Team Size: 5 Members Role: Game Designer, Co-Producer, Artist Engine: Unity Platform: VR
Duration: 1 Month
Chopin Beets was part of an ETC project called Jam Session, focused on exploring rhythm games.
In this game, players are placed in a VR kitchen where they must chop and push ingredients that arrive to the beat of music.
Led my team in brainstorming sessions
Worked with my team to develop ideas and mechanics for each of the individual prototypes
Implemented ideas in-engine
Playtested prototypes throughout lifespan of the game
Led daily Scrum meetings for the team
Worked with each member to ensure that they knew what work had to be done for the day
Kept track of what work had already been completed.
Wrote postmortems for the prototypes as well as keeping in touch with the many contacts important to the project.
Contributed models, textures, and particle effects for this game.
Prompt: How can we innovate on the presentation of a note highway in VR?
The team wanted to experiment with the presentation of a note highway in VR
Exploit the immersive, diegetic nature of VR environments by placing players with a less abstract, more physically-present location
Good principles for VR design can sometimes clash with rhythm game design principles. We made the notes in our note highway physics-responsive because players in VR respond well to objects behaving as they would in real life; however, this adds an element of impreciseness to the objects that rhythm games often don’t permit.
In VR note highway games like Beat Saber, Audica, etc., the notes move linearly towards the player and don’t respond to outside forces.
In the end, we solved the problem by simulating physics for certain elements of the game, such as when the ingredients fall to the chopping board, or when players swipe the ingredients into the bins.
Rather than force players to chop things on the beat, we chose to have the ingredients land on the chopping board to the beat instead.
Real physics are very satisfying, but add complications and are not 100% conducive to accuracy when dealing with beatmap integrations.
The realistic setting and interaction make the rhythmic action easy to understand, even to VR novices and non-gamers.
Our explorations in innovating on the “note highway” in VR allowed us to unravel havoc on the certain key elements that the traditional note highway represents. Tradition note highways gives the game designers very complete control over the world, while allowing players a very limited area of interaction. Allowing physics (and the freedom it gives to cues) into the picture within VR relinquishes that control, which is why such a free environment for note highway/rhythm games probably isn’t the route to go.