Dungeons: Creator

An intuitive level builder and player in virtual reality

Designing and programming a level builder and a dungeon crawler for the Oculus Quest 2

6 weeks

Me (Design lead), 2 UX testers/designers, 2 developers, 1 artist

This video has sound, please unmute! 🎶️

Over the span of 6 weeks, Davis Wojnovich and I led the development of a level creator/dungeon crawler for the Oculus Quest 2. I led interaction + visual design, worked on programming, and coordinated development across the team. In addition to this, I led user research through methods of paper prototyping and user testing. 

As someone that was involved with both the design and the technical side of the project, I was able to design with a grasp of both the opportunities and limitations of technology.

Stay tuned for an App Lab release soon! 

Gameplay features

[video under construction]

Tutorial A list of videos, also used below, are used to show players how to navigate the game.

[video under construction]

Palette Players grab objects from a palette with multiple organized categories to put them in the level.

[video under construction]

Enemies We crafted enemy AI that worked with the level design and created an animation system.

Placing objects
Press and hold the trigger down while touching an object from the palette on your left hand to grab. When the object is near the grass, release the trigger to place the object! You can also move objects like this.

Deleting objectsPull the object off the table by moving it with your trigger. Then release the object to remove it. You can’t destroy core gameplay objects like a player spawn point or the player goal.

Rotating objects Use the left thumbstick on your controller to rotate objects in 90° increments.

Playing the scene Pressing the button transports you to the world you just created. 

TeleportationPress the lower button on either controller to see a preview of where to teleport, and release the button to teleport.

Bow and arrowReach behind your back and press the trigger button to grab an arrow. Then pull and release to shoot it.

Human-centered design + UX research for games and VR

A lot of the design of this game was powered by the idea that someone should be able to pick this game up and play it without any support from the developers. Through this, we addressed issues involving ergonomics, spatial awareness, motion sickness, and objective-based confusion.

Paper prototyping

One research method that we used was paper prototyping and asking players to complete an actual task. We had players try to match a level design with cardboard boxes to try and answer these questions:

a) What’s the most comfortable sizing for objects to be picked up?
b) What are the biggest challenges to placing objects?
c) How do people approach building things at different sizes?
d) Does using one hand or two affect performance?

We ran these tests with multiple trials and players, and ran a statistical analysis on the data we collected alongside running a heuristic analysis of the players thoughts about the given task. We learned that players preferred and excelled with building blocks that were about 20 cm wide. Additionally, we saw that players had difficulty rotating objects with both a single hand. Finally, we were able to get a gist of the scale of their playspace.

User testing

In an early prototype, we were able to test with multiple users and pick up confusions and difficulties with creating a level. Here are some of the issues we encountered:

  • Players not knowing where certain buttons are on the controller
  • Players not knowing how to rotate an object
  • Players trying to place an object in an illegal zone
  • Confusion during accidental object deletion

Through iteration and follow-up testing, we were able to resolve these issues.