Role: UI Design and Creative Direction.
Project Launch: March 2016
Software: Illustrator, Photoshop (Game in UE4).
Hardware: HTC Vive
Project Duration: 2 Weeks
An HTC Vive game created for the purpose of learning UI design for a multiplayer VR app. In Artemis, two players are transported to a field of fireflies, where the goal is to compete to catch the most insects. Since the users are physically in different spaces and there are no audio cues, the UI had to be straightforward enough for the players to communicate with each other.
In this game, each player is a robot that conveys what they are feeling and thinking with emoticons and colors. Touch pads are used to control these expressions as well as hold the net and catch fireflies. Players use emoticons to communicate. They can display a smiley face if the other is doing poorly or show that they are "lifeless" for a few seconds if they are swatted with the net. This UI decision allowed users to feel like they are immersed in the same environment.
Role: Layout Design, App UI, UX.
Software: Illustrator, Photoshop.
Hardware: Oculus Rift
Project Duration: 5 Weeks
A VR hang gliding experience created for Energy Upgrade CA. Users pedal on a stationary bike, while virtually flying across California in the Oculus headset. With the velocity of the pedaling, which controls the altitude of the glider, they answer a series of yes or no questions. The faster the user pedals, the higher the fly. Every question relates to energy usage, and if the user indicates that he or she isn't saving energy, each of landscape (redwoods, farmlands, coastal city) deteriorates to visually show the impact of their lifestyle on the California environment. The landscapes also improve for the opposite answers.
While it was clear from the beginning of the project that the user was going to make decisions with the bike pedals, how they were going to be presented with the questions and understand how to answer them was a design challenge. In the end, we found that placing the UI as 3D objects/elements on the hang glider itself created the most integrated experience. An altimeter that was attached to the right side of the glider displayed the altitude, but it also showed that if they rose higher they would answer yes or if they dipped lower the answer would be no. For each landscape, an LCD panel slid out from the altimeter and displayed the questions and timer. These design decisions allowed the user to focus on flying through the beautifully rendered 3D environments and the consequences of their lifestyle. The UI was only displayed to aid and guide the user when necessary.
Other design decisions that were made for a good VR experience included grounding the user with a fixed object / point of reference, which in this case was the hang glider. Background music, sound effects, and a helpful voice-over from the Energy Upgrade bear, that users might recognize from their commercials.