ELEMENTS

Project Synopsis

ELEMENTS is a surreal atmospheric VR experience where you travel back and forth between two different worlds.
 

The player is a meteorologist who prides himself on his accurate weather predictions, until his life starts changing in strange and unexpected ways.
 

After his wife leaves him with no explanation, he soon finds himself trapped in his job’s television studio by the very mysterious elemental forces he thought he could predict. 
 

In order to regain control, he must embrace the chaos in a parallel world populated with abstract shapes that unlock potential futures.

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Production

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As Project Director/Lead Designer, I led a team of eight game design undergraduate and graduate students to develop the vertical slice in the Unreal Engine with SteamVR headset compatibility.

Developing with SteamVR compatibility allowed us to work remotely, with each team member able to play test with their personal headsets, including the Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, and HTC Vive.

In May 2021, a playable vertical slice of ELEMENTS was debuted as part of a group exhibition at the Barrett Center in Becker College. Participants of the exhibition were able to engage with the experience using a provided Oculus Quest headset.

A refined vertical slice is currently in production.

Prototype Phase - Fogmosis

The project began in Spring 2020 as a prototype in Unity that experimented with using Oculus Quest controller-less hand tracking, a feature that tracked the shape and position of the user's hands without the need for any peripheral. 

I created an input system based on hand gestures, such as moving forward by extending your pointer finger, and completely stopping by opening your hand fully.  ​

While the prototype was complete and functional by the summer, I decided the hand tracking technology needed more time to mature. I also considered the conditions of the pandemic, and how a traditional SteamVR release would allow more users to safely experience my project remotely, without needing to show up to an in-person event.