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Multicultural Aleppo VR

Internship project I was a part of during June-Aug 2023. I worked in a small team with a common goal to make a game prototype for Vive 1 and Oculus Quest 2 from scratch by the end of the summer. My role was creating systems and features, scripting in Unity C#, and building methodologies documentation. 

 

"Multicultural Aleppo" is a playful learning experience highlighting Aleppo's culture and arts through narrative and interaction. The player takes the role of a young child tasked with assisting the puppeteer in putting on a traditional coffeehouse puppet show in 1928. To progress through the narrative, they engage in crafts while interacting with fictional characters.  

 

Project leadership: 

Ken Thompson, game designer and Assistant Professor in-Residence at UConn

3D UI Journal System

My first task was to create a journal and all of the manager scripts making it function. The journal is the paramount part of the player's experience who needs access to information about the world quickly and effectively. Therefore, I only added flipping pages between sections, and dynamic scrollable panels to the rest. Though it is not realistic, it was a better user experience.

 

  • Quests page stores the progress in a dynamic objectives list and displays task descriptions on click.

  • Dialogue log records and displays all subtitle and instructional text and automatically sorts it in different font styles.   

  • Collectibles keep icons, pictures, and descriptions of all scanned items.

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Interactions Design

I also had to come up with a seamless system for players to interact with the environment. Based on all the different goals I created 3 interactable states changing through a secondary controller button.
 

  • Picking the object up and reaching for it. It was very important for me to be respectful of the items that hold historical, cultural, and religious value. Instead of throwing items, players gently hold them, and when letting go the item returns to its original position.

  • Scanning the object with a magnifying glass. Players collect the items not in an inventory bag, but in a journal in an intangible form. When positioning the magnifying glass correctly, the objects take a few seconds to be examined and then added to the journal.

  • Holding a book journal. When flipping the wrist, pages are switched and the player can interact with UI elements with another hand.

 

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Quests Design

Another task was creating a quests system with features of storing and delegating events, tracking objectives, and sending the information to the journal, subtitles, and action triggers. I deconstructed a script into short narratives which resulted in 7 tasks given by 5 main characters.

 

For one of the quests, I scripted a VR backgammon game with the mechanics of throwing dice and moving figures abiding by all of the rules of the game.

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