The Lighthouse was a VR experience created for Round 5 of Building a Virtual World at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University
WHAT IS THE LIGHTHOUSE?
The Lighthouse was originally designed for Round 5 of Building a Virtual World, a course offered during the introductory semester of the Masters of Entertainment Technology program in Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. For Round 5, our team was tasked with creating a world for the end of the semester Festival, one that would provide enough of a spectacle to draw in family members and industry professionals alike. My team and I developed this experience over the course of three weeks, focusing initially off of the sensation of ascending or descending a staircase in VR based off of a paper from the University of Tokyo. We eventually settled upon a narrative framed around ascending a rickety staircase within an aging lighthouse during a record storm, and added obstacles and events to heighten the sense of drama (or at the very least, the sensation of ascension). With the help of our team member Derrick Pemberton, we were able to fabricate our own staircase using the University of Tokyo paper as a model. The final model can be seen below.
* Winner of the First Penguin Award for Building a Virtual World *, an award given to a team for a world that demonstrates both ambitious design and a lack of a fear of failure.
For our Round 5, we were able to gain access to a room within the Entertainment Technology Center that specialized in providing 5.1 Surround Sound for VR experiences. As such, in my capacity as Sound Designer, I was not only responsible for the creation and editing of all of the sounds within the experience, but a good portion of the spectacle of the experience as well. This meant collaborating with the programmers on the team often, adjusting the levels of the mix within the Unity build and negotiating correct sound source placement so that certain effects would come out of the correct, spatialized speaker within the sound room.
My duties as Producer for The Lighthouse lay primarily in the logistical realm, arranging team and SCRUM meetings and making sure that the internal deadlines that we had set for certain assets and set-pieces to be completed were done by said date.
Platform: Vive (with motion trackers)
Team: Chance Lytle (Programmer), Akash Phadtare (Programmer), Derrick Pemberton (Artist/Producer), Julian Ochoa (Artist), Liam Philiben (Sound Designer/Producer)
Courtesy of Derrick Pemberton, Julian Ochoa, and the Entertainment Technology Center