Updated: Jan 15, 2022
Virtual sound walk project: Childhood Memories Team members: Wendy Wang, Gracia Zhang, Jane Meng
We wanted to create a virtual walk with sounds from our childhood, specifically around the elementary school. Certain sensations seem trivial today but made an impression as a fresh experience on us as children. There is also the general theme of nostalgia: each missing a particular place in memory. We thought this theme was suited to be expressed through sound.
The experience is non-linear and without a definite storyline. The player can explore different sounds hidden in the scene, just like certain objects or sounds trigger a particular memory. For the visual style, we created scenes primarily in pure white with paper texture, like origami, and warm lighting to represent places in memory.
We found that our memory as kids in school stands out in searching for a common theme. We discussed memories of a particular room we lived in, sitting in a classroom in the hot subtropical summer, with bright daylight coming from the windows, and just wanting to get outside and play during the precious 10 minutes of recess. I remember a day when the teacher took us to a nearby park with a pond and saw the transparent shell of a dragonfly nymph for the first time in the cool water. I consider it one of the best days of my childhood.
4. Process-Building the scene:
We each built one of the three soundscapes: the bedroom, the classroom, and the outdoors. We discussed our visual style by sharing screenshots, assets, and settings. Gracia then pieced the three soundscapes together to make the final game.
5. Issues we've run into:
1. Because we each built our scene individually, I didn't notice that my scene was about 5x more extensive than my teammates until close to completion. To scale down all the objects, I parented all the game objects to an empty game object and resized that parent object. 2. Since our player should experience the environment like a child, we decided to downscale the First Person Controller to 0.5x scale and make the footsteps less heavy. 3. We realized that the player could pass through the wall if a wall is made from multiple game objects. However, Unity seems to be the only way to make a wall with windows by building it with various blocks, as we cannot make holes in it. We tried to resolve this issue by using downloaded assets that are not pass-through.
Unity Sound Package provided by Gabe (Thanks, Gabe!!!) Visual assets from Unity Asset Store Sounds from freesound.org