Virtual Reality musical application

In this technologically advanced era, Virtual Reality is a new way of generating and experiencing a fabricated world fueled by human imagination. In this article I will be taking my project from Udacity Nanodegree as an example to demonstrate the underlying procedure of creating a Virtual Reality experience.

Idea Formation

The ideation behind this project is similar to the concept of the Simon Says game, where the player has to follow the instructions given by the narrator.

VR Puzzler

The experience consists of a dungeon in mystical mountains under the night sky. The dungeon contains magical orbs with distinct musical notes, upon selecting the right sequence the player successfully completes the game.

Walkthrough of the game

Process Section

Statement of Purpose: VR Puzzler is a VR mobile application intended to teach music through a puzzle .

Persona

Victor a student
The persona created for this project is Victor. He is a 16 year old student with no experience in Virtual Reality. Victor is usually busy with his school work and extra curricular activities. Within his free time he likes to play games and practice music.

Sketches

Here are some of the drawings and some screenshots of initial stages of the project:
Sketch for the game
Environment Setup
Orbs with musical feedback
Editing in Unity

User Testing

The initial user test

The first user test was conducted to get an idea of how the overall design and mood of the environment made the user feel. The users were a 24 years old male and 40 years old female, both with no experience in Virtual Reality. In this test the main goal was to assure the players felt the right scale and no discomfort. Changes to the scale were also made following the user’s input.

Initial Setup

The next iteration

The second user test was about the gameplay and user interaction with the environment and its elements. Users were able to test the core game mechanics and understood the idea behind the game. They were able to interact with the orbs. The users suggested the transitions of going inside the dungeon and coming out of the dungeon could be more smooth.

Code for the game

The element of UI

The final user test involved the game UI where the user gets the sense of how to proceed in the game with proper directions from the instructions given. The user sighted that a proper functioning of the UI elements and informative messages could enhance the overall interaction experience.

Start Screen
End Screen

Break down of the final piece

The player is spawned in a desert from where he could begin his journey into the puzzle.

The beginning screen of the game

As the player proceeds he is transported into the dungeon where he can see the magical orbs.

Orbs in dungeon

After playing the right order of the indicated music the player is transported to end of the game.

The end screen of the game

Conclusion

The required changes and modifications were made to give the user an ultimate experience into Virtual Reality. Developing a VR game is a challenging process and it was worth all the efforts. With the help of the above user tests I was able to get an idea of what users think about the game.

This project was a great way to learn creating a VR experience. Getting user feedback while developing has certainly increased my ability to work with the users and enhanced my ability to deliver more user centered products.

Source Code

The source code for the Puzzler game is available on GitHub.

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