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Head Turner A VR Puzzle Game

 

A VR project for Creative Labs UCLA

Creative Labs is an agency at UCLA which brings together people with different backgrounds and interests to work on cool projects ranging from VR to making music over the course of 7 weeks. 

During his last quarter at UCLA, Mr. Dhamija applied and got selected to lead one of 5 such projects for which he got to recruit and manage a team of 8 other people. Having grown increasingly tired of the mind-numbing number of mindless shooting games in VR, he pledged not to make Ghost Town Zombie Shooter #3569. He decided to try and make a puzzle game because he felt that they haven't been explored enough in VR and good puzzle games get people hooked easily. 

Learning how to design a puzzle game was the first challenge and took a lot of research. The goal of the team was to make something that would be unique to VR and since we were building for Google Cardboard, our only form of input was one button press. Or so we thought. We realized that we can use head rotation as a form of input too. The goal of the puzzle was to get from one end of the world to another by moving onto different kinds of platforms. The black platforms were constantly moving and the movement of the red platforms was synced to the movement of your head. So by looking around you would move these red platforms into place so you can continue moving. The challenge was knowing which platforms to move and how much. 

The 9 people team was divided up into 3 levels, each with 3 people: one designer/3D modeler, one novice at Unity and one experienced Unity developer. One of the main challenges we faced was related to moving the camera without making the player feel like they just sat on a roller coaster after eating a lot of Indian food. There were also issues with certain version of the Google Cardboard SDK not working properly with certain Xcode and Unity builds.