Jasmin Plouffe

 
 

How to duplicate the same real life experience online?

 

Physical escape room games began appearing in the early 2000’s starting in Asia and then spreading West. Many say that scavenger hunts and haunted houses at attraction parks were their precursor which have then evolved to be more immersive, live-action, puzzle based games played within a staged venue.

Transcendence Media LLC is a digital and creative media studio based in NYC that specializes in 3D spatial reality capture and showcasing. Using Matterport, the world’s leading cloud platform for 3D virtual tours, Transcendence Media LLC produces 3D walkthroughs, primarily for commercial and residential spaces, that viewers can visit and navigate on any smart device.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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CLIENT: 

Transcendence Media LLC

 

Roles:

Researcher: Hoiyan, Mark and Melanie

Stitcher/Prototyper: Jasmin and Leah

Dev: Chris

Asset Maker: Chris, Hoiyan, Jasmin, Leah, Mark and Melanie

Presenter: Chris


Time Constraint:

8 hours to complete


Deliverables:

Presentation in Google Slides

Prototype for Demo

Scoping for Implementation from Dev


 

Challenge:

Simulate an immersive, revenue engaging, virtual “Escape Room” gaming experience using Matterport 3D technology that targets users that are fans of escape rooms but cannot travel to them.


Results:

For an online game to be successful, there has to be a sense of community, have compelling storytelling and have challenging puzzles that are interesting and fun.


MY SPECIFIC Role:

I tested the original prototype and researched other similar concepts. For our prototype, I designed the 3 note piano mini game/puzzle which was essential to show how we could incorporate a mini game/puzzle using the existing software.

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How might we create an immersive, virtual gaming experience for puzzle lovers and escape room enthusiasts?


 
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The Process

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We had to understand what made escape rooms so successful. Because of the time constraint, half of the team conducted secondary research and found escape room surveys, reddit discussions and various articles talking about the ins and outs of escape rooms and their appeal. Simultaneously, the other half tested the current prototype amongst ourselves. It was quite lackluster to say the least: The puzzle questions were unnoticeable. The game itself was not very inviting. We were not eager to play. Midst the user research and user testing, a lightbulb went off. We realized we needed to focus on the medium itself. Since we are not building a physical space, what can we offer in a virtual space?

 
 
 

What was the motivation for a user to play a game? There had to be a sense of community, engagement and competitive incentive.


 
 
 
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The MVP Features

We considered our product to be like a prime time tv show that users could log in once a week to play. Anticipation and excitement would build if you were so close to escaping the room before the clock ran out the week before and you just missed seeing your name on the leadership board and winning a few bucks. There would be one commercial break to stretch your legs, run to the bathroom, etc.

 
 

MVP:

.99 cent buy in

1 hour preparation time beforehand

Leaderboard with top 3 payouts

30 minute game play

 

Back log:

Improve the mobile/responsiveness of the site

Multiplayer

Live immersive features (Progress bar, bonus points, live chat, pay for hints)


opportunities to monetize:

 

.99 cent to play; house retains a percentage

Commercial break

Product placement

Customized, branded game experiences

  • Great way for team bonding for remote employees. Can customize to be in their office.

 
 
 

The Conclusion

Our First Attempt To Address The Challenge:

My team got held up thinking about the actual VR experience. If it was multiplayer, would we have the same perspective or would we be able to see the other player. But after some time brainstorming, we focused in on our actual problem getting users to play with our product.


The Major Challenge:

I think my team off railed at times due to the anxiety of an 8 hour time constraint. Tasks would be delegated and team members would start but never finish the task at hand because they were too excited/eager to help on another task. Eventually, we all got focused and completed all the deliverables with 15 mins to spare.


I Realized I Didn’t Understand:

How many different solutions could be created to solve the same one challenge. This was my first hackathon with 4 teams and I was impressed with how each team's solution was completely different. The winning team designed a solution that made a social impact which I hope Transcendence Media LLC will actual consider because they have a great idea on their hands.