Another productive week for the Voyage team. First up, we needed to solve the various problems with our scavenger hunt that we learned in last week’s playtest. After speaking with Jesse Schell, Dave Culyba, and Jess Hammer, we were given a lot of good advice, and we solidified three major changes:
1. Change the team sizes from 6-7 students to 3-4.
We should have predicted that larger team sizes would have been a problem from our BVW experiences. All three faculty made it very clear that these size of teams are too big to facilitate good communication (which was an issue in our last playtest). We’re hoping that lessening the amount of people per team might help aid this problem.
2. Cooldown for flags
We realized that some students would turn on the flag tool and click everything in sight; sometimes accidentally clicking the right objects. With a cooldown in place, if they click on an incorrect object, an X will appear on their pointer for a second, indicating that what they chose was wrong. Then, they won’t be able to click on the flag tool for another 10 seconds until the flag has “recharged.” We’re hoping that this will make the students be more wary of what they mark, as well as encourage them to read the information blurbs more as all the answers are in them.
3. Limited flags per person
Another issue was one or two team members dominating the scavenger hunt for the team. To make sure that more students participate, we made it that each student only has three flags. This means that they can only answer three of the scavenger hunt clues by themselves. We’re hoping that once a particularly fast student has ran out of flags, they will go to help other team members who still have their flags to place. We also took into account that some students might get dizzy or feel that the daydream strap hurts and would want to take the device off. Since there are only around 8 objects to find per team and each student has 3 flags, one student could not find anything, and the team could still finish their scavenger hunt.
Along with scavenger hunt iterations, we also had a lot of visual and technical iteration as well. Na-yeon lead some much needed UI iterations for the teacher controls. We realized that our play/pause button felt reversed to a lot of people (the play button appeared when it was paused and the pause button appeared when it was playing), so we switched the two. We chose different icons for some of the buttons and added filters in the notification tab to make the teacher UI just a little bit cleaner.
Fall is here! Nicky and Na-yeon have been working painstakingly to turn forward the time on our spring to autumn. Nicky remodeled and retextured a good amount of the objects to reflect how they would look during this season.
Na-yeon created an amazing ground texture which really makes the scene pop.
In fall, the animal placement and scavenger hunts are different, so hopefully the kids will feel like they’re exploring something totally new.
We’ve also added the staging area. It acts as the bridge between the real classroom and the virtual forest. We’ve created a low-poly building with a whiteboard at the front of the room. The teacher can write things on this whiteboard via an online interface. When the teacher wants to let the students start exploring the forest, the room will fade away to reveal the forest around it.
Until Next Time!