VR Mobile Nano degree — Puzzler Project

Abdelrahman Helaly
6 min readSep 1, 2019

This project was made as part of the udacity nano degree for mobile , the goal was to make a simple puzzler game using unity.

General Overview of the game

The binding of Issac is my favorite game , so when the instructor said to make a simple project, i decided to a simple puzzler in Issac’s world.

Binding of Issac is a rogue lite game about a young boy who is escaping from his mother who is trying to kill him , surprisingly that’s not the darkest thing about the game , which leads him in a journey down the dungeons in which he picks up items,fights monsters and eventually die.

so i took many references from the game and tried to simulate those settings in a VR Puzzler game.

Starting Screen for the player

i decided to follow the Issac’s approach, to make the player learn the story as he goes through.

Statement of purpose:

“VR Of Issac” is a simple puzzler to serve as a demo for what would BOI look like in VR.

Persona:

Persona

and as the persona stated , i wanted to make the game easy and intuitive enough for new gamers and non-gamers whether they have experience in VR or not , to be able to understand the game in the first place and then complete it.

Game Objective:

The main objective of the game is to get inside the golden room and this happens after a simple puzzle of activating three pressure pads at the time after that a monster will appear and attack them, winning the fight ends the game.

Sketches:

Designing the game was an iterative process, to think of a puzzle that would fit in that theme of the game, it started with the simple Simon says, and it grew to become its own thing inspiring from the spikes in the main game.

Early sketch of the concept
Stage 1 , when i kept the Simon says puzzler, but decided to remove it because it doesn’t fit the theme
General Idea of the Dungeon
Top View for the dungeon

Design Process:

I challenged myself to create all the assets for this project myself.

this started with the design of the floor and walls textures in Photoshop

After that i decided to try and model Monstro (from the main game) , the results were acceptable for second ever model

after that , i decided to use place holders for the ‘pads’ instead of designing the spikes.

User Testing outcomes:

Who i preformed my tests on:

the user testing was preformed on my brother and my girlfriend, both with different interest in games, they were both familiar with Binding of issac, so the reviews they gave helped me get a better result

How i preformed it:

i developed this game on holiday so i was testing this game with him on the spot after each major edit to get his feedback , and for her , i sent the .Apk file and screen recorded the gameplay.

Questions i asked:

Describe the setting you are in

is the character’s height good enough?

what do you think would make the game more issac-y?

are the controls intuitive to use?

and i watched them play through the game and seeing them figure out how to use the pressure pad and fighting monstro

Changes made after the user testing

1- Changed the walls sizes to fit.

2- Added monstro.

“for the game to feel more like issac, add monsters attacking you”

this was my girlfriend’s remark after playing through the game the first time, so naturally i decided to add monstro , which is one of the low tier bosses in the main game

Monstro- Binding of issac

3- Fixed bugs related to the puzzle handling.

“it’s near impossible to place the cubes and they keep on dispawning”

4- “Flying” mode something happening due to collision with the border

one of the bugs i didn’t notice was the flying mode bug, to detect if the player is standing or not on the pressure pad, i gave it a trigger box but i increased its length, which led to the player colliding over it and to appear flying.

5- Adjusting the font spacing to be readable.

6- Removed Simon says and added the new puzzler

7- Adding more UI to give the players the main objective

One of the most important notes that i got, was that the game wasn’t understandable for a non gamer which contradicts my persona; as i wanted it to be playable for everyone.

so this was one last iteration i made

Main Objective of the game, get into the golden room.

as you can see in the screenshot, this makes the user get the feeling of the need to enter the ‘golden’ room , which is the only locked room without taking the player’s hand and walking him through the levels and what to do.

8- Added an End UI

in the first prototype, when the user defeated the monster, nothing happened.

this was because i wanted to continue working on the game after the demo, but for a tester , they didn’t know that , so i added a simple UI

End UI with Chest

the chest in this picture is the only mesh i didn’t create myself and i got from turbosquid

Iterations made:

Implemented the way point movement and found it’s not satisfying.

Adding the shooting mechanics

Teleportation with Ray Tracing:

and then FINAL output :

Conclusion:

At the end , i learned a lot doing this project coming from a strong base in unreal engine and exploring unity for the first time was a new experience.

and i learned although there is limited resources on mobile gaming, but with controller (like i used in mine) you can achieve better results.

Plans for this project:

like i said , binding of Issac is my favorite game , there is a room to make this game better by adding more puzzles, more enemies to fight, different dungeons and maybe finding my own original ideas for issac.

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