Final Project: The Parodos Veil

Authors: Sydney Ayers and Tom Garncarz

Description: The Parodos Veil is a two-player Vive VR experience where one player wears the Vive headset (the Veil) and the other (the puppeteer) uses the Vive controllers to control and craft the Veil-wearer’s experience. The puppeteer is able to introduce different objects and sounds into the virtual world, as well as morph and change the world around the Veil-wearer.



final project proposals

Proposal 1: Gifted reality

Description: A social VR experience where one player wears a VR headset and another views a screen. The player viewing the screen has control over the environment than the VR player is experiencing, and can see the VR player represented as an avatar on her screen.

Statement: I want to explore the nature of benevolence and malevolence in everyday relationships as through the medium of VR. Given the strong responses that VR can elicit in players, giving the power to control that experience to a third party is an interesting deviation from the norm of precreated experiences on the platform. I would like to explore not only what sorts of experiences players will create for each other, but also how allowing players to shape each others’ environments might reflect their relationship.

References: The Stanford Prison Experiment, “Escape from Spiderhead,” gift-giving, those awful flash games where you abuse an avatar, Littlebigplanet, Dreams

Proposal 2: Social art gallery

Description: A social VR game in a gallery setting where different art and exhibition halls (with different lighting, colors, and arrangements) are randomly combined to form a museum. Players can move about the space and sit down together in front of the art; those two players are then placed into a dialogue where they must exchange dialogue snippets and comments about the art (like dialogue systems in many single-player games). Players can leave once the conversation is finished.

Statement: My main interest in this project is attempting to explore the discourse around art, especially when the context is manipulated. By randomly arranging art and exhibit, the game can explore how context affects how people discuss art, and by being forced to choose from a preset list of dialogue options, players’ are forced to talk with each other in ways that they perhaps wouldn’t have done otherwise. However, a key challenge will be keep players interested in those conversations, given their lack of control.

References: my own experiences in art galleries, portfolio exhibitions and critiques, Telltale games, Joy Exhibition, The Beginner’s Guide

Virtual Installation



(this is a game idea that I thought I might want to explore for the end-of semester assignment, but ended up feeling too small to be a full-length project)

August (Improved Build)

new build of august


  • water clipping through boat fixed
  • lowered mic responsiveness (a lot!); should work well even in reasonably loud rooms now
  • sail responds to overall speed, as well as to blowing into the mic (billows more when you blow)

new link (windows):



Instructions: Look around using your mouse. Power your sailboat by blowing into the microphone.

Statement: August is about a sailing experience I had as a kid, where a bad thunderstorm cropped up in the middle of a solo sail and capsized my boat. My primary goal with this piece was to replicate that experience in an immersive virtual setting, and by doing so, be able to share and relate that experience with others in the context of a game. The player’s ability to control the weather (a luxury I didn’t have that day) means that the player is the one who makes the decision to continue forward or to stop the boat. This mechanic is meant to establish the metaphorical context of my conflicted relationship with sailing, as the decision to continue out that day was entirely my own.




Midsemester project

Inspired by my fear of sailing, I want to create a virtual reality experience that mirrors my experiences while also giving others an insight into those fears.

My general concept is for the player to be piloting a sailboat, whose speed is controlled by a sensor held in front of the player that detects air blown from the player’s mouth. (blowing harder => sailboat goes faster)

Additionally, as the boat goes faster, the environment grows more dismal and stormy and the boat starts to tip, hopefully causing the player to want to stop blowing on the sensor.


  • compelling water effects in unity
  • allowing for sensor to interface with unity (probably just microphone??)
  • communicating fear vs. communicating exhilaration

synchronized sneaking

The focus of my project was to take a look at discrepancies between in-game action (especially in third-person action games) and player action. Many action-oriented games star a protagonist whose sole purpose is to move around really quickly and gracefully (usually while enacting some sort of violence on something). In light of lots of experiments in having players move around in real life to command movement within a game, as a way of “misplaying” these types of action games, I was interested in seeing how the pace of the game was changed by the player being forced to perform those same actions in real life. How exactly would players being forced to run, jump, and generally move around along with their avatars affect game strategy and play?

In order to explore this, I played Metal Gear Solid V while on a treadmill, while my wonderful and frankly really accommodating girlfriend adjusted its speed to match my in-game actions. The result was actually a really interesting deviation from traditional gameplay; even though I’m pretty familiar with the game, I had a lot of difficulty keeping up my normal pace of play under these conditions. Especially interesting was the fact that taking breaks in real life actually factored into my gameplay; MGSV is a stealth game, and hanging out behind a barrel or a wall a little longer than normal in order to catch my breath or get my bearings was definitely a real occurrence. The game definitely played differently in this context, and actually makes interesting the discussion about the viability of these sorts of high-intensity games in VR.

(The whole process also highlighted how goofy normal people look when trying to mirror video games; the last two minutes or so of the video attest as much.)


Tom Garncarz

hey, I’m tom!
14068087_10208790230427458_1342812093793647453_n (1)(this is legitimately the best i’ve ever looked in a picture; sorry it’s not just me!)

here’s some of my work:

here’s my “”””gamer profile””””:


(favorite games: metal gear solid 2, deus ex, wipeout3, castlevania: sotn)