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MOON CRUIZER (WIP)

A Sci-Fi inspired VR riding experience located on a futuristic lunar environment.

01

Objectives

- Capstone Project for AR/VR Development & 3D Graphics Program with NYU Tandon School of Engineering

- Design and build a seamless riding experience for non-technical players to drive around a unique immersive digital environment with intuitive XR Interactivity and controls without making the user nauseous.

02

Design Systems & MoodBoards

For the 3D architectural and design elements, I decided to go with a combination of parametric and organic fluidity-based design styles to create a futuristic world that feels less machine and more organic. Additionally, colored RGB accents provide a bit of energy and will be used to highlight areas and objects of interest for the user to interact with.

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03

UI/UX Interactions in VR

Designing a VR Motorcycle-Type Intractable presented a number of new UX challenges and opportunities — below are a few examples of specific interactions designed to make the experience feel more natural to users

Handlebar Interactions

The brake and throttle hand pose animations were necessary to configure in order to make the user feel like he or she is naturally grabbing the handlebars of the vehicle. Fixed rotational & lever-type interactable scripts were then created to mimic the mechanical interfaces on a sports bike to control the throttle and brake respectively.

Steering Mechanics

Horizontal rotational inputs across the Z-Axis and Vertical acceleration inputs across the X-Axis were borrowed from existing keyboard & mouse input controllers and then re-mapped and re-calibrated to the XR Interaction Toolkit's input system.

Locomotion Providers

Because freedom of movement and a smooth experience across the environment is highly valued, we are currently testing a continuous movement provider while the user is outside of the vehicle and roaming the lunar environment. We plan to add settings to allow for the option for teleportation should continuous movement prove to be more nauseating for users.

04

Prototyping & Feedback

TEST 1 OBJECTIVES: 

 

  • Measure interest from non-technical, first-time VR users

  • Observe user engagement and find out what they're responsive (and not responsive) to.
     

  • Track length of time users are engaged in VR without getting nauseous and/or bored with the experience.
     

  • Check on user's emotional response

  • Find issues with motorcycle interaction and steering

Working with a few non-technical users, I was able to test and gain valuable feedback on the initial prototype test of the Moon Cruizer controller and the environment.

This provided valuable insight on what users enjoy doing inside the environment, what they're curious to explore (that may not yet be available), and what they may struggle with inside the experience.

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05

VR Design Iterations

In the last year I've continued to iterate and improve on existing 3D designs in order to accommodate the complexity of VR UX needs with organic and fluid-yet progressive style of design.

For example, in our latest model (Located closest to the right in the images) -- I have iterated past designs to now include an ignition button, separate front & rear wheels in the 3D FBX file in order to target separate controls for horizontal inputs (front wheel) and forward acceleration (rear wheel) within the XR Input Manager Controller Script. The latest model also includes a more fluid placement of the primary ignition button -- programmed to start the vehicle, release it from it's static position, and lock the user's XR Origin Rig onto the Vehicle as it moves.

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06

Next Steps

Here a handful of updates in the works at the moment:

1. Smoothing horizontal steering inputs on the newest MC design

2. Adding interactive HUD to the bike for music, accelerometer and volume controls

3. New Crater City Development

4. Graphics Optimization & Occlusion Culling

5. Alpha launch on Side Quest projected for November 2022

Computer Programming

07

Credits, Tools & Assets Used

3D Architecture & Environments: Zahid Pasha

Props & Interior Modeling: Zahid Pasha, NYU

XR Rigging & Hand Animatons: Zahid Pasha, NYU

Textures: Zahid Pasha, 

Shaders: Zahid Pasha

Scripts: Zahid Pasha, NYU

Space Trees: Andrei Okolokoulak

Purchased Assets

Motorcycle Controller & Physics (Keyboard Inputs): Gadd.Games - https://www.gadd.games/ 

Mars Terrain: Egamea - https://www.egamea.com/

Starfield Background: Dilapidated Meow - http://www.dilapidatedmeow.com/

Sci-Fi Neon Room: Alex Merqury - https://www.artstation.com/user-312