Cupid’s Office

Augmented Reality experience where you play the role of a cupid

Cupid's Office

The Problem

Create an AR experience where guest must help a character overcome the fear of another character

The Process

 Team Size: 5     Role(s): Programmer, Designer     Engine: Unity3D     Platform: Meta II Headset

To come up with an IDEA, we started listing out pairs of character A and character B, such that A has a fear of B. For example, Human-Ghost, Vampire-Sun, Fire-Water. Most of the examples sounded pretty mainstream and since our platform was augmented reality, we couldn’t really make a horror game. Eventually, with the group consisting of a bunch of romantics, we came up with the idea of a shy boy ‘A’ having a fear of talking to character B, a confident girl. We set that as our premise.

We gave the guest the role of ‘cupid’. The VISION was to bring two value changes:
1. A should overcome his fear for B;
2. A becomes friends with B.
We COMMUNICATED this idea to Jesse Schell and Dave Culyba and they were positive about the premise. We also talked to them about the MECHANICS in game that we were going to use. Considering our SCOPE of two weeks, we planned one meaningful mechanic, which was creating a maze. The maze denoted the mind of the shy boy. The maze consisted of three ‘blackholes’, which would reset the progress upon triggering and a ‘confidence point’ which the guest should help the character gather before the timer runs out. Once the character has collected all the confidence points through the maze, he overcomes his fear of talking to his crush, character B. The maze was designed to support Unity’s Nav-Mesh technology. So, in order to make the guy change path, guest should place obstacles (denoted by cupid’s arrows) in front of him. We carefully designed the maze such that there were no loopholes.

SCHEDULING was a very important aspect of these quick rounds. We had at least two 30-minutes long meetings everyday and we would make a to-do list at the end of each meeting.

My ROLE as a programmer was to use the Meta 2 SDK at its most to create a good experience for the guest. I used Unity’s nav-mesh technology to build the maze which denoted the boy’s mind. I also scripted some story-events in the game. As a designer, I examined our playtesting results to understand how much time a guest would take to complete the maze. I set the time of the timer in such a way that in their first attempt, a typical guest would lose and would want to try it again to look at the win condition. The design flow was as follows:
1. Cupid’s Office: The guest enters the world as a cupid and sees a globe in the front. They are alerted that an event requires attention. They dive into that part of the world.
2. Scripted Event: We see the boy and the girl cross their paths. The girl waves at him and the boy freaks out, which is when the guest enters his mind.
3. The Maze: The guest can place obstacles in the boy’s way to sway him away from the blackholes and towards the confidence point.
4. Ending: If the timer runs out, we see the boy kicking the ground with a sad emotion. If the guest collects the confidence point, we see the boy and the girl dancing with joy.

There were a few design CHALLENGES as this was my first augmented reality project. I had to perfect the position of the globe such that it was in reach of guest’s hands and it wasn’t too close to them. The maze had to built in such a way that it was not too frustrating for the guest to learn by failing often and it was not easy for the guest to complete it in the first try. Upon REVISITING, I would like to design the maze larger and better, and also provide more mechanics for the guest to actually feel like a cupid.


The Result

Yep, it was a whole lot of fun.