Thesis Proposal (Residency Week)
1. What is your area of focus for your thesis research?
Examining use of surrealism and ambiguity to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and how this approach can lead to creating a new immersive world. Also examine how the user experience of becoming immersed in another world is similar to religious/spiritual approaches that would attempt to achieve transcendence outside of one’s physical body.
2. Please provide 3 artists whose work inspires you or that you plan to research as part of your thesis work.
3. What type of work is your thesis project? (Game, installation, ARG, etc.) AND What technology needs does it require? Will you be using your own technology or Becker’s resources?
VR experience. All set resource wise currently.
4. Describe your project idea and how it ties into your thesis research in 1-2 paragraphs.
Project is a horror/surrealist VR experience for the Oculus Quest where you play a character trapped inside a claustrophobic area [TBD - apartment, light house, cabin on a boat, etc].
Elemental forces such as fog, smoke, mist, rain, etc find their way your living area that transport you into a second “Fog World” where you have complete freedom of movement to fly around.
The experience consists of traveling back and forth between the two worlds and discovering ways in which the two worlds have an impact on each other.
A story will be revealed that you have become disconnected from someone close to you, with the relationship is now in an ambiguous state (i.e. a marriage where both partners are living separately due to problems in the relationship, but they are still talking and not divorced yet).
This ties into my thesis research because I will be quite literally juxtaposing one environment grounded in the real world with a fantastical second world, and using the opportunity to hopefully provide an immersive experience for the viewer with a character that is on a quest for finding meaning and connection - which, on some level, could tie into the spiritual idea of trying to achieve wisdom and transcendence.
5. Describe your planned presentation method for your thesis project, (keeping in mind the gallery showcase at the end of the year).
For a gallery, the presentation would ideally be multiple headsets setup, so friends could play at the same time and compare experiences afterwards.
For remote, I plan on developing using UnityXR, which allows me to release the build to be compatible with most headsets. I am also interested in experimenting with software such as Parsec, that enables me to host my game on my computer, and have users connect live to play it, with me streaming the results live on Twitch.
6. Please list 4 major project milestones for your interactive work for this semester. (You may also want to list your milestones for next semester but clarify especially where you want your project to be at the end of this 3-month semester)
Setting up and fully implementing UnityXR
Finalizing visual effects plan/workflow (even if not finishing VFX, but knowing what the goals are)
Build out and playtest all mechanics
By end of semester, have mechanics finalized with basic level design functionality implemented to allow for me, as the designer, to start building out spaces and planning out story.
7. What are your project needs as far studio teams (ex- 2 artists, 3 programmers, etc.)?
I have one programmer, two audio, and one artist currently.
Ideally I would like a VFX artist, and more 3D artists so I can create a more customized 3D world instead of relying mainly on existing assets. Would be helpful to find a way to get a second programmer, depending on complexity.