Final: Cloister

A VR game where the player is the voice in a crazy monk’s head, and they must sway him to do their bidding by impersonating God.

Research Statement

We do all manner of terrible things in games. Violence is commonplace, and is even encouraged in shooting games. How does this change when we have to speak aloud the things we do in VR? What does it feel like to command a virtual person to do something awful? Who do we become when we say “pray to me”, or “kill Brother Emmanuel”?

What can we be convinced to do if we’re told it’s not real?

The game mechanics will heavily rely on spoken commands, supplemented by physical hand controllers in a room-scale VR setting.

I want players to rationalize murder, consciously or otherwise.
The experience will be designed to slowly build the player’s telling them what they’re doing is “OK”. If this is effective, it could result in a moment of emotional catharsis, where they become aware that there’s (symbolically?) blood on their hands.


The project’s main influence is a text adventure called Vespers.
Another is a game called I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,
which is a point and click adventure / horrifying novel by Harlan Ellison.

Finally, my last reference is an awful, old CRPG called Nethergate.
Not for any of its gameplay elements, but for its portrayal of magic,
and for its alt-historical Druidic / Celtic / Roman interactions.

Also, Ubik and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick are major influences, due in large part to Philip K Dick’s rather loose relationship with reality.

My other non-game reference is also literary, but of a different kind. The strange, awful illustrations in Illuminated manuscripts will contribute heavily to the Revelations-esque imagery I intend to use in representing the game’s ending.



The bell of the monastery has been rung seven times,
signaling for the common folk to come to the Monastery for healing.
A strange affliction has enfeebled you, and you’re resigned to bed.
The other clergy members believe it’s nothing to worry about,
although you have noticed that they have started coughing too.
Now, the huddled masses are coming to you for help,
and you are too weak to close the Abbey gates.

Untested on Windows.

Cloister v0.1.0-macOS, 465.2MB

Cloister v0.1.0-win, 428.8MB

Midterm Project Proposal

The experience I’d like to create is one where the user is not the protagonist, but rather is leading the protagonist through the game via commands.

The ideal interaction would be for the player to give the protagonist a series of increasingly abstract or morally questionable actions to perform, leading up to a moment where the protagonist’s misgivings cause them to ask why. In this circumstance, the player could be considered to be a voice in the head of the protagonist, or some sort of guiding spirit.

I want to make specific allowances for the player to mislead the protagonist, which brings to mind the concept of the Jezebel Spirit.

There’s no clear-cut definition of the Jezebel Spirit, but some traits and behaviours have been associated with it. To act in or to embody the Jezebel Spirit can mean:

– to malevolently teach false doctrine
– to revel in the degradation of others
– to have an obsessive passion for controlling others

The game will take place in a series of room-scale areas, each of increasing strangeness or abstractness, and requiring stranger and stranger leaps of reasoning to “solve”.


Mood board: something somewhat ordinary -> that scene from 2001

Space Painter

I’ve been working on a mobile VR spaceship game recently, but then I thought, what would happen if I replaced everything with particles?


Fancy Stars

For the longest time I was frustrated with the lack of any sort of skyboxes for plain, ordinary nighttime stars. Usually, the ones you can find under “star skybox” or on the unity store are steaming hot trash.

Turns out, NASA and other people who own fancy telescopes seem to publish a lot of cylindrically projected maps of the stars, and as luck would have it, they work perfectly as skyboxes.


Straight off the internet!


Whoever wrote the image projection import settings for the unity editor is the real MVP here.

I uploaded a simple, non-virus unitypackage here. You can use whatever image you like, the good ones can be found on google, keywords “star sphere map”.

Damocles Simulator

I set out to create a game / experience where the player has to undertake a strenuous action to continue playing the game. Right now, holding the spacebar keeps the screen from losing saturation, and if saturation gets too low, it becomes harder to move / win the game.

In room-scale VR, this could take the form of an actual, weighted lever.

Additionally, the player should be able to use voice commands to do things to other parts of the game, but currently, I can’t get the voice plugin to work.

“I Just Want to Be Left Alone”

Sometimes, players have different ideas about what to do with their futures. Why go traipsing about on an adventure, when you can kill some nameless villager and live in his house?

Not many games allow for this kind of misplay, and even fewer are specifically designed for it.

The first time I played Undertale, I thought it would be a great idea to

    1. Kill Toriel
    2. Live in her house

I went back and played up to this part in Undertale, and killed Toriel. I then proceeded to go through the motions of ordinary life in the house.

undertale-depression from Ben Scott on Vimeo.

To record the video, I figured I’d just do a few “days” of getting up, going to the fridge, and pretending to live life in the house. In doing so, I noticed some really scary, awful things.

Most things about the house are the same, but having killed Toriel, lots of things take on a new context. Most of the messages are the same, which is almost more impressive.

There’s food, but you’ve lost your appetite.pie

There are toys, but you don’t feel like playing with them.

This message pretty explicitly notes Toriel’s absence.
The most chilling thing I found is that one message changes. Once you kill Toriel, this message changes to:range
I find this to be very innovative. Instead of doing something lazy, instead of having a magical elf appear and say “hey, think about playing the game properly”, Tobyfox instead takes pains to really elucidate the guilt and shame of killing someone who cares for you, and uses that to move the game forward.

Myst Online Skydiver’s Guild


Myst URU: Online was a weird MMORPG made by Cyan Worlds, which allowed users to socialize, interact, and solve puzzles together.
It really wasn’t a success, as the target demographic is limited to myst cult members like me, i.e., effectively nobody.

One very interesting group was the “Skydiver’s Guild”. There were other guilds for other interests, but the unique thing about the Skydiver’s Guild was that they did things like this:


They would find places in the worlds where you could jump out of the boundaries, and then invite Guild members and others to jump off all at the same time, sometimes forming patterns. I had the chance to “attend” one such event (in, like, 2008) but I can’t find the screenshot.

Release Notes


Ben Scott v buildserver

A simple Unity plugin which turns coffee into VR games.
Visit the Wiki for more information.




  • fixed a memory error when moving between too many rooms
  • new feature: fear of the unknown
  • some personality-related bug fixes


  • networking feature now stores multiple clients + names
  • fixed a bug which caused time to disappear in VR mode


  • “return to home” button removed for consistency
  • behaviour cleaned up and now more responsive