Don't Throw Me Away was inspired by doing a bit of research into unsustainable manufacturing processes for toys. With climate change being an ever-growing issue for our generation, people are constantly looking for ways to make a positive change. While many may turn their attention to plastic bottles and straws, they ought to take a closer look at toy consumption. Toys are often made of a combination of materials that can't be easily separated, which means they are not easily recycled. Furthermore, toys have a considerably shorter lifespan as they are purchased, played with for a few weeks, and replaced with the next toy a child gets for a birthday or special occasion. This doesn't mean toys are bad and that we should stop making them, but rather that we should consider other options to lessen it's likelihood of ending up in a landfill.
We created this game as a way to encourage people to think about donations before throwing things in the trash. If they don't, they'll face some scary consequences!
What it does
Our game is a two-player game in which one person is able to navigate a space in VR while the other controls a character via the computer. The character in VR is a person who threw a teddy bear in the trash, the character on the computer is the teddy bear seeking revenge! Either the VR player finds a key to escape this nightmare, or the teddy bear captures them.
How we built it
We built this game in Unity using a combination of free, found models and custom-made models in Maya 3D editing software. We also wrote scripts for game interactions in C#.
Challenges we ran into
One of the major roadblocks we ran into was actually deleting our entire project five hours before the YHack deadline. How does one do this you might ask? Well, everything was assembled on a single project file that had not been backed up, and this project file was accidentally overwritten. Luckily, since we split the tasks equally among team members and uploaded them to a Google Drive folder, we had all the bits and pieces. That doesn't mean it wasn't a pain to put back together! Overall it was a very good lesson is standard practice for version control and backing up files.
Also we have never created something were two people's actions and points of view had to be taken account, and things got a little dicey especially since only one player was in VR and the other wasn't.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of actually producing a functional, interesting, and fun game in an insanely small timeframe. Additionally, picking up the pieces after our project fell apart at 3AM was the most intense and rewarding team-bonding experience ever!
What we learned
- How to render different displays for VR/Computer games
- Body Presence in VR
- The importance of backing up files!
What's next for Don't Throw Me Away
Ultimately we have created something that we are really proud of, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. Ideally we'd revisit this game after we get some sleep and are able to work on a less stressful timeline. We'd like to polish the environment setting, making it more cohesive, engaging, and creepy. We'd also like to refine some the gameplay mechanics for a more seamless user experience. The world definitely has not seen the last of Don't Throw Me Away!
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