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Development Log

GOLD: 11/27/23 - 12/6/23

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Summary

For this milestone, we focused on cleaning up our project with a few changes and bug fixes based on user feedback, such as changing the control scheme. We also added the virus attack event, which adds some more excitement to DNA VR by introducing a secondary task.

Highlights

  • Created a leaderboard system to encourage students to work as quickly as possible

  • Added in a virus attack event

    • After making some progress, a virus may spawn and inject some toxins​

    • Toxins slow down the player's progress by inhibiting the spawn rate of nucleotides

    • Players must use lysosomes to clean up the toxins

  • Remapped controls to be more intuitive​

  • Modified ribosome hitboxes to make attaching RNA easier

  • Prevented player from leaving the cell

ALPHA: 11/15/23 - 11/22/23

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Summary

For this milestone, we acted on some important feedback we collected from playtesting sessions, stakeholder meetings, and reaction videos. In particular, we implemented some new (and refined some old) systems. We created a more guided tutorial system, a starting level (which we can expand in the future to add things like a leaderboard and a mechanics tutorial), began building out a points/currency system, virus attack functionality, and an inventory of collected nucleotides.

Highlights

  • Created a starting level where players will spawn and can start the game. In the future, we will add a leaderboard and possibly a tutorial level to learn the movement and interaction mechanics.

  • Revamped the tutorial system to be much more guided and clear: users will automatically receive their next objective right on their wrist based on their progress.

    • Each instruction is in the form of a small card with nice images and a much smaller amount of text.​

  • Added an affordance/linetrace system. Users can select different organelles and nucleotide baes to learn more about their functions.​

  • Added a points and currency system for successfully making proteins (i.e. completing the DNA transcription/translation process). 

  • General bug fixes, graphics improvements, and performance improvements.

MILESTONE 2: 11/8/23 - 11/15/23

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Summary

This week, we built out some of the important core features that were missing from Milestone 1. Notably, we improved the look of the cell environment to make it more convincing and realistic, implemented some game mechanics like 3D movement, and began adding functionality for things like snapping nucleotide bases to DNA strands to form mRNA.

Highlights

  • Improved cell environment with materials, lighting, and a spherical cell body supporting collisions​

  • Implemented 3D movement so the user can move freely around the cell

  • Added logic for snapping nucleotide bases when touching the correct spot on the DNA strand

  • Once all nucleotide bases have been attached to the DNA, the mRNA strand detaches 

  • tRNA now spawns with the correct codons for the amino acid

  • Both mRNA and tRNA can snap to the ribosome so protein synthesis can occur

  • Protein is dynamically constructed based off of the mRNA brought to the ribosome

  • Began adding a tutorial menu so players can learn how to play the game

MILESTONE 1: 11/1/23 - 11/8/23

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Summary

This week, we decided to focus our efforts on our first product: an educational game to teach students about the DNA translation and transcription process. We created an initial design document and began building out some of the essential parts we would need for a functioning game and more complex logic down the road.

Highlights

  • Created a basic cell environment (initially shaped like a box) with various organelles​​

    • Nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, gogi apparatus, mitochondria, etc​

  • Created grabbable nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine, uracil)

  • Created tRNA molecules which spawn with different amino acids

  • Started randomly spawning nucleotide bases near the nucleus

  • Implemented logic to spawn random strands of DNA

Blocked out cell environment with grabbable nucleotide bases

Randomly generated DNA strands

Randomly generated tRNA molecules

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