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Star Catcher

Unity 3D / C# / SteamVR / HTC VIVE 

For my graduate-level graphics course CIS 5680: Game Design Practicum, I worked alongside 2 of my classmates, Logan Cho and Keyu Lu, to develop an original, first-person, VR game made for the HTC VIVE headset and hand controller system titled "Star Catcher." In Star Catcher, you play as a young child whose goal is to fill up their star jar with starlight before time runs out. Fill up your star jar by catching various falling stars before they reach the ground and protect your beloved jar from getting hit by falling meteors. Additionally, players can temporarily pause the dangerous meteor shower by collecting nearby firefly powerups.    

This was my first ever venture into VR game design and it was an amazing learning experience! It was interesting figuring out ways in which we could improve the VR user experience, such as integrating the UI into the hand controllers or tweaking the spawn height and speed for stars so that it would be less strenuous for headset wearers.  

Below is the gameplay demo video:

My responsibilities included: 

  • Player physics and collision detection  

    • Handled collision detection and game mechanics involved between the player's hands/star jar and various obstacles/items, such as meteors, falling stars, and fireflies. 

  • GUI

    • Integrated UI elements into the left hand to improve player immersion and allow for easier viewing. UI elements included:​​

      • Timer​

      • Current score

    • Star jar UI elements

      • Star points collected ​

      • Star point threshold 

    • Firefly powerup screen

      • 10 second countdown​ to showcase powerup duration 

    •  Win/lose/starting screens and button functionality​​

  • Obstacles and items

    • Meteor obstacle:​ 

      • Decreases starlight every time it collides with the player's star jar  ​

      • Dies if caught by the player's hand before it can collide with the star jar 

    • Falling stars:

      • Increases starlight total if caught by the player, else it dies upon impact with the floor 

    • Firefly powerup: 

      • Temporarily pauses the meteor shower for 10 seconds if caught by the player.  This powerup allows the player to briefly focus solely on catching stars and increasing their star points instead of needing to protect their jar.  ​

  • Sound/Visual Effects​​

  • Win/lose conditions

    • Win conditions​

      • Player has acquired enough starlight before time has run out 

    • Lose conditions ​

      • Time runs out before the player is able to acquire enough star points

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