Mr. Pumpkin's Potionary
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Mr. Pumpkin's Potionary

Patrick Winkelholz
by patrickwinkelholz on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

MPP is a single-player VR game for players of all ages and VR newcomers. It eases people into the rather new technology with simple gameplay mechanics while also introducing them to the potential of VR as an educational or recreational medium.

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In MPP, you are a potion brewing novice who is trying to learn and master the art of mixing magical potions!

Your task is to gather ingredients, prepare them according to the recipe and to deliver as many potion orders as you can before your shift ends. Your daily tasks include boiling strange roots in toxic acids, farming and harvesting exotic herbs and sometimes even slicing up one or two eyeballs of mythical creatures.

Be careful not to hurt your hands while you are chopping wood to fuel the fire under the cauldron and try to keep track of your tools. You will need them!

If you truly want to be the fastest potion brewer out there and have your name on the leaderboard you will have to take advantage of the brewing hut’s interdimensional layout and start tossing your ingredients through the warped gravity field right into the cauldron!

You can download the game here!

(requires a VR headset and SteamVR installed, tested on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro and Valve Index).

Gameplay

Creation Process

The game emerged as the result of a group project at Howest DAE. We created the game over the course of 11 weeks with a team of 5 artists / programmers using the Unity Engine. Even though the project underwent several major changes, we are proud to deliver a finished, fully playable VR experience at the end.

Our initial plan was to create a roomscale multiplayer VR game where up to 8 players are able to play the same game inside of a 10 x 10 meters playspace. We chose the potion brewing theme because we found that most multiplayer VR games feature violent gameplay and are generally aimed at young adults. Most of these games also require the player to react quickly and precisely, which can be problematic for people below or above a certain age. We wanted to create a game that can be played by groups of all ages with no previous VR experience necessary.

The main idea we came up with was to split the play area into 2 smaller segments of 5 x 10 meters where 2 teams of up to 4 players would compete in a mirrored arena to brew the most potions. 

The roomscale concept constrained us to work with a small, even surface for the environment that didn’t allow any height variation. We still wanted to create an interesting play area however, so after some brainstorming we came up with the idea to connect two rooms with a seamless portal that teleports the player to another area with a different center of gravity.

This makes it possible to have two entirely disconnected rooms that seem to have a very unique spatial relationship to one another but can still be navigated by all players from within their confined playspace.

Due to the very limited production time, we were forced to drop the multiplayer aspect quite early into development however. Instead, we reworked the core idea into a single player game model with a high-score leaderboard system. The game is still playable as a 5 x 10 meter roomscale experience with no player teleportation necessary but since most people don’t have such a large playspace available we added locomotion options anyway.

Art and Design

Since the entire game is designed to take place in a rather small room, the artists were able to focus on creating polished assets to decorate the level rather than producing huge environments in large quantities. This allowed for a higher overall asset quality.

For a more detailed breakdown of the art check out Chau’s concepting and assets producing process

Team Honeysponge

Tibau Van den Broeck
Production, Tech Art

Lucas Van Hooste
Programming

Patrick Winkelholz
Programming

Nguyễn Thị Hoài Châu
Art Assets, Concept Art

Noel Chengalath
Art Assets, UI & Particles


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 Collaborators: ngthchau