Master in Entertainment Technologies

Entertainment Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Building Virtual Words

Building Virtual Worlds (BVW) challenges students to work quickly, creatively and collaboratively. Part of the immersion semester, BVW gives small teams of students 1-3 weeks to create a virtual world, with new groups and goals for each round. It is a very intensive course, in which the students from very different backgounds have to learn new technologies and how to integrate each others work and ideas. At the end of each cycle the world is shown to the class and publicly critized. At the end of the semester there is a public festival with hundreds of spectators in which the students showcase a world.

BLUR

  • Time: 3 Weeks
  • Objective: Create a story that moves forward through player interactions
  • Technology: Head mounted display combined with position trackers on head and hands. Programmed in Python using Panda3D library

Rytm Splatter

  • Time: 1 Weeks
  • Objective: Easy activity that could be displayed as an interactive installation at a general public event
  • Technology: Playmotion to capture a light point. Programmed in Python using Panda3D library.

Birth Control

  • Time: 1 Weeks
  • Objective: A naive player with no explanation should be able to understand the game objective
  • Technology:“Surface floor” an ETC student creation that is a 1x3 meters touch screen where the player can stand. Programmed in Python using Panda3D library

Festival World: Gladiator

  • Time: 3 Weeks
  • Objective: Created a full immersive experience.
  • Technology: 3 screen half cube, equipped with DMX lights and a platform that can be moved using four airbags.Inputs wiimote and microphone. Programmed in Python using Panda3D library

Semester Projects

Project Augur Fall 2011

Project Augur is an ETC project for Fall 2011 sponsored by Lockheed Martin. The team was formed on three programmers, two artists and a producer. The goal was to build artificial intelligence that can predict players behavior.

We did three prototypes aplaying the same process:

  1. Design the game and the data that is going to be collected.
  2. Use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Servive to collect data.
  3. Analyze the data, searching for patterns.
  4. Build predicitve code applicable to each prototype.

I worked programming the investoids game using Unity3D (C#).The objective of the game is to obtain as many coins as possible.It lasts 120 seconds. After 60 and 90 seconds the AI predicts the final outcome, based on the players actions and the previous data collection: on a base of 1075 collected games via mechanical turk, I used the Data Analysis Add-in from Microsoft Excel to calculate a linear regression on 16 attributes derived from the data capture. The final version had a standard error close to 0.73, which gave a prediction accuracy of +- 20 coins on average.

Learn more about this project.

Project Sci-Fri Spring 2012

Founded by DARPA, this project is part of the DARPA Engage initiative whose intent is to inspire young minds to pursue science and engineering as a career. ETC works together with the Carnegie Mellon Human Computer Interaction Institute. HCII’s role is to meassure the ETC's games and dictaminate if children are trully learning. Our role is to make fun, engaging and appropiate games for our audience.

RUMBLEBLOCKS
In the game “Rumble blocks” children learn how to build stabile structures. I added tower removal levels for testing and more detail in data capture to meassure the game. Playable version

BEANSTALK
In the game "Beanstalk" children have to correctly balance a plank by adding weight. The game progresses following Robert Siegler´s studies on how children undertand balance, in the first levels matching both sides of the plank is a valid strategy but as the game progresses balancing the plank involves a deeper undertanding of the relation between weight and distance to the balance point. Playable version

Both games have been implemented in Unity3D/C# and have builds for Android tables, Browser, PC and Mac.

Learn more about this project.

Project West-Turn Fall 2012

Sponsored by SmileGate project Wes-Turn aims to create a highly fun and engaging multiplayer experience using and iPad as a common screen and iPhones/iPodTouch as periferics. The game is designed to be played locally, the connection between the devices is via Bluetooth. The players interact with their handheld devices, the control of the games are touches on the screen and acceleration on the handheld device.

It is a wacky car racing game designed to encourage player verbal communication in a cooperative-competitive scenario, where the game requires from the players to pair up and syncronize their touches in order to gain speed advantage, but allows only a winner at the end. The aesthetic of the game is cartoony, seeking a blend between futuristic and western.

The game is being implement using Unity3D/ C#.

Learn more about this project.