Video animation from TEDEd. This is great as a reference. Many good analogies to take from this video to reflect on the script of the game.
Another reference to decide if the metaphor for the interface is a body suit armor OR a spaceship like .
The game will need to meet the following requirements in order to be a final product. All the ideas created around this game idea will be selected under the following criteria in order to make it to the production stage:
Immersive. this VR experience has to create the feeling that you are reduce to a microscopical size, and the player will see microorganisms seeing under the microscopy in gigantic proportions, like blimps. The visual “X factor” will be driven by the “what if I could be reduce to a microscopic size?”.
Kids friendly. the graphics are soft and slightly rounded, conveying a harmless scenario for the young players. However the depictions of the viruses and other objects in the game somehow will be close to the real things.
Casual. this VR experience is short; will be happening in one level, in one stage. Everything will happening on the surface of a cell.
Educational. the experience will communicate several of the microorganisms that are perjudicial for human cells and how the human lymphatic system works to defend against them.
Interactive. there must be some basic level of interaction when encountering the foreign organisms; the player should be able to select the adequate “weapon” in order to eliminate the threat. The player should be able to select and shoot medicine.
The experiential VR demo need to have “beats” or features that delight and inspire the player.
- Change size: shrink from human scale to microscopic scale.
- Identify and Learn: Navigate through the different scenarios where the human cell is attacked by different threats.
- Size comparison with the cell size.
- Shoot the adequate protein-weapon to deactivate or destroy the threat.
One of my kids have this construction / assembly toy, where they can create beads. I found interesting the look of it, the colorful, kid appealing color palette. They easily can look like small “viruses” or cells.
Another comic reference: “String Divers”. Sounds compelling enough, and the graphics look more contemporary.
Microshots for hospitals’ patients
One of the possible real life applications of this game would be in children’s hospitals. This VR app is an a fun way to understand how scientist and doctors are fighting to cure diseases. The game will be an immersive environment where the player get shrinked by scientists and then got inside the infected subject. Once inside the human body, the miniaturized ship will be automatically finding the threat attacking a human cell.
Kids that are being treated in hospitals will find this experience helpful to understand why they got sick and how the doctors are fighting the culprit of the illness.
More practical applications
MicroShots for seasonal flu shots, on mobile centers.
Initial approach to the look’n feel on textures and materials for the inner universe of the cell.
An initial approach to the interface in the game
“Ride” / “on rails”
Using a “Ride” style approach for the navigation in the game would be similar to jump in a rollercoaster ride or similar to a cockpit of a spaceship. Which fits perfect with the story of this experience.
The player will be INSIDE a robotic submarine vessel.
The player will be playing the experience from a seated position. Similar VR games are “Titans of Space”, “BattleZone VR” or “Vox Machina”.
Here is an 3D animation on how would this camera will work:
Benefits of the Ride style navigation:
- The user is “on rails” and is dedicated to enjoy the ride, more like a roller coaster
- The camera has predefined checkpoint shots which can be setup to achieve maximum wow factor.
Issues with the Ride style navigation:
- The player gets dizzy if the camera moves too fast
The user will use the controller (his/her hand) to point to a space where wants to be; the whole nano-suit will move towards the selected point and to avoid dizziness or loosing the space sense, there will be a fade in-out transition between the process of teleporting. This is the most common ways of locomotion in VR without producing dizziness on the player.
In order to fit better the story, the player then will be standing up, dressing the special nanosuit, similar to Marvel’s Ant-Man nanosuit.
Another consideration is that the player will have the feeling that is “walking” on the surface of the cell. Similar to “The Little Prince” book, the player will be attached to a small roundy planetoid. Also sounds compelling.
Here is a video on how teleportation will work with the fade in-out transition
It works and the player will be familiar with it since is legacy from the traditional game controller, BUT: creates dizziness in the user because some VR systems drop frames or run less than 90 fps; or the 3D meshes in the scene are not well optimized or too high resolution that creates the system to drop frames.
Dr. Malm: The Mad Scientist
The very intelligent but crazy Dr. Malm. Managing all the operations of his lab, an almost one-man band. He has a very high self-esteem and confidence on his inventions and contraptions. Generally uses patients as guinea pigs for his highly risk tests. Relies on his smart assistant, Dr. Moo, to find unexpected answers and results.
Dr. Moo : The Scientist Assistant
With a high intelligent coefficient, Dr. Moo struggles with a bit of clumsiness; helps resolves all the tasks from Dr. Malm. She also has her own agenda, like everyone else.
Cabel Nyen : The Casual Hero
Got involved in the micro adventure by accident when dropping some courier at Dr. Malm lab. Struggles on moral issues, but have a good hunch when to do the right decision. A streetsmart.
Cast OF Threats
The player will find not friendly visitors while exploring a cell environment; here are featured some of them.
Adenoviruses are a group of common viruses that infect the lining of your eyes, airways and lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system. They’re common causes of fever, coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and pink eye. Infections happen in children more often than in adults, but anyone can get them.
Bacteriophage, also known informally as a phage, is a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria and archaea. The term was derived from “bacteria” and the Greek “phagein”, “to devour”
Bacteria, a member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms which have cell walls but lack organelles and an organized nucleus, including some which can cause disease.
Physical places or spaces where our characters develop their stories.
A Human Cell, in biology, the basic membrane-bound unit that contains the fundamental molecules of life and of which all living things are composed. A single cell is often a complete organism in itself, such as a bacterium or yeast. Other cells acquire specialized functions as they mature. These cells cooperate with other specialized cells and become the building blocks of large multicellular organisms, such as humans and other animals. Although cells are much larger than atoms, they are still very small.
Dr. Malm laboratory. a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis a research; a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation. One of the main attractions is the miniaturizing chamber.