is an Interactive Designer and Multimedia Artist from Seattle, WA. He explores the boundries of generative art, technology, and immersive experiences. He has a Bachelors of Arts in Interactive Media Design from the University of Washington.
You have been hired by the company Starpoint Cosmonautics to investigate a mysterious catastrophe. A small research spaceship called the SS Fortuna has crash landed on Earth, mysteriously empty of its crew. The only remaining crew member is the ship’s AI. Its core is badly broken, missing several parts and most of its memory, but it’s still on and it very much wants to know what happened to its crew – so much so, that it’s not going to let you leave until it finds out!
The only things at your disposal are the items left on the ship’s bridge and the AI’s scrambled memory banks. Can you work together to figure out what happened on this disastrous voyage?
Simon Topo Vincini – Programming, Light and Sound Engineer
Anna Arkhipova – Narrative, UI Design, Gamemaster
Julia Peng – Art, Narrative, User Research
Murray Behar – Set Design, 3D Modeling, User Research
Nik Doces – Set Design, Graphic Design
The Fate of The SS Fortuna is a Sci-Fi, narrative based, murder mystery escape room for two players, created by myself, and four other teammates for our Capstone project in the University of Washington's Interactive Media Design program. The room itself was hosted for one week at local Virtual Reality tech start up, PlutoVR in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.
This project took around 22 weeks from conception, to exhibition, with the first 10 weeks consisting of primarily research and proof of concepts and the latter 10 weeks being frantic production and set up of the actual installation. I was in charge of anything to do with electronics/circuitry, programming, lights, and sound. For my side of the project, I worked primarily in TouchDesigner, Unity, Ableton Live, TouchOSC, and the Arduino IDE.
In Unity I was able to create the entire rear projected "Ship Operating System" where players would click through the app, find clues, solve puzzles, and interface with the primary question/evidence/answer interface.
This was my very first Unity project so I had to learn how to build in this app and network between TouchDesigner and TouchOSC with all of the puzzle logic and graphical composisiton in >10 weeks. I relied heavily on the Bolt Visual Scripting system inside of Unity to program all of the logic of the application which you can see some of in the photo gallery to the left.
We initally relied on Unity Asset store assets but slowly over time replaced them with assets of our own creation, with the exception of the audio. When it all came together though (after working out some intial kinks and bugs during playtesting) we achieved a very polished and 100% functional application.
The rear projection was achieved via a ceiling mounted projector and frosted shower curtain.
In TouchDesigner I created the network responsible for displaying the live Speech to Text dialogue/hint system, the audio reactive Ship AI graphic, and networking/logic system to communicate events from the Arudinos to Unity/TD to TouchOSC, and back again.
The Speech to Text system in this case was crucial to aid our accessibility features of the room, particulary because we decided to vocode the voice of LENS/Game Master for immersions sake. By having the transcribed text on screen, we gave the players the ability to reread a hint, or double check what they heard was correct. This was achieved via OpenAI's amazing AI assisted Speech to Text API, Whisper.
The other primary purpose of TouchDesigner was to filter and trigger events recieved from the Arduinos and from Unity/TouchOSC. This was accomplished by a ton of parsing of DATs and lots of OSC networking between the three applications. In TouchOSC, I created a master game controller application that allowed our GameMaster to monitor room events, and toggle overrides if need be.
There is really too much to discuss about our process of researching, designing and building this whole project so for my portfolio I will keep it limited to just the things I personally created for this project, but we all had our fingers in just about every other step of this process.
If you're still curious, I'm linking below a couple different resources and folders of our brainstorms and game flows/research for a better idea about how we went about it.
Our Google Drive