Game Projects

Desert Traveler Experience

A town cursed with a smell. Yikes.

Team Members: Xiao He, Weidi Tang, Xiang-yu (Shawn) Sun, Ruoxi Li

Role: Interaction Designer, Writer

Description

  • An interactive experience driven by conversations, set in the Sims Universe.

  • Natural conversations that feel like talking to the characters themselves.

  • Puzzles on Amazon Alexa -- no visuals, your sound is the key.

The Desert Traveler Experience is an ETC project in cooperation with Electronic Art's Sims Alexa team. The goal is to create a Sims experience driven purely by voice.

This is the first time ever for me to write for the entire game. Due to the tight-paced semester schedule, the team had to battle against the clock for progress. We started out by laying down the key elements of our interactions -- how they should feel like, what works, what doesn't... etc. Then we started working on the skeletons of the story, only stating out "what happens at where and when". This helped us test faster and learn what story nodes were interesting and what weren't.

After that, I started filling in the details -- the dialogues, the flavor texts, giving each character a distinct personality... all of which happened while playtests were carried out.

It was very rewarding! Although we were a bit overscoped, we managed to create a story-rich experience over the course of 16 weeks; to me, I'm especially proud of what I've learned during this period of time, and now I'm more confident that I can write better.