NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORE VR

about the game

National Geographic Explore VR is an educational VR experience. You capture photographs for the National Geographic magazine in two of the most iconic locations on the planet! Antarctica, where you kayak, climb a massive ice shelf and survive a raging snowstorm, and Machu Picchu, where you get immersed in amazing digital reconstructions. 

project information

PLATFORM: OCULUS QUEST

ENGINE: UNREAL ENGINE 4

ORIGINAL RELEASE: MAY. 2019

MACHU PICCHU RELEASE: NOV. 2019

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • UX flow / Level design
  • systems design

LEARNING ACHIEVEMENTS

  • I only briefly got the opportunity to work on National Geographic Explore VR, but the experience did teach me a lot. I helped develop the first update for the game, which was Machu Picchu. By the time I joined, the environments were already created in stunning photogrammetry and most systems were already set in stone.
  • Designing an educational experience was a breath of fresh air in between all the games. While I had dabbled with ‘serious’ gaming during my studies, the scope of this project blows that out of the water. I learned a lot about Machu Picchu and the Inca, which is something I never expected to get out of this industry.
  • One of the most memorable things I’ve learned was how to quickly paper prototype the UX flow for the player. I worked on the Industrial Zone, one of three areas available to the player. Each designer had to write the first pass of the dialogue for the areas they worked on. During early playtests, some of us acted as the characters the player encounters and simply read the script off of paper before we even considered implementing it. This allowed for very quick iteration cycles without technical overhead.