Thesis project turned into an award-winning puzzle game
Four students from ITU’s Games programme dedicated their thesis to making the Virtual Reality (VR) experience more social. The resulting game ‘Tell Me What You See’ won the award for ‘Most Innovative Newcomer’ at the game festival Play17 and took the prize as best ITU student project in 2017.
What was the starting point for your thesis?
We wanted to do something different with VR. Playing a VR game can feel very isolated, and interacting with people outside the game is difficult. So we decided to investigate what would happen if we created a game where one player is inside the VR experience and the other player is outside.
When we started the project, we could only find very few other games like that in existence, as the technology is still quite new, and these games were typically only fun for the player inside the VR experience, whereas the other person is often only a facilitator. We wanted to create a game that was fun and enjoyable for both players.
What did you come up with?
We developed a collaborative adventure game for two players called Tell Me What You See. The game is set in a child’s room. One player experiences the room in VR, and the other player sees the room and the VR player moving around in it on a PC screen. The whole room is a puzzle that the players have to solve, which they can only do by working together – every progression requires some sort of action from both players.
Watch a demo walkthrough of the game: https://youtu.be/xjO9GBM9Tkw
What challenges were there in the development phase?
The game turned out to be way too difficult in the beginning. When you are designing puzzle games, everything seems obvious, but of course, to the players it is not obvious. We had to tweak the game and remove some steps of the puzzles so the players know what to do.
How have people responded to the game?
During the project, we tested an early version of the game in Berlin at an indie game festival called Amaze. Even though it there were many problems with the prototype at that stage, it was clear that people loved it. It was very encouraging that other VR game developers thought our game was different and special.
What happened with the game after you graduated?
We are still fixing bugs and polishing the game in our spare time, and our goal is to release it for free at some point. There isn’t a whole lot of good free VR stuff out there, so we think it is valuable to share it. We are also continuing to show the game at festivals. Actually, we just won an award for ‘Most Innovative Newcomer’ at Play17. Showing our game at festivals has given us many good connections in the industry.
Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email firstname.lastname@example.org