Wall Mounted Level is a cooperative mixed-reality game that leverages multimodal interactions to support its narrative of ‘reconciliation’. In it, players control their digitally projected characters and navigate them across a hand-drawn physical sculpture as they collaborate towards a shared goal: finding one another. The digital and physical characteristics of the game are further reflected in the ways in which players interact with it, by making use of digital input devices and physical ‘touch’. !e abstract and poster discuss the design choices that were made for creating the varying modes of engagement and the motivation behind player collaboration in Wall Mounted Level.
The game begins with a cut scene of the two players-characters coming onto the screen and having an argument with one another. Shortly after, it resolves to the next day where the players take control of the characters and reunite them under the guidance of supporting audio and visual cues. The fractured landscape doubles as a metaphor for the characters’ internal struggle as they navigate it trying to reach one another. Space is composed of interiors and exteriors that reveal and conceal not only the characters but also obstacles that are meant to be avoided. These obstacles are the remains of the argument that took place ‘the day before and need to be navigated around. More so, they also reveal in some cases the path that players must take, and should be considered carefully as they make progress. In “wall Mounted Level’, knowing the position of the other player (your goal) is just as important as knowing where your own character is. We decided to connect the characters visually with a digital ‘string’ that also turns red when either one of them touches an obstacle. !is visual language parallels the coordination of the players themselves who are also connected to one another.
The game environment is a hand-drawn cityscape that was laser-cut and assembled into a paper relief sculpture. Serving as a metaphor for the characters’ internal struggles, we decided to further fragment the sculpture and create a deeper relief out of it. Other materials that we considered for the construction of ‘Wall Mounted Level’ included cardboard, chipboard, wood, and acrylic plexiglass, but ultimately, we favored the inherent quality of paper as a tangible, vulnerable, interactive medium. These qualities also resonated with the characters’ fragile relationships while inspiring interaction between the players. The flatness of the paper, however, too closely resembled the 2D screen space of monitors and flatscreens. Wanting to leverage the physical quality of the material, we were compelled to abstract the level into 3D space which resulted in the creation of a relief sculpture. Using a laser cutter, we separated the level into six distinct chunks that we cut and reassembled into a wooden frame to be hung on a wall.
All of the digital elements are projected onto ‘Wall Mounted Level’ using projection mapping and other compositing techniques. As characters move through interior spaces, we mask them by projecting black pixels onto a sorting layer in front of them. At the same time, windows and doors light up in a sorting layer behind them to indicate which building they are currently located in. This helps the players keep track of their own location as they move throughout the level. Roaming NPC’s and enemy AI (the remnants of the argument that took place ‘the day before’) also helps to describe the overall flow of the level. As enemy AI patrol the level and attempt to thwart player progress, ‘good memories’ (the blue orbs) are scattered throughout the level which can be picked up, listened to, and used to revive the characters’ health. Tethering characters to one another also reinforces our narrative of connectedness while prompting deeper cooperation and collaboration bewtween the players themselves.
Papers in proceedings:
Posters and Demos:
Voice Acting and Improvisation
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