Goals for this past week

° Goal 1: Get Demo 1.0 Mechanics flushed out
        •  Get Turtle animated and moving
        •  Make Info-Card with information about the Turtle and its lifestyle

° Goal 2:  Get Presentation Materials flushed out

° Goal 3: Get Demo 1.0 Scenery flushed out as much as possible
        •  Design & Rig Moki (!?)
        •  Finalize Vegetation, creatures and props (still have butterflies and birds to import)

° Bonus: Start identifying audio assets for ambiance, ocean, creatures, UI and just for fun


This past week has been a total roller-coaster with regards to my Oculus Launch Pad Demo, in a good way. I am happy to report that this past week in Stockholm has given me just the wind, fuel, support I needed to encourage me to make a big decision this week.

Progress from a more project oriented standpoint:

• Placed Info-Cards (content is still work-in-progress)
• Added Pier to the first point of interest
• Updated the Script and content

Production decisions made:

• Audio, Animation and Volumetric fog (rolling over inside of the Island) are now out-of-scope for Aug 27 deadline.
• The Moki character, role, interaction with first person viewer and branding is an additional storytelling layer that will have to be postponed until the overall concept and User interaction is more clear.

At the departure gate...literally.

My husband, my rock, my best friend, love of my life has been my #1 fan all along, but when it came to this project, I think he had some reservations. I suspect he hid them with the best of intentions. He knew I was excited and passionate, but also knew that from a programming perspective this exercise might prove to be too big of a leap. From the beginning, he has been watching from the sidelines, helping me out from time to time as a sounding board and coach, but has offered to step in to help me with coding that is beyond my skill set.

My rushed schematic hand-off to husband for placing the teleporters and info-cards at designated points of interest

My rushed schematic hand-off to husband for placing the teleporters and info-cards at designated points of interest

In some ways it’s been scary having him involved in my work and be my personal code monkey, but so much fun too. I’ve seen his reservations and doubts slip away, replaced with excitement in ways I never expected. Needless to say, his enthusiasm and genuine interest in this project means the world to me. As does my kids’ interest – below is my 4 year old testing the teleporters after his sister.

With regards to this past week, we didn’t have much time to properly sync or get into any deep discussions about how things should work as our time was so limited and this project actually meant sacrificing visits with many a missed friend. That was hard.

It wasn’t until we were sitting at the airport, with an unexpected THREE hour delay that we actually got to sit down and talk about the future of Moki’s Adventures. 

Sometimes being up in the clouds is just where you belong.

Sometimes being up in the clouds is just where you belong.

From the beginning, I have been planning on developing Moki as a R&D project for Banana Frog. The timing could not have been better, it was the challenge I needed to test myself and see if VR was a remote possibility for me career-wise. 

What I didn’t realize is the journey has taught me so much more than hard skills. It has been undoubtedly a golden chance to re-evaluate my point-of-view on issues I feel strongly about, evaluate the future of VR and how I might contribute harness the two to bring about more of what I love most – simple, yet compelling experiences that help a person grow. 

From the heart and nothing but the heart

As much as my husband and I try to keep up with important causes and charities we believe in, I can’t provide water, food, protection, shelter, schools or actual homes to refugees. I can’t help millions of people overcome the immensely unjust perils of being displaced due to natural, political or religious disasters. I can’t stop the senseless poaching and trafficking of animal parts much less children and women. All the recycling in the world won’t change the footprint and devastating effects mankind has on climate, environment or Life itself...you get the idea.

But maybe, just maybe, I can bring people closer to Hope through Nature, and appreciate life in an entirely new and unexpected way.

Me, capturing the break of dawn on Gotland in 360.

Me, capturing the break of dawn on Gotland in 360.

There is so much to wonder and take pure delight in that which is Nature, in this great big beautiful world of ours. Why not use VR for people to learn from it’s magnificence? Why not fill them in a moment of awe, immersing them in worlds that make them feel closer to something small in a big way? Explore ways we give them the tools to connect to that moment and grow with it, connect to it via other channels, with real people who do make a difference? Lead them to leaders. Inspire them to give back and become a leader themselves?

This journey, the past 12 weeks has awakened a part of me that I have denied for far too long. If there is one lesson here, follow your dreams, follow your heart, for that is the purest truth you will ever find. And the truth will set you (and hopefully others) free.

Wow. Did not plan on this entry being so hallelujah – but transparency is this thing you have to own. If you go opaque sometimes, it diminishes all the times you were crystal clear.

So back to the departure gate – with the Oculus Launch Pad Scholarship submission deadline quickly approaching, my husband and I had to make a decision – just how far are we planning on me developing this concept and demo and what do I expect of Oculus’ involvement? So here’s approximately how the discussion went:

The NOT exercise: 
• I am NOT building a campaign app or short film documentary where a stipend would possibly make sense.
• I am NOT planning on building a startup around an edu-tain-game-what-is-this-category-going-to-be-called-?/experience.
• I am NOT planning on pitching to WWF or Conservationists anytime soon.
• I am NOT planning on seeking grants.
• I am NOT currently planning on taking this to a Medical/VR group who could see if this helps cancer patients (see week 6 with target user group). But would not NOT jump at the offer.

The IS exercise:
• VR for good IS my future growth path.
• As a veteran Experience Designer, VR IS the medium I believe that I have been working towards for 20 years.  
• VR IS forcing me to learn all over again and it feels sooooooo good.
• VR IS an emerging medium which is not fully understood and needs Designers and Creators to jump in and help shape it.
• VR helps us help others tell their story, it IS going to make positive experiences turn into positive changes, and I want to be a part of that. 
• VR IS here, let’s make it elevate us and educate us in ways we never knew was possible!


I want to continue learning VR and how I can shape experiences that inspire, encourage and educate people to want to make a difference. I want to dedicate more time to this idea and explore how this medium can not only reach millions of people, but touch their hearts in the process.

I will submit my concept, currently known as Moki’s Adventure to Oculus – capturing my vision, plan and build for it, but be clear, I don’t have all the answers just yet. What I do know is that it deserves my undivided attention and I have the green light from my husband to see this through until the end of this year.

I would like to evolve it into a Concept piece in the Oculus store, or as a prototype for a Nature Conservancy or Medical Center – perhaps become a full-blown platform for young and old to enjoy. 

What I do know, is that this is not over, so stay tuned for next week’s update!

The latest build Video – complete work in progress!

Goals for this coming week

° Goal 1: finalize content at all points of interest for demo 1.0

° Goal 2: finalize presentation materials for Oculus Scholarship form

° Goal 3: SUBMIT A KICK-ASS DEMO on Saturday.


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