Week 14 News Letter

Whole Team:

After Soft opening, we discovered that some of the bugs in our game might ruin the whole experience in our game. And according to the feedback from faculty, we’ve concluded a few things that need to be updated:

  1. Player should not be able to go below the tower
  2. Sometimes the notes are too overwhelming
  3. At the beginning, we should find a way to guide player to walk towards fire
  4. Drum should be fixed, and removed the lines flying to it
  5. The key should never go backwards
  6. Adaptive level up

Hence, for this week, besides of refining art models, programmers also need to update their code to improve these key features, preventing them from ruining the player’s experience.

Game Design:


This week I focused on designing around the feedback we got on Softs. The main critiques were about the beginning and the ending of the game. With Jiaqi, we redesigned the beginning to make it more clear to the player what they had to do by adding a door to the outside instead of just a flame. At the end, we also redesigned the fireworks to come out of the small tower in the middle. This way the player would turn around and look at the tower where all his/hers recordings would be found.

Throughout the week I also playtested every single iteration to make sure all the bugs were fixed and followed the design document. I also focused on editing the 30 sec and 3 min promo videos.


Game Produce:


During this week, I focus on finalizing our game, fixed the key generating system and triggers. and make the todo list and track the progress of the team. The list can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UfFnf5bDFtRwSyFrlPsy-EzqehJR-ILjV3DefHlHYMU/edit#gid=0

Besides of that, I’ve recorded fraps for 3 prototypes. And I also started to do Archives for the whole project team.




According to the feedback from soft, I speed up the recording a little bit and make it more visible for people to see at the end of game. Then, I am working on post-mortem as well as the OM wiki page.



This week I helped finalize the game, including fixing the tower lockdown bug, and helped artist import the art assets and finished a better start and ending.


This week Michael focused on bug fixing and discussing soft feedback with team.

Michael changed drum setting to make it easier to be figured out by player.

Also, Michael has begun the documentation work which will be well presented on Organic Motion Wiki Page. This will also be Michael’s major work next week.



This week I refined art assets and made some new to serve the game better.


Week 13 News Letter

During the soft opening, we received polarized feedback from faculties. Some of them really love it, but some of them feeling that it was too overwhelming and don’t understand the design. In order to improve our game, we’ve set up a list to do on google drive to track the progress from soft opening to finals. Here are the feedbacks we got:

  • Very polarizing discussion: some faculty really enjoyed the experience (e.g., to move in physical space and see and change a VR world through such movement), other faculty were annoyed (what should I be doing?), other faculty frustrated (it is broken…. …again….).
  • Not clear why some actions are being done, e.g., hands-up for drums are also there to keep you recognized as the player skeleton by the system.
  • Many pluses for those who experienced it, but many questions about reliability.


And upon this week, we’ve fixed most of the minor bugs, and now we are looking toward to modify some game features so player won’t feel too overwhelmed in our game. For example, we are going to remove the stairs and use the elevator instead. And there will also be more time between levels and before game starts.

In general, we are in a good shape and are going to finalize our game next week.

Week 12 News Letter

Game Design:


This week I focused on the indirect control method we found worked on our last playtest. I created 5 different images representing the final look of the design. I also did a shader to facilitate this design.

I tested everything the developers were doing to see how the design was being implemented and what we could change for the playtest on friday.


For example the feedback the user gets when stepping on the correct/wrong key.




improved the recording.


This week I polished the indirect control method as Maria’s design, implement the function that player can walk up the tower and helped remove/add any necessary environment element that helped the game.


This week Michael focused on the effect to enhance the visual feedback of the game.

Michael uses particle and mesh of number to create a scoring effect to help people know how good their play is.

Michael also build a trace bubble to visualize the trace of notes to help player notice the order of the coming notes.

Apart from those, Michael helped other programmers to test and debug things and helped artist to move things forward faster.

Week 11 News Letter

Game Design:


This week we revised the information gathered on saturdays playtest. Apart from the technical difficulties we faced during playtest, we were able to recover by doing a PC version. The charts indicate both version. We had good results over all. People really liked moving around and listening to the beat. We iterated on what we learned and found and scheduled another playtest for friday.

On fridays playtest we were focusing on three indirect control mechanics to get the player so successfully move around the piano. I researched and concluded the design of these three mechanics. The description of the three methods can be found here:



I also created the playtest survey for Friday’s test and this is just the hypermap result of the peoples movements.


Game Produce:


This week, I developed the pattern builder for our prototype, and change the policy of where to generate next beat. I’ve set up a sprint schedule for the team, and here is the schedule:

3/29 – 4/4 Sprint 2: Level 1- Level 3 complete

  • Recording Merge into project
  • Music analysis and beat system should be done
  • Indirect control done
  • Background draft

4/5 – 4/11 Sprint 3: Level 4, Level 5 complete

  • Light effects done
  • all levels done
  • background / environment done
  • Start recording for the 30 seconds and 3 minutes promo video

4/12 – 4/18 Sprint 4: 30 seconds Promo done, website update done

  • Bug fixed
  • Set up game start, game end scenes
  • scoring system
  • output to Gear VR




This week, I helped the team built the first prototype for our final project. Finished a little tool for beat generator and reader. And also working on rewriting the wrapper. Next I will focus on the recording part.


This week I helped the team implement three methods of indirect control, despite the first one is deprecated due to the reason that the effect is not obvious, we tested the other two in the playtest.

I also created dynamic weather, but the PC in the motionCapture room right now is too old to perform dynamic weather, hope could use it later. 


