ready for the soft opening.
After the soft, we will modify our prototype based on faculty’s feedback. We will also finish the PC version and start writing documentation before the final delivery day.
After gathering all the feedback from the playtest sessions last week, we fixed and improved a lot of parts and were ready for another round of playtesting. On April 9th, 6 ETC students came and playtested. We were glad to see how our modifications improve the experiences. The follow-up questions were the same as last week and our goal was to collect more information from them.
Based on their feedback, we improved our VR training and were ready for the client’s onsite visit on Friday, April 12th.
On Friday, April 12th, we showed our client, Sandra, the latest VR demo. She also tried it with the hint turning off.
We collaborated with the researcher from HCII for our PC tutorial. Team Hot Metal is responsible for all the interactions in Unity and implementing the communication of interactions to TutorShop. The research from HCII is in charge of PC instruction and HTML implementation. During the client meeting at week 12, we presented “step 4: EOS Layout Inside” of our PC version.
We found out that building up and improving the PC version is far more complicated than we expected, while we only have one programmer responsible for this part. We are confident that we could finish the PC version by the end of the semester. However, by considering its quality and quantity, we are afraid that we could only finish half of them for the Soft Opening.
The semester is coming to the end. Our project is content-heavy with an overwhelming workload, but our team is going to work harder to achieve our goal for the following weeks.
In week 11, we have built a complete version of our VR training and were ready for playtesters. Throughout the whole week, we conducted ten playtest sessions. Among them, there are ETC faculties, ETC students and Ph.D. students from the client’s lab. Our target audience is graduate students at engineering school so we are very selective on the background of our playtesters. ETC students and faculties share a similar background with a decent amount of VR experiences so their feedback focuses on the understanding and intuitiveness of our VR training. Students from the client’s lab could help us correct the clearness of the procedures. All of their feedback are quite helpful for us to improve later: Here are some of the photos during playtesting:
Before the playtest, we gave them a brief introduction about our project:
“We are team Hot Metal. We are working on a VR tutorial of a 3D metal printing machine for CMU Engineering Department. What we are going to show you is our latest VR demo, which will be used for engineering students after they took the class and got enough knowledge from our PC tutorial. This demo is supposed to be played by the students who have already learned the operation. So if you are confused, let us know.”
One student acted as a guide to help them go through the demo if the player needs help and two students were observers who wrote down everything they saw during the playtests.
After the playtest, the observers asked the players the following questions:
Do you know what you are doing during the playtest? If no, then why?
Are all instructions clear for you? If no, what are they?
Do you have trouble finding some objects? If yes, what are they?
Do you understand the controllers’ interaction? If no, then why?
Do you feel you are learning something from the experience?
How do you feel about the sound effects?
Do you have any other suggestions or confusions?
We found playtest very helpful for our projects. Based on the observations and feedback we got from the playtest, we could not only find out our programming bugs but also our design defects. Now we are very clear what we need to improve next week.