Puzzler
A Google Cardboard VR game made with Unity.
Made for Udacity's VR Developer Nanodegree
Players must memorize a pattern and replicate it to escape a dungeon

The Process

Statement of Purpose

Persona

Puzzler is a mobile VR app that seeks to provide an introductory virtual reality gaming experience by tracking user’s gaze and input to memorize and replicate a pattern and complete a Simon type game.
This app is for someone in their mid-20s to late 30s. He or she is a professional with a recently released smartphone with Google Cardboard capabilities. He or she is likely a busy person who is looking for a fun experience to share with their friends. Puzzler may be one of their first mobile virtual reality experiences.
Sketches
The inside of the can would contain the puzzle orbs and some sort of exit (a hole in the bottom of the can). Once outside there would be options for additional levels or difficulties.
For my initial version of the game, I wanted to experiment with scale. I wanted to “shrink” users to be smaller than the grass - small enough to go inside of a soda can. Initially, I considered adding another creature that would challenge the user to go inside and complete the puzzle.
Here are some screenshots of my first attempt. Due to time constraints and lack of Blender experience to make my own 3d models that would work with light maps, I decided to use the standard assets provided by Udacity instead.

User Test #1: Mood and Scale

My first user test focused on the mood and scale of the environment. Based on user feedback, I scaled the room up a little bit. I wanted the room/dungeon to feel large. I also modified the lighting to give it more of a scary, mysterious mood.

User Test #2: Movement and User Interface

The second user test focused on movement through the app as well as the start and ending UI menus. 

User feedback told me that a movement time of 2 seconds to get to each point was a good time. Users reported not feeling any simulator sickness, so I didn’t need to modify the movement at all. The UI screens were said to be intuitive and at a good distance for viewing.

User Test #3: The Complete Experience

The final user test was a test of the complete experience. Users started the game, played the game, and won. I wanted to add some additional challenge for my users, so I added the ability to increase the difficulty (length of pattern to memorize) of the game after winning it the first time.
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director

Additional Testing

During my own testing, I decided to try a game with a pattern length of 18. I realized that if I was going to allow this addition in the game, I’d want to include a way for users to give up on the puzzle pattern they are working on. To accommodate this, I added a UI screen inside the dungeon.





This gave users some brief instructions, for those users that may not understand the gameplay. I also added a “Give up?” button. This button will let users out of the dungeon to get to another screen where they could lower the difficulty.

Outcomes

Next Steps

Some additional features that can be added to this app is not only longer pattern sequences, but also different environments and orb arrangements. I may also consider adding additional materials and sounds so that each orb has a distinct sound and color. I may add additional environment details to the outside of the puzzle room.
With a little more research and practice with Blender, I would like to finish working on my initial version of this project – the can.