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[2016.09.01 ~ 2016.12.31] I WORKED AS a Head TA of the Building Virtual World class in Carnegie Mellon University

BVW

CMU ETC BVW Head Teaching Assistant

  • I worked as Co-Head teaching assistant of Building Virtual World class which has traditionally run by teaching assistants; help students to develop a game every 2 weeks with different team and platform
  • Managed 79 students and 12 teaching assistants’ schedule, conflict, and pipeline of 9 different platforms including Oculus, Kinect and HTC Vive
  • The class presented 13 AWESOME interactive experience using virtual/augmented reality technologies
  • Also, I made a theme song for ETC program depends on my experience as a Head TA You can check it below ↓↓↓

[2016.09.01 ~ 2016.12.31] I WORKED AS a PRODUCER OF THE 16 WEEK RESEARCH PROJECT FOR VERIZON

Overview

  • I worked as a producer and game designer of 16-week research project that developed Superfieldplay: augmented reality mobile game app for football fan in the stadium
  • Players can estimate the offense team’s next move and get point that they can buy real snacks. Also, if they can multiply their point by playing augmented reality mini-game that happens in half time break
  • The project team submitted the prototype(proof of concept), summary of finding and brief audience analysis to Verizon

 

 

[2017.01.23 ~ 2017.05.26] WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING INTERNSHIP: Led Several R&D Phase Project using VR/AR/MR and Smart Stadium Technologies

Overview

  • I worked as a production specialist intern at Walt Disney Imagineering

  • I led a few ideation phase Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality project and Smart City projects

  • My main tasks were experience design, brainstorming, scheduling internal/external meetings, communicating production process with the team, and supporting executive producer’s internal presentation.

  • Details about most of the projects are being protected by NDA

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[2015.11.03 ~ 2015.11.24]ROUND 5 POSTMORTEM

Introduction

Round 5 was a festival sound. The objective of round 5 was making an interactive world for the festival in 3 weeks. Our team made multi-player PS Move color puzzle game that player can rotate, scale, and change color of the shape.

What went right?

1.Intuitive game mechanic

We choose the simple intuitive game mechanic rotating and positioning shape’s color and size which is familiar to most of the age group. So, lots of guests naturally grab our world and have fun. Also, it immediately gave guests a feeling of being smart and the moment they communicate and cooperate with each other was powerful enough to make the players engage into the world.

2.Polished artwork & sound

Even though we used just a simple shapes and colors, we wanted to deliver the amazing moments to the guests. We put lots of time and efforts to the shader and particle effects that makes our shape looked more beautiful.  Also, we gradually added the sound layer according to the guests’ progress. It worked really well and helped the guest to emotionally engaged to the game more.

3.Embraced the constraint

Festival automatically gives us lots constraints. We had to make a game concept that works for most of the age group. Moreover, we had to find the concept that is not offensive to most of the people. However, the constraint gave us a more clear goal to proceed. We could filter our idea and easily be on the same page. It helped us to focus more on detail.

What went wrong?

1.Exhaustion

It was the last round for us, and everybody was exhausted. We all need rest, however, there was no time to rest. So we lost almost a week because everybody couldn’t invest our full potential to development.

2.Big direction change

From Round 3, I have learned simple concept works well, but for this round, I forced the weird & complicated story game idea to team. After we got feedback from the faculty, I also agreed this was so complicated so we changed it all. Fortunately, the new concept worked, but because of my stubbornness, we lost a week for the development.

Conclusion

I learned “Simple is the best”. Also, I figured out people appreciate the game with lots of details. Feeling of being smart in the game was powerful enough to make people to be emotionally engaged with the game.

The most valuable experience for this round was we had a chance to actually interact with the guest at the BVW festival. Watching people having fun with our game and sharing their excitement reminds me why I decided to be in the entertainment industry.

Overall, through the whole Building virtual world class, I changed a lot. First, I learn how to be assertive and confident, and Second, I learn how to respect and trust my teammates. Now I’m less afraid to say sorry when I did something wrong. I’m less hesitant to say “Yes and…” to my programmer, artist, and game designer. Now I have a gut to say I’m a producer.

 

[2015.10.13 ~ 2015.11.04]ROUND 4 POSTMORTEM

 

Introduction

Round 4 was a story sound. The objective of round 4 was making an interactive story game in 3 weeks. Our team made virtual reality guitar hero controller action game with the story that a hero saving the dystopian world with the power of music.

What went right?

1.Simple Story

In the pre-production phase, our team made tons of stories that explains everything. However, we consult our story with the narrative expert Chris Klug and he recommends us to make the story as simple as possible and we figured out it was much more helpful to deliver the story to the people who plays our game. It’s because the interactive story is about being someone else and experience something, not listening and watching something. We found that different syntax has to be used for the interactive story.

We tried to keep the story as simple as possible and it helped players to immersed to our experience.

2.Strong capacity team

All of the teammates had a really strong capacity. Artists had awesome 3d modeling and UI development skill. Programmers had amazing programming skills. Sound designer(myself) made an incredible song for the game. Everybody did their job and it helped us making the awesome game experience in two weeks.

3.Unique but intuitive VR Controller

We believed not many VR develop tried using guitar hero controller for the VR application. We mixed our story and controller really well, and it made our game intuitive and novel at the same time.

What went wrong?

