Interaction Designer, Producer, Sound Designer
Equinox is an educational story-driven VR experience built on Oculus Rift S that tells the story of season-changing. In this beautiful snowy world, the user will play as Mr.Spring and go through a journey with Winter Boy while everything the guest does represents a sign of spring awakening.
DURATION & TEAM SIZE
2 weeks, a team of 4
Led concept development, visual design, interaction design and narrative design
Created SFX with Protools and Adobe Audition, and did voice acting for the winter boy ;)
Conducted play tests and feedback analysis
Hold daily meetings with the project teams to discuss status, problem solve and share development progress
DESIGN CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
In our story, the guest plays as a season which is strongly metaphorical, instead of an actual creature. What guests do must make them feel like Spring. To achieve that, we designed a consistent feature for the guest - "hot hands" that are able to melt things, which can be a compelling interaction in VR. It turns out being intuitive to give the guest a power that matches their character and drives the story forward.
Building an emotional connections between the guest and the character within the 5-minute experience is tricky. First, we set Winter as a little boy that was fond of symbols of Spring, like flowers, and his favorite iced flower was melted by the guest - this accident caused by the guest indicated that he/she must do something to fix it, and start the journey with our winter boy. Next, we designed a series of cute and meaningful interactions like "fist bump" (which was not in our original story) to bond the guest and the character. Also, in their journey, the winter boy's reactions were variable and compelling, which amused the guest and kept them engaged in the story.
FEEDBACK FROM USERS
What do you like most about the experience?
"The character is so cute and attractive!"
"There are many great fun little moments. Some lines of Winter boy are really funny."
"Love the fist bump interactions!"
"The season changing scene looks cool and magical! Wonderful transition."
"The beginning and the ending bring the story together."
"I was so sad when I saw Winter boy disappeared... Love the interpretation of season changing."
What was not that satisfying for you?
"Teleporting movement is not that smooth. A little clunky."
"Dialogue could have been stronger."
"Most of the interaction in following direction from Winter boy."
"The ending didn't feel like 'finding the flower' to me. Need more clarity."