Hamstar

Project Info

Aesthetic: VR Fun Game

Platform: HTC Vive / Oculus Touch

App Development Engine: Unity

Project Length: 2 Weeks (Fall 2017) + 1 Week(for ETC festival)

Team Size: 5

My Role: Game Designer, Artist

Responsibilities:​​

  • Designing the game mechanics and interactions.

  • Designing the level.

  • Making environmental assets including room, furniture and lighting.

  • Designing the theme up of the room and game for ETC festival.

  • Hosting the game during ETC festival.

  • Currently re-implementing the game (a remastered version).

More Details

        The goal of this 2-week game prototype is to create an experience that is intuitive and fun to play, and leaves the guest with a feeling of freedom. The guest plays as a hamster in their hamster ball, and will explore a human's room to find the other hamsters, while interacting with objects in the room for them to navigate like tubes, springs, rotating platforms, teleport points, and so on.

        More information about ETC Festival can be found in it's website: 

        Here's a video of Hamster's game play:

Working as Designer

        As a BVW project, our team of 5 didn't have a pure game designer, and everyone was expected to be involved in the design process. With our goal in mind, we had our first design meeting. When I was describing my favorite games in my childhood, all the team members agreed that it would be very exciting about the idea of putting the guest within a hamster wheel, and let them explore the human world from the little creature's perspective. So in that very first meeting, we nailed down the theme of the game. Not knowing whether this would be too disorienting in VR, we made a one-day prototype to simulate the ball and its motion. Initially, the ball just had a texture that rotated with it to indicate ball motion.

        We later found that adding an interface of the hamster wheel, which makes swiping an intuitive gesture, also gives the guest a frame of reference to reduce motion sickness. This interface was coupled with fun elements to interact with, and a large world that the guest is free to explore.

        The mechanic became pretty solid since then, and I designed the level, which is a cartoon-ish bedroom layout of a kid:

        I also implemented the environment in the scene (the following picture is from the remaster version I'm currently working on):

        The game was very successful and got selected among 80 different 2-week projects (12 of them were selected in total), and we showcased the game in our themed project room.

        As the only male in the team, I was in charge of going out to buy decorations and hanging things on the ceiling. I really appreciated every team member's effort, since all of us devoted all the passion and time into the one small game we made within two weeks.

        Huge sunflower seeds, photo booth, fun time, hamstar of the day leaderboard...... Many and many guests joind the hamster party on the festival day, and everyone had fun with the 3 minutes "hamster life". We had 4-year old little boy played the game! And also many grown-ups who didn't want to miss the chance.

3D Art Work & Remaster Version

        In this project I also worked as a 3D artist. As mentioned I designed the game level, and I modeled many of the assets in the scene, including tubes, furniture and interactable objects:

        Reason why I decided to make a remastered version of this game:

  1. I loved this game very much, as its creator and as a player.

  2. I think there's still not a published VR hamster ball product in the market, so I'm on it.

  3. I take it as a good practice of my skills using Unity.

  4. I want to improve some design on the game, as well as think of new mechanics and new level.

        Currently, the new game is fully playable, I'm thinking of designing a score system, and even an open world for it! Think wild, then make it. That's how great work come out!​

+1 603-366-0069

700 Technology Dr, Pittsburgh, 15219 USA

©2019 by Magian Li.