1.Dictating leadership 

I was kind of dictator of the team. I kept saying “No” to my teammates even though I said it in a polite way and it demoralized some of my teammates. I even headbutted with one of the programmers because I believed quality is more important than the what teammates thought at that point. However, I learned the dictatorship can be effective only in the pre-production phase because nobody was listening to the producer who lost their teammates’ trust.

I  apologized to all my misbehavior to my teammates and confessed my sin. The apology had accepted, and then I could manage the team.

2.Personal incident

Some teammates struggled with the personal incident and that affects our productivity at the last development phase, but it didn’t affect the quality of the game that much. After I experienced this problem, I started to consider personal schedule when I estimate the schedule.

3.No game designer

There was no initiative game designer in the team. I tried hard pitching lots of game design idea to the team, but every game mechanic has to be discussed, so we spend much time deciding game mechanics rather than spend time on actual development. We should’ve chosen one teammate as designated game designer and distribute the work to the person.

Conclusion

We made an amazing story game with a novel controller,(and with awesome music). I learned the project can be failed if someone tries to dictate the team, even all of the teammates have an unbelievable capacity. Now I believe team dynamics is a very important factor of success of the project. I’m not the smartest one in the world. I have to always respect all the teammates and that makes all the teammates engage to the project.

Team members: Joshua Hanjoon Kim(Producer/Sound designer), Yang Zhou(Programmer), Sarvesh Subramanian(Programmer), Carrie Yang(Artist/UI/UX designer), YiHeung Zhu(Artist/3D modeler) 

[2016.01.11 ~ 2016.05.06] EA Project: Delivered Smart TV / Mobile Game App in 16 weeks

Overview

  • Worked as a Producer and sound designer of a 16-week deliverable project that develops a local multi-player snowball-fight-themed family game on EA’s connected TV Platform

  • Player can connect their smartphone to TV and use it as a game controller

  • Player can enjoy 2 Game modes(Free for all, King of the Hill) and face manipulation

 

As a producer, I

Organized brainstorming

  • participated, organized the brainstorms and documented all the process

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Maintained scheduling

  • Arranged daily meeting, weekly schedule, and high-level phase of production

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Organized Scrum

  • Lead the scrum and sprint meeting(Prioritized and delegated multiple tasks)

  • Maintained 1~2 week sprint cycle

 

Wrote the weekly development newsletter

  • Wrote daily development diary and shared with teammates every weekweek12_newletter_1week12_newletter_2

 

Managed Playtest

  • Conducted and organized 5 playtests

  • Assisted writing playtest questionnaire

 

Managed team organization & dynamics

  • Used RACI chart to arrange teammates’ responsibility

  • Used 1 on 1, hold a various team building experiences, and follow the rule of  “Yes and…”

  • Always support, love, respect and trust teammates that they can fully engage in the project

 

[2015.10.6 ~ 2015.10.13]Round 3 Postmortem

Introduction

Round 3 was a lightning round. The objective of Round 3 was making a game in a week.  There was no limitation for the theme or platform but we had to struggle with the tight production schedule.

The name of the game we developed is “Milky Way”. Milky Way is the two-player vertical racing game using unique cow udder controller made of Makey-Makey. We made the fake cow udder with the rubber gloves and attached to the Makey-Makey.

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Milky Way’s main screen and our cow udder controller

What went right

1. Hardware and Tactile Feedback

We wanted to give player tactile feedback, so we made the cow udder controller with a Makey-Makey. The tactile feedback delivered the unique feeling of control and humor to the player, and Cow-like controller optimized the hilarious concept effectively. The hardware and unique controlling method made our game special.

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2. We keep our game simple and silly

We knew our production process will be tight, so we designed our game very simple instead of making a fun & complicated game mechanic. This decision enabled us to focus more on polish and it helped to increase the quality of our game.

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3. Fast envisioning

Our team agrees with the silly & weird concept quickly. We believed that the weird concept can enrich the user experience with a minimum development process. Vision sharing made us put our theme elements naturally into our music, art assets, and game mechanics.

What went wrong

1. Poor hardware durability

Although the hardware was our strength, our controller broke too easily. Our game was designed to encourage players intense pulling movement, and it caused trouble to our hardware. Moreover, our fake cow udder was made of rubber gloves, so if the player squeezed too harsh, it blows off sometimes.

2. No playtest

We only had a week to develop the game, so we are unable to playtest the game. It resulted in some frustrating moments to the players. Actually, I tried to fix the problem, but I fail to convince the programmer and game designer and it caused the exact consequence that I expected. I think if we had a chance to get playtest or outer feedback, the core gameplay problem might be fixed.

3. Balancing problem

Our game was a two-player game, so if the one player falls back too much, the player was unable to follow up a winning player. We wanted to put items that can balance two players and enrich the experience, but because of limited time amount we had to cut out this feature.

Conclusion

Making unique controller was a very exciting thing and it also makes our game very special, however, it was really hard to make a stable controller that can be played recursively. The Game itself was simple and intuitive enough to play but there was game design problems and balancing problem. Anyway, our team was satisfied with the game. We didn’t get it but, we submitted our game to GDC’s unconventional controller game exhibition.

Team members: Joshua Hanjoon Kim (Producer/Sound designer), Ankit Pate(Programmer/Game designer), Xuelai Zhang(Artist), Byunghwan Lee(Technical Artist)