Goals for this past week were supposed to be modest since I am on vacation

° Test my new found knowledge in the Unity for VR class I paused last week
° Work on MVP scenarios that I could start building towards
° Decide on some Unity Assets for demo purposes


• Trying to secure a developer (who is tremendously talented, and in-demand!)
• Working on overall Vision for Moki’s Adventures, target segments and requirements
• Developing Personas, respective UX scenarios and succinct scenario for Demo
• Developing deeper level of content and the kinds of assets I’ll need
• Evaluating Unity Asset Store even more
• Getting some clarity on what I can do in Blender for environmental design
• Looking at low poly examples of floating islands/worlds
• Pausing the C# tutorials for the time being

Content Development & Eco Research

As I started imagining the kind of assets I'd like to find for purposes of the demo and the MVP scenarios, I quickly realized I hadn't done even a marginal audit on the Environmental Habitats I could portray. So I spent the better part of a day researching both habitats, regions and species that are either in jeopardy or critically endangered. You can check out my collective research here.


Am leaning towards Borneo & Sumatra but maybe The Galápagos Islands would be better?

Right now I'm leaning towards Islands or archipelagos which have a rich and unique ecosystem. I envision all ecosystems that the player can explore as "Isles that float like worlds" in a collective space, but am finding that some species travel between or exist in different geographical regions. In terms of the demo I don't plan on exploring the development of more than one ecosystem, but ideally capturing as many as possible at some point.

The Big Picture

I am convinced that I can plant 2 bushes with 1 seed,
but it starts by connecting a lot of dots. 

I spent the better part of Friday focusing exclusively on the Product Plan, and it feels good.

User Types and Personas

I’m not sure if Personas are part of the game design process, but I have found it works well with User Experience Design if utilized well. For me, I find them particularly useful in gather User Insights and developing Value you can iteratively get feedback on. It makes the design more humane and less about empty statistics as well. I am hoping to also use it throughout the decision making process later on.

For Moki’s Adventures, my plan is largely two phased.

The first phase should just be for the Consumer audience who is using Gear VR. I want to make it available as much as possible and iterate on the experience as much as I can to be most successful. 

The second phase would be working with Doctors, Healthcare Practitioners and Hospital Administrators to better understand Patient needs and experiences. I believe there is a great deal of work being done in this area in terms of pain management or games to kill time, but I want to make content for Patients that feeds and nourishes their soul as much as their mind. It should be one part distraction in the most regenerative way, and one part engaging and confidence boosting depending on what cycle of their treatment they are on.

For purposes of the Demo, as I mentioned before, I will design a flow that could scale for Patients but is, for the short-term, intended for 13+ Gear VR Users.

Patient Type A

Receiving a one time surgical procedure or treatment

Patient Type B

Receiving on-going treatments over a period of time

Initial research has not been optimal, other than personal experience with losing family to cancer, it has only been secondary research for the time being. Here is an article from UCSF Medical Center on Coping with Chemotherapy and from the University of Texas’ Cancerwise Blog.

When it comes time to develop Moki’s adventures for Cancer Patients, I would like to conduct a more hands-on research proposal and do stakeholder interviews with the Administrators, Medical Staff and active Care-takers as well as contextual interviews and observations with a range of Patients receiving treatments. Above is an example of how I would create a UX Framework to help engage the Patients differently at different times in their cycles. I would then ask them to rank the themes (and or hi-level features) that they would prefer to have accordingly.

Here I am developing a “Create-your-own-adventure” model in very simplistic forms. Basically I see the need to be able to have a more passive or active mode depending on the User’s condition. 

If you read it from left to right you could surmise the overall User Experience for a Cancer Patient undergoing Chemotherapy. Obviously User Testing of the preferred themes would affect the nature of the adventures developed. 

For purposes of the demo I will likely just go with a simplified version of a challenge.

I sketched out how the User might want to fluctuate and be more active or more passive over different stages of a given treatment.


Finally getting to a Scenario I feel is representative of the whole product but is still malleable to adapt to new requirements or insights.

Eco Research Extended & Blender

I am feeling anxious about the fidelity of the assets as the Visual, Interactive and Audio aesthetics are going to be so critical to the overall experience. That is why I have quickly listed the types of assets that I would want to successfully illustrate the right kind of holistic adventure scene.

As far as beginners go, I am proving there is always a level zero! Below is my first recognizable object in Blender.

Floating Islands

Am starting to look at how I can fabricate my world(s) and the basis of all of them are that they float, isolated but still in a collective Universe. Here are some examples I just grabbed from a simple Google search "low poly floating islands".

Then I realized that I longed for imagery like from Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky film (which I own on DVD and highly recommend) and searched for “miyazaki floating island” to see what would come up!

Low Poly Assets

So I feel I'm getting beyond just Moodboard stage and want to start playing with making some kind of environment come to life. I will definitely want to start with low poly graphics for now as even that will be a steep learning curve for a VR novice such as myself. 

So first off, I've started collecting all the assets and extensions I may want to consider purchasing. Feel free to check out what I've collected on my Wishlist here.

Then I pondered just how hard can it be to make these trees and rocks. I mean really! So I found this great little tutorial I am giving a shot today to test my prowess. Feel free to join me! 

I have also started a photo collection of animals, places and things thanks to Unsplash.com’s royalty free stock images which I plan on using as inspiration, and possibly for tracing purposes. That's all for now, off to the beach soon!  In the meantime I'll leave you with this image that I love and my goals for the coming week:

Goals this coming week – starting Tuesday, July 5th!

° Get the overall UX/Product plan material in a more packaged and scalable format (i.e. a proper Game Design Document or scope doc)

° Start sketching, in any 3D program, the kind of environment and life forms I’d like to start representing

° Continue my VR Education using my handy Tools & Tutorials Tracker



Brought to you by Allison Ivmark, student of all things VR.