This is a two-week game project with Unity3D and Magic Leap AR device. Instead of a traditional game, our group made a beautiful and enjoyable experience setting in Japanese style Zen Garden. With the help of Magic Leap, players can freely move around to color the Zen Garden with five different colors. I did all the coding except the audio sound part. The idea of painting a grey world shines in our game. Feel free to look at the video down below to see our world.
Our original idea was to recreate a Japanese Zen Garden. Since I was the only Asian guy who ever went to Japan, the task of cultural recreation of the garden went down to me. I was excited about this because it was so amazing to see my American teammates interested in Japanese and Asian culture. I did plenty of research on it and spent time discussing the detail with artists and sound designers. For them, Asian Japanese style objects and music were so different from their initial comfort zones. For me, this game was fantastic because I got a great opportunity to explore my knowledge other than coding. The gaming mechanism itself was simple to code and understand. Players need to color different key objects so that the girl could walk around the world and see different things.
Besides programming, I was responsible for designing the whole game since I was the only Asian guy in our team. I was not allowed to use any direct instructions for this game. Indirect controls became extremely important. For example, the title scene UIs in the picture above were designed as hints to use Magic Leap's controller. For naive guests who had never used Magic Leap before, using the controllers might not be intuitive. I on-purposely put the begin button in such a high position that the players need to raise their arms high enough so that the game would start. By doing this, players could get the idea of how the field of view worked for Magic Leap and get to see the UIs attached to the controller. It was the first time I designed a whole game by myself and it was a precious experience since designing from an artist perspective for a programmer extended my understanding of game development beyond the scope of technical implementation.
Believe it or not, I actively involved in the art created for this game. In order to recreate convincing Japanese Zen Garden, I did plenty of research on traditional Japanese buildings and objects such as those you see in the picture above. All the game objects in the garden were initially grey. Players could use the controller to choose which color they wanted to paint on the objects. I coded the objects so that different parts of a single object could be colored by different colors. Also, I created some particle effects in Unity3D to represent the waterfall, firefly and falling petals of cherry blossom. As a result, my game became so beautiful that I was surprised by my work. Being a programmer does not mean I can only do coding. Pushing my boundaries can be surprisingly rewarding.