Climb to the Owl

Julian Toker
Zhixin Melody Lee
Rishit Bhatia
Hye Jeong Jeon
Adam Liss

Climb to the Owl was the second Building Virtual Worlds project I worked on, and the first that I served as producer on. We were given 2 weeks to develop a game using PS Move controllers and an Oculus Rift, with the goal that a "naive guest" (i.e. someone who has potentially never played a video game before) could pick up and play it instantly. The added twist was that it still had to give the player a sense of freedom, and they'd be bringing people in to serve as naive guests for our final presentation. We decided that, given our platform, a game involving climbing would be something that would be easy for players to understand while still offering them a lot of freedom.

My top priority as a producer was to ensure that our climbing mechanic felt tight. I knew it was important that our climbing feel easy and natural if naive guests were to pick it up easily. In order to achieve this. we brought in friends, spouses, parents... anyone we could get our hands on to test the game. We all learned a lot through watching people actually play our game, and we discovered many issues we never would have thought of on our own. I actually found that playtesting is one of my favorite parts of the design process, and through constant testing and iteration, we had a game that, by all accounts, was exciting, fun, and easy.

We were told by our teachers that people try to make climbing games every year, and this was the best one they'd seen. It ended up making it into the end of semester Festival, where it was a hit as well. This was one of my favorite projects to work on, and one that I'm really proud of.