Alex Williams - Game Designer

(includes the beating heart of an indie too.)

 -project amelio -


Project Description

Amelio is a collaborative mixed reality scenario created for the DAF Technology Lab in partnership with the TIAS Business School, located at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands. Using a state of the art CAVE environment with four wall stereoscopic projection, positional tracking, biometric feedback and more, the scenario stresses communication, situational awareness, and lateral thinking. 


-    Concept Design // Level Design // Systems Design   -   Mixed Reality CAVE // PC   -   2016 // 2 months // Team Project (7)   -


Project Role

I was involved as design lead with Amelio for the prototyping and concept design stages - the end goal being a proof-of-concept to hand of to our client for the unveiling of the VR room. I divided my time between working through iterations of the game concept for our client requirements, negotiating milestones and deadlines with the project lead and producer, and establishing  a design language with the other designer on the team; exploring the possibilities behind the available hardware and design standards moving forward.

The project continued forwards to completion after my time on the team.

Challenges

Making meaningful design decisions while formulating concrete, short term milestones was the major challenge on Amelio. Starting from zero created a moving goal post situation; constant iteration on how to better address the needs of our client while leveraging what makes this particular set up unique as an experience - a 'right to life' for the project. Pressure from the project lead, combined with the team's very limited art scope meant that it was easy to fall into the trap of setting things in stone too early in the process.

Amelio was also my first experience in working directly above another designer (outside of a team lead position) and preparing them to take over of my role while keeping the design philosophy consistent.

Goals and Outcome

Amelio was designed as a mixed reality experience that could be expanded into a platform for teaching, training, and team building in a business context. Players explore a derelict energy facility on a distant planet, blending elements of escape rooms and crisis simulations. We used hardware to empower players with specific roles, (i.e. the player with Infrared glasses has a headlamp and enhanced vision, the player with an IR wand can manipulate objects) encouraging participants to role-play and experience different angles.

Socially, we used the free movement in the room with puzzles requiring physical coordination of tracked players, and lateral thinking exercises based around awareness of the simulation. (i.e. game objects moving 'through' the physical play area.)


Software Tools Used

 -   Adobe PhotoShop // Unity 3D   -  


AMAZING PEOPLE I WORKED WITH:

 

-   Production and Research by Erwin Peters //   -

-   Production by Bram Heijligers // www.bramheijligers.com   -

-   Environment Art by Benjamin Lalleman // www.benjaminlalleman.nl   -

-   Environment Art by Ruben Van Oosterhout //   -

-   Level Design by Floris Hagen // www.floris-hagen.com   -

-   Programming by Xavier Razafindrakoto //   -


 

Alex Williams ©. All rights reserved.