Atelier IV Blogpost 4: VR Contextual Review


Breath Tech – Game

I really enjoyed the different ways that breath was used in this game, the designers really took the time to analyze the many ways in which breath is used in the real world. Such as in windpipes, to blow out candles, to melt ice etc,. The intuitiveness and creativity of these interactions made the gameplay very interesting and not too difficult to figure out. As a player I found the process of figuring out the challenges rewarding and the art was intriguing. I also appreciate the breath calibration and visualization I though it was very successful in delivering some kind of feedback so that the user understands that there breath is  having an actual impact on the environment.

From this experience I have learned that I have to expand my understanding of the different way in which breath is used. Moving forward I would like to ideate and brainstorm the possibilities of breath in my own VR experience and think more deeply into the ways breath can be visualized and used to change an object or environment.

Breath Peace – Meditation Experience 

This experience was really cute and aesthetically beautiful, however I did feel a bit impatient with the slowness of activity. The art is so well done and honestly the little panda character made me smile, it was very fitting to the theme. I really appreciated the way the scene would kind of glow and change hue with the breath prompts. This is defiantly something I would like to recreate in my own VR experience.

Although, there were points where I didn’t really feel peaceful as I was anticipating more action to happen on the screen. In the beginning of the scene there was text to guide meditation, however I feel that audio might have been a bit more powerful as the text was visually distracting. After a while the experience felt kind of repetitive. I understand it is a mindfulness experience and its meant to be that way, however I wonder if there is a way to accommodate the user flow so that even the impatient user without much time to be able to gain something from this experience.

From this experience I feel like I quickly learned that text in VR does not contribute to the ‘mindful’ or ‘calming’ experience. So  I will defiantly try to limit the amount of text in my own experience. Instead I would like to focus on improving the visual representation of the meditative experience.I also learned that emotional design for a mindfulness piece is so important. The panda character genuinely gave me joy, this kind of storytelling is so simple yet powerful and can instantly be a mood changer. It reminded me of the way  a compliment, a happy dog, or a kind gesture can make someone feel and I wonder how I can recreate these emotions in my own VR experience with simple actions and animations.

Noodles – Game

I did not like this experience at all, in fact it actually made me kind of annoyed while I was playing. The UI is way too cluttered with text and it is not easy to read as it is all done in a cursive style font. I feel like menus and instructions should always be in print for easy legibility, decorative fonts are for titles and headings only. When the game began the text was still all around the game environment which made the scene visually crowded. Despite all the text in the scene I still had no idea how to play this game, I was told to pick up a stool and when I did nothing happened. Personally, I felt very sick very quickly when moving around from room to room. After 30 seconds of trying to navigate I felt dizzy and had to exit the game.

From this experience I have learned that using the controls to move around is a tricky feature and will probably take a long time to develop to make sure the user doesn’t feel sick. If I do decide to let users navigate the VR space in my experience I will defiantly be incorporating the teleporting feature rather than using the joystick on the controller.

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