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In a entrepreneurial computer science course, our group decided to create a virtual reality puzzle game for the HTC Vive in which players race to put together IKEA-like furniture with intentionally obscure and confusing instructions. Players are challenged with increasingly illogical furniture and puzzle pieces, accompanied by even more complicated guides as they progress through the game.

Assembler Logo

Throughout the semester, I found myself taking on the lead developer and design roles in the group, implementing project prototypes and the game’s aesthetic. One of the first components created was the Assembler logo. The design shows the primary interaction of the game, putting furniture pieces together.

A game state map I designed from the discussions our group had surrounding what features our MVP should have.
A game state map I designed from the discussions our group had surrounding what features our MVP should have.

As a newbie game developer, I really appreciated Unity’s simple development workflow. In the project’s first prototype (above), I focused on getting basic VR interactions up and running using SteamVR Unity Plugin and VRTK – SteamVR Unity Toolkit. Throughout the development process, the VRTK was an incredibly useful resource and provided a ton of basic VR development functionality, such as picking up and putting down objects. Once the prototype was complete, we had game-testers use a think-aloud usability testing technique to influence changes in the next version.

For the final version of the project (above), I decided to build the game from the ground-up to eliminate some of the bugs created in the initial prototype. The most challenging part of development was getting the furniture pieces to stick together. For support, I joined the VRTK Slack channel and had the chance to talk to the toolkit’s main contributors! The entire community was incredibly supportive and provided some expert VR development knowledge. After getting the furniture pieces to stick together, I downloaded 3D Living Room from the Unity Asset Store to quickly take the game from prototype to alpha version 0.

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