This week michael was focused on two things that helped the experience of Pinacia.

  1. Orientation Drift Correction

Oculus DK1 always have the drifting problem when oculus is active long enough. It is a huge problem when physical-virtual mapping is used, which is just the project’s case. First Michael tried to use data from motion capture to do the correction. But mocap’s head tracking needs face capture. After some simple test, it’s inaccurate. So Michael then try do the magnetic calibration since the magnetic field in motion capture room is quite stable. The result hasn’t been tested yet.

  1. Partial Body Visualization

Playtesters complained about the view penetrating into the body, which was a terrible experience. Michael first tried a gradually transparent shader to make body near to camera transparent. However it doesn’t completely solve the penetrating problem. Although the result looks good, weird image still exists in some situation caused by back culling. Then Michael adopt the partial body visualization idea which is simple and straightforward. Arm and foot only look strange at first glance but works pretty well.




This week I developed the concept art and built the castle model. And helped the team to pick the music for our game.

Week 10 News Letter

This week, Project Molecap is busy working to make one runnable prototype for our final product. We’ve come up with an idea about playing piano on a spiral world, and the previous plays by the player will be recording, so that all of the recordings can combine in the end to become a one man acapella. By the end of Friday, we’ve made up a prototype that provides audio feedback when player stepped on the yellow shining tile, and tested on Saturday.


Most of our software and hardware are stable and durable now, however we’ve encountered a new tech issue, which is our console in Motion Capture room sometimes will not be able to turn on. We haven’t found the exact reason yet, but we plan to have a client meeting with Steve and Jon to figure out the reason why our computer kept malfunctioning.


On the playtest day, all of our six members devoted themselves in assisting the playtest. At the first, Fan and Michael are busy building a substitution console in Motion Capture room, Maria is the one who directly interact with playtesters so that they won’t feel bored, Jiaqi leads the playtester to next spot and welcome them from the previous one, Joseph and K are setting up playtest without Motion Capture in project room. At last, we got everything works, and got tons of valuable feedback.

Our game design is now stored under Google Drive in game design folder. We have also concluded some points in playtest. Now we are ready for sprints and prepare to create something amazing.

Week 9 News Letter

During this week, we prepared for the ½ presentation together. We practiced twice on Tuesday, twice on Wednesday (in RPIS, one of them recorded), 3 times on Thursday night and 1 time in RPIS, 2 times in room on Friday Morning. Overall, we practiced many times before Maria back from SXSW, and even more afterwards.

After ½ presentation, our team went to Chaya restaurant in Squirrel Hills for a team dinner!

Week 8 News Letter

This week, 4 of our 6 members left for GDC and hence we have no progress in programming part. However, we still have art and game design under working.

Besides of that, after a grand playtesting on Friday, we received a lot of feedback, and Maria has concluded them into one sheet result so everybody in team can check the feedback from play testers. We also set up our plan for ½ presentation:

  1. Finalized our slides by 3/10 (Tue.)
  2. First practice on 3/16 (Mon.)
  3. First on-stage practice on 3/18 (Wed.)
  4. Second on-stage practice on 3/19 (Thur.)
  5. ½ presentation 3/20 (Fri.)

Week 7 News Letter

On Friday, we had a grand playtest for 3 prototypes, and we invite more than 10 people to try out our games. For each tester, we gathered pre-playtest and post-playtest feedbacks from them. Among all 3 prototypes, Dancica and Mosica received mostly positive feedback, Icica is on the other hand confused most of the testers. But playtesters all enjoy the experience during playing.


Through this playtest, we also found some more technical issues that need to be solved. One of them is the lagging on Oculus Rift’s vertical tilting. We’ve tired out some solutions, including putting the wire into a backpack, but haven’t found the best solution to fix the problem yet. Other than that, our system works well, and we’ve also got some idea about the final big game.


For the half presentation, we’ve set up our draft presentation on drive, and the final version of the presentation itself will be done by Mar. 10th. Next week, 4 members in our team will head to GDC, and the following week of next week will be spring break. So we will get everything ready during spring break, and by Mar 15th, our team will have practiced the ½ presentation for more than once.


Week 6 News Letter

In this week, our team developed three executable prototypes: Different bodies, Body Music Generator and Dance Recorder. Each of the prototypes have been playtested on Friday, and according to the feedback, two of the prototypes need to be further polished so that the player can feel the immersiveness.


Week 5 News Letter

This week, we prepared for the ¼ walkaround before Wednesday. Although the speed we set up the presentation is a little bit too slow, we still gathered a lot of information from our advisors, Salvador and John. And also, we received a lot of valuable feedback from the faculties.

On Thursday, our team talked about the plan between quarters and halves. Because of GDC and Spring Break, our team will have a 2 weeks window which might be lacking people to work. Therefore, we set up our deadline for Halves presentation on March 2nd, which will be 2 weeks later. For saving more time, our team also decided to divide into 3 parallel working prototypes for these 2 weeks. 3 prototypes will be done by the end of February. And we scheduled weekly meeting hours with Steve, and also complete playtest on Friday weekly. Sprints will be defined by weeks, and our current goal is to make runnable prototypes by next Friday and ready to be tested.

On Friday, our team decided that Joseph, Fan and K will working on one prototype each, and Michael will focus on body visualization. Jiaqi will be doing artworks for 3 prototypes, and Maria is going to help her out. Our goal for next Friday will be 3 runnable games, now it’s time to start working!