Building Virtual Worlds

BVW was the highlight of our first semester at the ETC, addectionately referred to as “Bootcamp.”  In this class, we were assigned a series of group projects .  It was a baptism by fire, in which we were asked to create a different interactive experience, or world, for each of a half dozen two week rounds.  Each round had a different constraint in terms of the type of interaction we had to feature, the type of story we needed to tell with our world, or some other framework in which we needed the world to operate.  At the end of the final round,  we were given the chance to present our best worlds to a panel of judges from the faculty and the entertainment industry, and the cream of the crop would be chosen for the end of the year BVW Show held in the main CMU auditorium.

Two of my worlds were selected: the first was an interactive live-action game show in which contestants from the audience competed with spacefaring robot warriors for the fate of the earth.  The experience featured an animated robot host that was controlled off screen.  It was a bit of improv, a bit of creating the technical and story framework for everything to operate in, and a lot of fun.

The second was a spooky interactive story controlled with motion capture sensors and displayed to the user with a head mounted display (although they were also displayed to the audience on a large screen).  Here’s a clip from the show:

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