Ruben Bimmel

Game Development

Writers Block VR

Assignment: Create a VR experience that tells a story through the environment and interactions
Duration: 2 weeks
Team size: 3
Role: Development

Writers Block is a VR experience in which you look through the eyes of a writer. You sit behind a typewriter inside a lighthouse. If you look at the typewriter the machine will start typing phrases of a novel. After a few phrases the paper gets pulled out of the machine and brought closer to your eyes so you can see the text clearly. As soon as you look somewhere else the paper gets crumbled and thrown away.

While you are typing the lamp keeps rotating. At first all you can see outside is an endless open sea. However it will not take long before you see various scenes appear in the light beam. You can only see the scenes where the light is and after a few passes of the light the scene disappears again. While looking in the light you start to hear the sounds of those scenes as well.

The player cannot interact with the typewriter themselves but this was not really a problem. The typewriter starts writing by itself when you look at it and this feels very natural in VR. The keys get pressed one by one and this also corresponds with the letters that appear on the paper. The letters on the paper also appear one by one.

For this project I have mainly worked on the animations. For this I made use of blendhapes and custom shaders. These were very useful to tell the story and saved us a lot of time. This was needed because our time and resources for this project were limited.

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