THE MAGIC FOREST
INTERACTION DESIGN / VIRTUAL REALITY DEVELOPMENT
The Magic Forest is a proof of concept for voice interaction in Virtual Reality gaming.
Aakruti Lunia and Bhavya Mulukuri.
The Magic Forest is an exploration of voice interaction and how it can reinforce presence in Virtual Reality. In the game, the user is trapped in a forest and in order to escape, they need to help an omnipotent magical voice find three missing items. To find these items, the user solves three riddles and completes three tasks. They find clues and solve riddles by talking to the magical voice. This game is powered by Unity and the IBM Watson API.
As an experience designer and lead VR developer, I was responsible for building the narrative structure of the game and programming interactions. I developed the voice interaction by integrating an IBM Watson SDK into Unity's XR Interaction Toolkit.
IMPACT / REFLECTION
This project was a great learning experience. I had no prior experience in video games and only beginner C# programming skills, so I had to push myself technically to complete the project. I wish we were able to do more with narrative and world building, but it did take a lot of work just to get the voice interaction functional. However, the design and development process taught me a lot about establishing presence. Voice interaction is immersive by nature, but it needs to be reinforced with physical interaction to truly have impact on the user.
Poor Speech to Text recognition (e.g., “two” recognized as “to”)
Repeating voice commands (e.g., could not use “yes” more than once)
Address speech to text errors and improve voice recognition
Explore other IBM services like sentiment analysis to generate more sophisticated interactions
Develop accessibility features like captions