Eco-Marino

Our goal for the 2012 spring semester was to create a short interactive experience about marine litter for the Madeira Whale Museum located in Caniçal, Portugal.

Project Overview
The goal was to create a short, interactive experience about marine litter for the Madeira Whale Museum located in Caniçal, Portugal. 
Eco-Marino is a fun free-roaming underwater experience built in the Unity Game Engine, and it allows three guests to act as an underwater cleaning team. Using a wheel, guests control a submarine to clean and explore the ocean floor. Litter is picked up using the two joysticks, which controls the left and right arms of thesubmarine. Sea creatures are caught in the litter, requiring guests to work together to remove the trash and free the animals.
For this project, I was Lead Game/Experience Designer.  I designed the core gameplay mechanics and overall experience, prepared interaction maps to illustrate an "ideal" experience scenario, designed, built and assisted in lighting the underwater landscape, as well as scripted animal spawn points.   
We were to create a fun interactive experience that educates players on the affect marine litter has on the ocean.  However, things were to be cute and cartoon-ish to contrast the hyper-realistic exhibits already present at the museum
Eco-Marino Playthrough
Free-Roaming Underwater
Originally we had an open world design. Upon feedback, we determined that the game map was too large and hard for players to navigate. To mitigate these problems, we created corridors to indirectly guide the player to the next location. Utilizing branching paths gives players a feeling of choice and agency. Arrows and warning signs are located throughout the map to point guests in the right direction.
The previous open-world ;evel design used paths to guide the guests through the different locations terrain.
Final level design for Eco-Marino.  The corridors help guide the guests to the next area
Final lighting and asset placement with a toon-shader added to the terrain.  In this picture fog has been removed.
In-game level with fog.  This area is brightly lit and contains more seaweed and rocks than the rest of the terrain.

Mission Structure


Eco-Marino has three missions which are complete once 80% of the trash has been collected.  At the end of each mission, guests are shown the total trash decomposition years saved and the total trash collected.
In this mission, guests are introduced to the vacuum with the goal of collecting small pieces of litter such as cigarette stubs, straws, bottle caps, plastic bottles, tin cans, and six-pack rings that are lying around the charging station.
Larger pieces of trash are introduced into the gameplay and can only be picked upusing the claw.  In this mission they must collect all the tires.
A dolphin is trapped in an oil drum with its dorsal fin caught in the center. Guests must use two claws and pull in opposite directions in order to remove safely remove it.
The total number of trash collected and years saved are shown after each mission.
GUI

For the design of the GUI, we minimized elements to give the player the most viewing space. We also the cartoon-ish charm of old submarine with pipes, knobs and gauges, and speaker.  
 Every piece of trash collected generates a small shockwave containing the amount of points it is worth.
Points gathered represent the years it takes for the trash to decompose. There are thirteen different pieces of trash such as soda cans, six pack rings plastic bottles, etc. Medicine wrapper made of aluminum would take three hundred years while 6 pack rings take four hundred. 
While guests gain more points the earth moves into the green.
All points go to increasing the earth bar, which shows how helpful you are  to Mother Nature!

Various pieces of trash found in Eco-Marino with points corresponding the years it takes for it to decompose.
 Oxygen Bar and Mini-map
 The Oxygen Bar depleting 
In the top right hand corner is the mini-map and oxygen bar, both combined into one unit.  In the mini-map an arrow in the center represents the player while red dots represent points of interest during a mission, such as piles of trash and animals to be saved. As the submarine moves and rotates, the points of interest will also rotate to show their relative direction to the guest.

The oxygen bar, the blue circle around the map, represents our timer. We needed to have a time limit on our experience in order to not congest the flow of traffic within the museum. It is currently set to 6 minutes, one minute for the player to read the instructions and five minutes for the gameplay.
An early mission design document for Eco-Marino.  Fill free to click and read!

Eco-Marino on Opening Day 

The launching of Eco-Marino on May 18th, 2012. The presentation was led by the Museum Director Luis Freitas, Mayor of Canical Joao Gomes, Director of M-ITI Nuno Nunes, Director of MET Monchu Chen. Approximately 50 peopleattended the presentation.
All eyes are on Pedro Candelaria as he gives a brief overview of the project.
 Monique Park as she records the event to add to our project documentary.
From the right, Shibli Mansuri, Mario Pinto and I, do a live demo for the audience.
Pedro being interview by the local news station about Eco-Marino
 Eco-Marino in action, vacuuming up small pieces of litter at the bottom of the ocean.
The boy in the yellow t-shirt was our very first guest.  He was so excited for Eco-Marino that he did not wait for the museum director to stop talking before playing!
  Our second guest to play Eco-Marino! 
Team Whale 'R' U 

Producer & 3D Modeler: Pedro Candelaria
Lead Artist: Monique Park
Sound Designer & Artist: Mario Dinis Pinto
Technical Director: Antonio Gomes
Programmer: Shibli Mansuri
Game/Experience Designer: Ashlyn Sparrow
 
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