Fall 2005 Final Exam

This final exam is a 'take home' exam. You are expected to work on it completely by yourself. It is due at 10:30am on 12/9/05. By then you should have set up a web page with your solution and emailed the location of that web page to Andy. At that time we will meet in class and you will have 5 minutes to briefly describe your solution to the class. We wont have time for a question/answer period. Any published text-based materials (i.e. books) or web-based materials may be consoluted. This final is designed to have you think about all of the things we have talked about, read about, and worked on in class to solve a problem. The problem is this:

You are approached by the president of the Lotsa Fun Arcade Game Company who wants to use virtual reality as part of a new video arcade concept (that seems suspicously like what Virtuality and BattleTech tried to do in the 90s.) He would like you to make a proposal for how to install a collaborative VR game in this space.

Here virtual reality assumes head and hand tracking, but can be thought of in a general sense including augmented reality, haptics, head mounted displays, projection displays, audio etc.

You get a room that is 15 yards (or meters) by 15 yards (or meters) and a ceiling as high as you want it to be (though you only get one floor).

The overall game concept is that the player will pay for a 20 minute experience where he or she will chose between playing a fighter or magic user in a fantasy adventure environment. The character will be able to join in with other characters interacting at this site or other sites to either collaborate or compete. The time period and location of the fantasy world are up to you, but the characters will be basically running around fighting bad guys / monsters / each other and collecting treasure. Maybe there are some quests but basically the player should get maximum carnage for their money. At minimum the fighter should have some kind of sword that he/she literally swings to hit his/her opponents. At minimum the wizard should have some kind of wand that is moved around to cast spells. The player should be able to pick up better weapons/spells as he/she continues through the game.

The players should be able to talk to each other to either collaborate or taunt each other.

You get to pick the number and combination of displays that would best suit the situation. Obviously they would like to mave as many VR devices as possble in the space to maximize profit. Note that there should be no bias towards or against displays that have been developed here. 

You should talk about the hardware needed to drive these displays and give a rough cost for the whole setup.

You should describe the experience of the users, especially in terms of interaction. Drawings will be useful here.

You should also give a rough idea of the staffing involved in running these games as well as maintaining them behind the scenes.

Your write-up should be well thought out and organized ... in English please, so I don't need to use altavista's babelfish to translate your answer. You get time to do this, so it should not be a stream of consciousness answer. I would suggest thinking about it, making some sketches, writing some notes, then organizing them, do a first draft, let it sit for a day or two, then come back and read it critically looking for holes that you need to fill.

One big question is how long should this be, and thatís a hard one to answer. You are not graded on quantity. You are graded on quality and comprehensiveness but also succinctness. Quality vs Quantity looks like a bell curve in this case. I would think something about the size of a typical research paper would be about right, including images. Organization is very important. Make sure you have labelled sections.

last revision 11/1/14