This is a course project from Building Virtual World (BVW).
This game was for the naive guest round in BVW, which means the team was not allowed to give the guest any direct instruction while he/she was playing the game. Meanwhile, the team should enable the guest to feel a high degree of freedom while forecasting their choices in the game.
In this round, my team was assigned with Magic Leap, which is an augmented reality platform. It was very challenging because the field of view of Magic Leap was very limited, which implied that the guest needed guidance to focus on the most important part of the scene during gameplay. However, the team was not supposed to give any instruction that directly tells the guest what to do next and where should he/she look at. Therefore, applying appropriate and powerful indirect control was very important in this round.
Considering the requirement of enabling the guest to feel freedom as well as understanding what to do without any instructions, my team came up with the idea of making a cooking game. From previous popular cooking games such as Cooking Simulator, we learned that becoming a chef and combining different materials was an appealing fantasy that gave people enough freedom to do whatever they want to do. Also, cooking was intuitive enough for the guest to understand what was going on and what to do next. What’s more, having orders or recipes enabled the team to make predictions on the guest’s reactions.
One of the challenges of realizing a cooking game was to model all the resulting cuisines. To have enough choices for the guest to feel freedom, we designed eight kinds of raw ingredients, which would result in 255 different combinations. It was too much work for the artists, so we decided to use programming to generate the results. The artists would provide the programmers with two versions of the ingredients: raw and cooked. Then, the programmers would generate the final dish according to the guest’s choice of ingredients.
Another challenge was more critical: the field of view was too narrow for us to display the order. We have tried to place the order on the table, but it would either block the guest from seeing the food ingredients, or it would be impossible for the guest to see it. In order to fix this problem, we decided to attach the order as a part of the guest’s controller in the AR world. It would only be visible when new orders arrived, and disappeared after the guest had memorized it. In this way, the guest would be able to see the orders without any blocking when they were interacting with the food materials. In order to remind the guest of the arrival of new orders, we added sound effects as well as controller vibration, and the result proved it to be successful.
In this round, I learned a lot about applying indirect controls in game. As far as I’m concerned, having indirect control is also important in non naive guest rounds, because having a whole screen of text instructions is always more tiring and less elegant than having simple but powerful indirect control.