Week 11: Pivot Part 2

We have started to fall into a little bit of a routine with working remotely. Byungju has the Voxon at his house, so he is in charge of uploading the prototypes and testing.

This is revealing a really interesting problem: how can we has developers and designers work on something we cannot fully see or experience? Playtesting experiences and games is so important; but if we can’t even playtest in person, how are we supposed to hypothesize how a naive guest might?

We have a few theories of best ways to showcase our machine; we can edit out some flicker through video, show different angles, etc. We can’t wait to test out these theories through playtesting!

In the meantime, we will keep working on our prototypes and cleaning those up so we have something we can showcase 🙂


Weeks 10: Pivot Part 1

We come back from spring break with a lot of things uncertain. Due to COVID-19, we are all going to be working remotely for the forseeable future.

We aren’t quite sure how to do this, as the whole point of the Voxon is to be there, in person, to see all three dimensions.

We aren’t quite sure how to playtest either. Since only one teammate can take the machine home, they’re the only one who can truly playtest as well.

Not to mention how much harder it is to work with all the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the pandemic.

We are trying a few different things, but so far we think we must pivot our project semester. An exploratory project, we have already collected lots of research and design learnings. We originally wanted to turn all of that into a finalized demo, but given the circumstances, we will try to turn it into some sort of research paper instead.


Week 9: Spring Break Pt 2

For real this time! We all take a nice relaxing spring break, hoping to come back rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of the semester!


Week 8: Halves

Midway through the week our spring finally arrived, just in time for us to do some final testing of our demos before presentation.

We attempted to do a live demo of the machine in the RPIS during our presentation, which ended up having a lot of issues:

  • We attempted to use a camera to livestream the demo, but that just created a 2d version of the 3d machine, which defeats the whole point
  • The light from the projector hit the dome and created a glare, so someone had to hold their jacket up over the machine
  • Due to other teams that day having props as well, our machine needed to be stuck in the corner, so many people didn’t even see it
  • The camera needed to be very specifically focused, but as soon as a door opening to the RPIS changed the lighting, the focus went to shit.

In hindsight, we should have just shown the videos of our demos that we had taken, but since we had the Voxon (working) for a week, not all the faculty had been able to see it live. For finals, we will just show video 🙂

While preparing for the presentation, we compiled a list of learnings that is a nice tldr; for the semester:

Fave learnings/concepts

  • Blurring of line reality v device
  • Interaction is core to experience
  • First time, everyone spends more than ten mins (even for simple models), take pictures, novelty aspect
  • How important social aspect is – campfire effect
  • Where the people are around the machine. Orientation!! Inverted controls!!
  • Playing with height and frequency, more dynamic things on the inside, how these values affect flicker
  • Geometry looks really good regardless of experience of modeling. Everything feels like an object, detailed, looks good
  • Color modes can really affect perception based on sci-fi bias and expectations of the machine
  • People have preconceived notion of holographic displays, how do we play into it
  • Psychedelic, undulating motions, hypnotic stuff looks good -> longest time (especially in right frame of mind 😉 )


  • Limited size
  • Flicker
  • Fragility
  • Some Shader/materials don’t work
  • Some visuals don’t directly translate
  • Lack of dedicated GPU
  • Strobing and eye strain
  • Unable to see in light, lighting settings don’t work
  • Interface sucks
  • Full color is less crispy

Fave interfaces

  • Leap motion
  • IMU like phones
  • Xbox controllers
  • MIDI
  • Vive controllers