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KEYNOTE: VR for Everyone: The Design of Land's End (SPAN LONDON 2015)

Google Design2015-12-02
material#design#google#designers#games#vr#augmented reality#virtual worlds#span15#span2015#google design
2K views|8 years ago
💫 Short Summary

The video explores the evolution of virtual reality (VR) technology, particularly in the gaming industry, highlighting UsTwo's successful game Monument Valley and their new VR game Lands End. It discusses the challenges faced by developers in transitioning to VR, the accessibility and affordability of VR headsets like Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, and the importance of design in shaping public perception of VR. The team's focus on inclusivity and creativity, as well as the immersive and intense nature of VR gaming experiences, are emphasized. Overall, the video showcases the potential of VR to revolutionize gaming and promote positive impact.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Ken Wong, lead designer at UsTwo, discusses the challenges faced by traditional game developers transitioning to VR.
Wong is working on a new VR game called Lands End, specifically designed for virtual reality.
The importance of public perception of VR is highlighted, influenced by media depictions of virtual space.
The public face of VR often includes futuristic and high-tech visuals, shaping how people view the medium.
Evolution of Virtual Reality Technology
Movies from the 80s and 90s like Tron and The Matrix depicted virtual realities.
Importance of design in shaping adoption of VR technology is highlighted.
Design can influence public perception of VR technology.
VR simulation showcases hands-free experience controlled solely through head movements, emphasizing immersive nature and user exploration.
Overview of UsTwo company and their success in creating apps and games.
UsTwo has a team of 250 employees, with 11 dedicated to the games team, creating apps, interactive solutions, and design work for clients globally.
Monument Valley, one of their successful games, received numerous awards and widespread acclaim, reaching a broad audience beyond their initial target.
The company's focus on inclusivity and creativity has contributed to their innovative culture, leading to valuable learning experiences and continued success in their work.
Accessibility and Intentional Design Choices in Game Development.
The team aimed to make their game suitable for a wide range of players, from young children to older adults.
The game was intentionally short and easy to ensure that players of all ages could complete it without difficulty.
Despite initial doubts about VR technology, the team decided to explore it further due to the enthusiasm of their colleagues.
In 2015, VR technology was still in development, with high-end options like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive being expensive compared to more budget-friendly options like Google Cardboard.
Highlights of the Samsung Gear VR
The Samsung Gear VR is a portable virtual reality headset that provides a fully immersive experience without wires or tethers.
It is designed for short periods of use and is compatible with certain Samsung smartphones.
The affordability of the headset at $99 makes it accessible to a wide range of users, particularly Android phone owners.
The portability and social aspect of the Gear VR make it great for sharing VR experiences with friends and introducing newcomers to virtual reality.
Highlights of VR Technology Accessibility for Game Developers.
The video focuses on the accessibility of VR technology, specifically Google Cardboard, to game developers without platform limitations.
The speaker explains the development process for a new project, emphasizing touch device and portrait orientation design.
Considerations for motion sickness in VR design are discussed, stressing the importance of testing for user comfort.
Unlike traditional computer games, VR design requires physicality to enhance the immersive experience.
Virtual reality gaming offers a more immersive experience than traditional gaming due to its 3D environment.
Gear VR tracks head movement but not position, leading to limitations in interaction.
Existing paradigms need to be rethought for virtual reality gaming.
Users are assumed to have headphones for optimal sound design in VR.
The heightened realism of VR requires a new approach to relaying information and designing interfaces for games.
Challenges faced by the development team in creating a full game out of the demo.
Samsung repeatedly delayed the release of the final device, leading to project extensions.
The demo used Monument Valley assets as placeholders and was solid but incomplete.
Initial expectations for a September 2014 launch were not met due to delays in project development.
Balancing gameplay and visual experience in creating VR puzzles.
Puzzles needed to be challenging but not frustrating or causing motion sickness for users.
Designing levels for progression and a lived-in world like Monument Valley was a challenge.
Testing various level designs and mechanics to refine the user experience.
Many ideas were explored but did not make it into the final game.
Development of Lands End Level Design.
Team explored ideas and mechanics from Monument Valley that were not used in the game.
Focus was on interactions over complex puzzles for more engaging VR experiences.
Importance of designing levels with spectacle and progression in mind was rediscovered.
Experimentation with different interaction mechanisms, with gaze being a strong element in current VR.
Importance of fine-tuning physics in game design for an intuitive user interface and experience.
User testing with non-gamers to ensure accessibility of prototypes.
Emphasis on wide audience feedback through testing in various settings.
Announcement of a game release for Gear VR and shift towards VR as a new medium beyond gaming.
VR described as a unique meeting point for people from different fields, offering a different experience compared to traditional video games.
The evolution of gaming culture and the potential for virtual reality (VR) to promote learning, new experiences, and empathy.
Emphasis on creating meaningful, inclusive, and non-violent games.
VR as a tool for experiencing different worlds and perspectives, encouraging the use of design skills.
Optimism about the role of VR in expanding the boundaries of gaming and promoting positive impact.