Why Did Baba Yaga Take My Brother?

Development Status: Complete

Project Duration: 4 months

Team Size: 15

Position: Project Lead/Level Designer

Platform: HTC Vive VR on PC

Engine: Unreal Engine 4


Overview

 Why Did Baba Yaga Take My Brother? Also known as Project Folklore is a VR research project built in conjunction with a PhD student from the University of Florida. It is intended to let educators and researchers test and encourage empathetic development in young children by immersing them in a Russian Folktale. Player's take the central role in the folktale and are guided by the helpful and wise mouse to find their missing brother. Throughout the tale players are tasked with engaging characters in the world both through dialogue, memories, and perspective systems.


  • Led a team of 15 interdisciplinary students to develop a VR game that met a clients needs.
  • Worked with client and outside sources to identify project goals and solidify design and milestones of the project.
  • Created wireframes to illustrate the flow of dialogue that was used to create an interactive system for the researcher and designer to implement new content.
  • Implemented all dialogue trees and interaction using Yarn tool and blueprint script.
  • Built the game environment, set dressed, placed lighting, and crafted the play spaces using assets created by the artists.
  • Implemented audio via Yarn and blueprint script. Created minor cinematic moments between the player and other characters.

My overall contribution was project management and level design. My main focus on the project was to deliver a product to the client that was interesting for children to play but also useful to the researcher. I worked closely with the client to identify her needs and created scope. We used a  spiral methodology to account for the fact that the project was being developed alongside our capstone project and classes.

 I was the only level designer on the project so I handled development of the level working with the game-play programmer to incorporate VR interactions. I worked with the Back-end programmers to setup tools used to update and quickly iterate upon character dialogue/sound files.

This project was developed completely in VR and from the ground up by a team of graduate student developers.