Dustin Stephan

Dustin Stephan

Virtual Reality [VR]

Samurai Siege

Role: Designer, Production, & Writer
Team Size: 5 (Yujin Ariza, Jacob Wilson, Cheung Tai Ching, Kangyan Li)
Duration: 2 weeks
Platform: HTC Vive [VR]

Start of Experience

Samurai Siege was a Virtual Reality [VR] experience implemented on the HTC Vive platform. It was conceived and built over a two-week rapid prototype and iteration process by a team of 4 for Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center's Building Virtual Worlds course.

Samurai Notes

I served the team as a designer and added production support to the project, helping facilitate playtest research that we used to inform the final activation.

The experience was aided with a physical rocking horse prop that is part of the collection at the Entertainment Technology Center. Naive guests are placed on the horse and given a shield with no further direction. They enter the virtual environment and use the shield to block arrows hurled at them.

Samurai Top View & Layout

In addition to the previously mentioned expertise; I contributed to the mechanics of the experience, overall level design, and recorded & composed all of the audio to develop a truly immersive experience.
The tempo of the audio increases as guests progress through the castle to heighten the excitement.

The Gallery

Role: Producer & Designer
Team Size: 5 (Ruili Tang, Mohan Bai, Qianye 'Renee' Mei, Xuejun Wang)
Duration: 2 weeks
Platform: HTC Vive [VR] / [MR]

The Gallery Title

The Gallery was a Virtual Reality experience built for the HTC Vive platform. It was a location-based experience with the virtual space mapped 1:1 with a physical themed room.

As Creative Director, Producer, & Designer; I led the overall vision for the Virtual Reality experience. Part of the Building Virtual Worlds coursework at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, the experience was designed and built in a two-week rapid prototype and iteration process.

The Original VR Gallery

I envisioned an experience in a digital environment where guests could interact with and walk into famous works of art. With my background in performance art, I wanted an experience where guests could have agency to traverse and locomote throughout the environment to "fix" paintings and interact with the artwork.

In the final activation, guests would enter the room themed to a museum gallery. Two paintings were prominently displayed: Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli and Mae West's Face which May be Used as a Surrealist Apartment by Salvador Dali.

The Gallery Festival SetupThe Gallery VR Setup

Guests would put on the HTC Vive Headset and be transported to a virtual environment matching the physical one they are standing in. The lights flicker and the paintings are now awry. Guests can transport into the works of art and through a series of interactions are able to "fix" the paintings as they come alive in 3D.

The Gallery Festival Player

The experience was very well received and showcased at the Entertainment Technology Center's Festival. I ran the production for the experience, making sure the environments matched by facilitating work between the artists, programmers, and ETC building staff. Additionally, I built props and was responsible for the audio in the activation.

The project also received press, which can be found here; And on my Press page.
VIDEO LINK (original build with audio)
VIDEO LINK (BVW Festival Composite video / no audio)