Week 15: Softs

This week we had our softs presentation with the ETC faculty. We created some demo videos and prepared a live demo to show over zoom presentation. We faced a big challenge over how to best showcase the machine over zoom, since it is best appreciated in person where all 3D capabilities can be shown.

We definitely learned a lot from softs, and it is helping us prepare for finals (which will also be over zoom). We shouldn’t try to have the machine speak for itself; as over zoom it can’t do that very well. So, we will have to really list out all of our design learnings and find a way to tie them back to our prototypes that is clear and concise. Definitely easier said than done 🙂


Week 14: Documentation

This week, in preparation for softs, we created some videos of our prototypes, in addition to our trailer video. We sent them out to faculty to get feedback and hopefully understand a good way to showcase the machine and our work through video.

Let us know what you think!


Week 13: Playtesting

This was a big conundrum for us. How are we supposed to playtest designs for a 360* 3D Medium remotely? We have zoom for live demos, and we can take video documentation of our prototypes, but neither of these are perfect. Zoom isn’t the best quality, and even though we can edit our youtube videos, can the experiences truly be translated through a 2D screen?

We tried to “playtest” to find out. We created some test videos, of different angles, different prototypes, different editing styles; sent them out to faculty to receive feedback. People tend to like the edited videos (we can edit out the flicker), and they like videos that give different perspectives, rather than a fixed one.

Here are our videos we used:


Week 12: Putting Things Together

This week, we started putting together our different design learnings from the semester. Compiling these have been really useful and have allowed us to focus our efforts on some new demos that we believe will be very useful.

One big consensus we came to is that the machine is just a display, and the visual/tech limitations of the Voxon are limitations of its nascent stage. Therefore we want to focus on how it will be USED in the future as a medium rather than focus on how to hack the Voxon since this display technology will only get better and is already getting better


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


Week 7: Spring Break

Time for a relaxing break!

Just kidding!! Spring Break isn’t for another two weeks! But we did have a spring break… inside the machine. A special lasercut spring made by Voxon for the machine broke and we don’t have an immediate replacement.

Thankfully, Voxon is very nice about the whole ordeal and offers to expedite ship us a new one (with a few extra just in case) ASAP.

Unfortunately, it is still all the way in Australia so it will still take a few days to get here.

Luckily we had 5 weeks of practicing creating content for the machine without actually having it, but this time, we have seen it in person and know a little better what works and what doesn’t.

With Halves next week, we take all the learnings we have had so far to keep polishing our demos so they’re ready to present during our presentation!


Week 6: It Arrives!

Feb 18 2019. The day the Voxon finally arrives. We are so excited!

What better way to test the machine than to fire it up? The Voxon comes preloaded with demos that we spent hours playing with.

The machine has some specific lighting needs, as you can easily see the reflection of our christmas lights on the dome.
Finished off a very exciting week with putting our very own logo in the Voxon!

This first week we focused on learning as much about the machine as we could, mostly using the pre-loaded demos. Here are some of our learnings from this first week:

  • Cross sections are interesting; could make entire experience around zooming in and moving around the image itself (like a 3D where’s waldo)
  • Flicker is a definite issue:
    • Brighter makes it more noticeable
    • Red/Blue darker colors are less noticeable
  • Space Mouse is incredibly unintuitive
  • Lag higher with higher density
  • UI sucks
  • Hypnotic colorful psychedelic demos are the coolest
    • Particle effects and patterns
  • Stacking, jumping, and platforms are a cool mechanic given the height
  • Full bright multicolor is much better than monochrome for visual pop and identification
  • Kind of limiting… good to know constraints of platform when considering it as potential BVW or visual story platform