Mise-en-scene – Development


After creating the basic space I had to populate the environment with representations of the Witch Trials. This is a basic planning sketch on what I want to add, including clutter, a garden and a gallows. This is where environment design comes in to play – I needed to consider what would be a realistic space and what would looks aesthetically pleasing.

Concept Sketches



House modeling

Blender vs. Maya


Modelling: Problem

Although our tutorials were on Blender and I was able to learn the basics, Blender didn’t work out for this project. I knew that I wanted a realistic looking style for the game, but I didn’t have the time or skill to make intricate models and detailed UV textures.

Capture_19 Capture_20

To get this realist look I decided to use Mudbox. I sort of had a basic understanding of it and I would be able to Stamp, Stencil and add small detail textures to my meshes. The problem was I that Mudbox is very ‘picky’ about the meshes it will work with.

Modelling: Solution

 This meant that I had to switch to Maya from Blender because Maya had better tools to prepare the mesh for Mudbox. To prepare the meshes each seam had to be double lined and there could be no errors or holes in the mesh – everything including the UVs had to be completely clean. This did double modelling time but in turn halved the texturing time – which is what I really wanted to focus on.


Texturing: Problem

Through this process at the start I made a big mistake. I added too much detail to the first mesh I was working on, and that costed me hours of work time – and in the end I had to scrap the mesh and start again.

Capture_23 Capture_22

Texturing: Solution

I then had to re-create the houses but with a way more simple mesh so that I could subdivide in Mudbox and paint/sculpt the meshes for personalised details. This worked as the best technique for me as the houses back in the 1690s were square and plain in shape but very weathered and old.

church_new church_normal_v10



  1. Model in Maya with double edges
  2. UV unwrap the models
  3. Stencil, Stamp and Paint on the textures in Mudbox
  4. Sculpt for the Normal Maps in Mudbox
  5. Put them together in Unity 3D material


  • High detail texture maps
  • Normal maps for lighting
  • Half the texturing time
  • Familiarity with the software


  • Twice the modelling time
  • Mudbox needs extremely clean meshes and UVs
  • UV unwrapping in Maya
  • Very low detail models

17th century village tour – Architecture research

http://www.plimoth.org/what-see-do/17th-century-english-village I watched a video from this website about a 17th century village the re-enacts the people, and the environment of what it would be like to love there. Although it was England, many of the customs and housing will apply to my american town. The video picked apart the houses, how they were made, and why. Showing the class differences and weathering techniques.  It was interesting to note that the houses were mostly made by sticks and clay. In my models i’ll keep in mind the layers of clay + stick installation and oak tiled walls.

Here is the video:

Research on Salem 1960


I needed more information about the witch trials so I sought out some books. I found this one to be more helpful than anything I’d come across online – and an interesting read. It had a lot of information about the Salem Witch Trials and painted a good picture about how ridiculous and scary some of the activities there surrounded witches really were. DSC00453

Cotten was a witch hunter back then, and he wrote a book called ‘The Invisible World’ about the witch hunt proceedings in Salem and parts around it. I found the original 1960s writings on a university website. I tried my best to read them, and probably got a few chapters in (although I’m not sure how much I really understood.) From what I read he didn’t seem to be of much help – and talked about the devil more than solid proof.DSC00454Salem was a good village for me to choose mostly because of the information available about it, it’s not extremely well documented, but there was enough to go off to paint a good picture of the place. It was a highly religious puritan village with around 600 people. Over a hundred died because of witch accusations, which was a large portion of their community. Most of the accusations were of members of the community saying that they had been attacked by a ‘Specter’ which to them was a spirit possessed by the devil in the shape of a witch.
DSC00456 In the case of Rebecca Nurse, I suspect like most others she wasn’t very well liked – and an easy target for the community to accuse her. The accused would often before and after court be thrown into a barn and chained up with the others until they either were publically killed or set free. Often they were set free if they named other witches – the hardest part would have been admitting to witchcraft in the small chance they’ll let you live for information. This is the sort of dark and corrupted atmosphere I want to set my environment. DSC00458 As soon as I read this I was excited to create a graveyard. I also wanted to add the date on the tombstones, as the players enter that area it can be a clue as to where they are. DSC00459 DSC00460

Hanging was a large part of the Salem Witch trails. Most of the executions were hangings. I want to add a noose into the scene – but the physics and modeling of it might be out of my skill range. Although I will think of something. The idea behind this environment is to show how deadly this place was. I feel like it wouldn’t work without their weapon of choice. DSC00462 It was interesting to look into other countries as well, and see how it worked in other parts of the world. Some of these instruments would have been great to put in my scene if only I didn’t keep it local. DSC00464 DSC00465 DSC00466 DSC00448

Designing for Virtual Reality – Case Study

Sleepy Hollow – Secret Location ProjectSleepyHollow1 SleepyHollow4 SleepyHollow6


The Sleepy Hollow VR Experience is an installment advertisement for a FOX TV show at San Diego Comic-Con. The experience transports players to Sleepy Hollow, using a mix of 3D design and live action. The project won the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media category for User Experience and Visual Design.

The experience collaborates with the shows creators to create the desired aesthetic. The design combines Virtual Reality with live action footage of the shows stars. From what I saw of the ‘making of’ footage the experience was created in Unity 3D and Maya – but I may be wrong.

Designing for Virtual Reality

Designing to Minimize Simulation Sickness in VR Games:

Porting Games to Virtual Reality:

An awesome game dev friend linked me these talks on Virtual Reality, Although i’m still getting through the Designing to Minimize Simulation Sickness, I can talk about Porting Games into Virtual Reality.

What I got mostly from the talk is that just chucking any old game into Virtual Reality is not going to cut it. Games need to be designed and molded by the Virtual Reality experience. But how? that’s what I need to find out. Designing to minimize motion sickness is the first matter of business, keeping in mind the talk which said that the most natural movement as possible will decrease the amount of motion sickness. Then after that i’m not too sure, I need to find more articles on Designing for Virtual Reality.

I can answer the why though. Because the player can look 360 degrees around the environment. The movement and atmosphere needs to be realistically moving in a way that’s comfortable for the player. The idea is to immerse the player, so the experience can’t feel fake or uncomfortable.