(senorrojogames.com is not currently being hosted, apologies for the inconvenience.)
OVRIDE was my Senior Project, a VR game in which the player would swing and propel themselves through futuristic city-scape tracks in search of the fastest time. My role was titled as UX and UI Designer, however, I did many different things for the team.
The teamwas comprised of 9 people, primarily from Game Design, with me (an Interactive Digital Media student), and an animator as the odd men out. Our concepting phase began in the summer of 2017. Many Ideas were thrown around, but ultimately a VR game based on movement mechanics and a simple control scheme was what guided us early on.
UX and Playtesting
We began work in September, laying the groundwork for our team, trying to establish a workflow, and hashing our specifics of our direction. My work early on the game was mostly hashing our controller schemes and researching examples of other games to make arguments for and against the layout for the abilities we had decided the player should have, which I also had a hand in deciding.
Our initial prototypes were focus on changes on the y-axis and x-axis for gravity changing and wallrunning, respectively. The approach was to see which one was more engaging and had less issues with motion sickness.
To accomplish this we set out to back up our decisions with data, which meant playtesting over and over for months to tweak our game until we got it right.
Below is one of the early sessions based around both versions, and understanding which was a better experience overall:
One thing was clear from our testing that neither version really stood out or solved any problems. It made us rethink the mechanics and produce a variation on the wallrunning aspect, which we thought had a larger potential for fun (which was backed up by more positive input in other questions.)
After shifting to more "on-rails" experience with more freedom for the player's camera movements, we saw a drastic reduction in the amount of people feeling anything past a little dizziness, which is common in VR as a whole. Another thing we asked for was how uncomfortable the game was making players, which seemed to indicate that the game was fairly comfortable overall. However, in hindsight, I believe this question could have been worded better for clarity.
As we progressed through winter, we essentially rebuilt the game. Results from playtesting weren't changing very much regardless of the tweaks, and after asking the question "Is this fun?", we agree we needed a major shift, quickly.
This point was truly what lead to the base of the finished game. This was where we took core mechanics of swinging and flying into a much better game play experience.
In subsequent playtesting, we were validated:
Past this point was much needed tweaking for our final showcase, and in the end, we thought we built something unique. Playtesting and final showcase montage!
Graphics and UI
An early example of control layout.
I also did low-fidelity mockups of what a potential user interface could look like, however we scrapped the idea of a user-HUD pretty early into the project in favor of world context and visual cues. I instead made in game graphics and animations like these:
These were used in the tutorial stages to demonstrate how the players would utilize the attractors and repulsors; the two main abilities of the player.The first is shooting you attractor, latching onto a surface, and pulling on it to give extra momentum. This is shown in-game as the beam turning purple, to indicated the pulling effect being active. The second is demonstrating the press of a button firing a jet out of the top of the controller, players could use this to adjust trajectories in the air and gain speed between pulls.
I also created other graphics and UI elements across tutorials and levels. We went through many iterations of the game so these are just the final graphics. A previous log of all previous work was kept on senorrojogames.com, however it isn't currently being hosted, but should be soon.
Finalized mockups of in-game graphics including level select, locked levels, level start and end, and hover states.
Medals for finishing the levels within certain parameters.
Examples of buttons.
Some more graphics.
Logos, Website, and Social Media
This wasn’t very time consuming so most of my time was also spent creating logos and graphics for our team, Señor Rojo Games, setting up our social media and website, and creating graphics for those as well. Our primary platforms were our Wordpress website, Twitter, and Instagram, but we also had accounts for Facebook, Reddit, IndieDB, and more.
I personally ran our accounts, although this wasn't of large importance. I announced playtesting sessions, tweeted events, took pictures and posted to various platforms, and create banners and icons for them as well. On a few ocassions I also live streamed playtesting and dev sessions which can still be found on our twitter media.
I created a few previous versions of the logo: most notably for the original game, Polygoons, but this template was where I began and seemed to be popular among the group members.
Polygoons. Our original title that didn't come to fruition. I attempted to match the aesthetic of our game. It was low fidelity 3D objects, so that blocky, low-poly style was the direct inspiration for the design choices I made.
OVRIDE. For this logo I had the idea of movement as my central design idea; something angular and quick. The original font I used consisted of full letters with no breaks, but clean-cut shapes which served as my template. My additions to the structure of the font were two-fold. One, I created a negative space in the letters that created a continuous line through title, suggesting a beam or shot that moved through them. The second change was emphasizing the VR, as to highlight this as a VR exclusive title. The negative space line did not cut through them, and the final strokes of the letters continued for another 1/5th the height of the letters, suggesting a striking or slashing motion. In both cases, movement was still the highlight.
Using it as my starting point, I tried variations of it. Notable changes include scrapping the VHS/CRT TV effect in favor of a clean and very readable finish, with vibrant colors found in the game. I also made sure to keep the VR intact as to highlight there importance to our platform. In some subsequent logos I even experimented with coloring/not coloring, the letters outside VR to further highlight them, but ultimately decided it was visually pleasing and appeared to be overkill.
Without exhausting anyone reading this, the website went through 3 major designs. These are the mockups for the final one.
This isn't everything I did, but it's the best in my opinion. If you have any questions or want clarity on anything in this section, feel free to contact me and I'd love to talk about it!