THE MAGICAL FOREST
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THE MAGICAL FOREST. Ken Leung. Overview. Enable users in the play area to collaboratively populate a lush, eclectic, thriving magical forest teeming with flora and fauna. Why?.

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THE MAGICAL FOREST

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The magical forest

THE MAGICAL FOREST

Ken Leung


The magical forest

Overview

Enable users in the play area to collaboratively

populate a lush, eclectic, thriving magical forest teeming with flora and fauna.


The magical forest

Why?

The physical space is lushly inundated with accents and examples of nature (wooden walls, plants, aquarium, wood trim, stone floors, wooden sculpture, dark green furniture ...) and sounds of nature (babbling water)The virtual environment should accentuate, ratherthan conflict with, this natural lushness.

If the room has so many things that originated from a forest, why not complete the context with a illusory virtual forest within the screen?


The magical forest

Reminders of nature


The magical forest

3D Game Environment


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Considerations

Experience should be immersive and engaging ...

but not addictive

User should be rewarded for their interactions through an virtual ‘imprint’ of their activities,

which will remain in the game environment for a short time

Experience should take into account the needs of children without disabilities, children in wheelchairs, and children with other disabilities (autism, epilepsy)


The magical forest

User Postures (‘Footprints’)


The magical forest

Basic interface

Carpeted play area, separated into 10x10 grid of on/off ‘buttons’


The magical forest

Basic Interaction

Children step onto a button to germinate the ‘growth‘ of a flora or natural object item (trees, bushes, boulders) on the corresponding tile in the 3D game environmentChild’s position in the environment will be denoted by a set of footprints.

If child remains on button, the object will grow until it reaches ‘maturity’

Once it reaches maturity, it pauses for about 10 seconds, and begins to glow, brighter and brighter until it ‘metamorphizes‘ into a forest spirit (cloud of particles)which wanders around the space, fading gradually over the next 2 minutes.


The magical forest

Flora & Objects

Flora and natural objects are ‘grown’ by users by ‘feeding’ one tile (i.e. remaining standing on it)

Flora: Trees

Bushes

Grasses

Mushrooms

Mosses

Objects:BouldersPebble Patches

Puddles


The magical forest

Flora & Objects

Flora or object generated is random for a given grid square (you might get a pine tree one time, and maple tree the next) - variety is key, to construct an interesting forest

User must remain on the square to make it continuously grow, otherwise it will regress (reverse its growth)If a user doesn’t like the current object, they just need to hop off the square and then hop on again!


The magical forest

As flora and objects grow, they:

Change in size (small->large)

Change in ‘morphology’ (sapling -> tree)

Change in color (dull -> colorful)


The magical forest

Extra ‘perks’ for children in wheelchairs, that reverses the stigma of their disability (e.g. 4-tile-large objects reserved just for them)Alternate growth behaviors for different body postures and movements?(lying down, rolling, running around)


The magical forest

Fauna

Fauna are a background element -- little animals that are attracted to a ‘healthy‘ forest. As the forest becomes more lush and populated, more fauna will appear and interact with the flora (reward for user)Examples: Bees, Flies, Slugs, Birds, Squirrels

Butterflies, Tree Fairies


The magical forest

Creating An ‘Imprint’

Mature Flora

Forest Spirit

Metamorphosis


The magical forest

Meandering Forest Spirits


The magical forest

Creating An ‘Imprint’

Once a user’s object reaches maturity, it will begin to metamorphose into a a forest spirit (a cloud of glowing particles), which will meander around the virtual spaceThis is the virtual imprint of the user’s interaction, and is the ‘crescendo’, the payoff

It is something that the child can sit and watch in wonder, helping them ‘wind down’ from the experience


The magical forest

Sounds

Natural background noises (leaves rustling, wind blowing)Sounds of fauna as they arrive in the space -- a ‘healthy’ forest create be a cacaphony of animal sounds.

(birds singing, crickets chirping)

Complements nicely with the babbling brook (i.e. the fishtank) in the physical space


The magical forest

Issues

3D perspective -- objects in the front blocking objects in the back -- use translucency?


The magical forest

- how to generate a lush forest without

‘using up’ user squares- how to


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