unlock the tools of the

design process in this

client-education game.

june-august 2022 / 10 weeks

june-august 2022 / 10 weeks

Subvrsive is a digital design and marketing company specializing in interactive ‘metaverse’

technology like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and immersive websites. As their 2022

creative intern, I managed all design on this client-facing project, from user research to

game design to 3d modeling and tech art.

Subvrsive is a digital design company specializing in

interactive tech like AR, VR, and immersive websites.

Team

1 designer

1 developer

1 project manager

Role

UX designer

Level designer

Asset creator

Technical artist

Tools

Roblox Studio

Figma

Autodesk Maya

game design

ux process

subvrsiveland

subvrsiveland

SubvrsiveLand

on Roblox

a step-by-step of the interactive design process

told in mini-games, prizes, and success stories.

click to play

meet the project

background

The concept of the 'metaverse' is a collective of interactive virtual

spaces with persistent user identities.

Let’s look at Roblox as an example: one platform, housing multiple corporations and

experiences, all accessible with a single avatar.

400 million

people use the metaverse.

80%

of metaverse users are younger than 16.

problem

Clients are interested in reaching the young metaverse market, but

many struggle to understand it.

Most information online is inconsistent or overly technical, and few resources actually

clarify the options at hand.

The process required to make a successful metaverse platform is

also a pain point.

Users don’t anticipate the time and cost of researching, designing, creating assets, and

developing a complete project.

opportunity

How might we teach clients (e.g. Digital Marketing Managers) about

the metaverse so they can comfortably explain it to others?

  • How might we convince clients of the value of this medium?

  • How might we portray the time and process needed?

  • How might we spotlight subvrsive as a strong ‘metaverse’ partner?

solution

SubvrsiveLand

on Roblox

a step-by-step of the interactive design process

told in mini-games, prizes, and success stories.

click to play

sky’s the limit!

Players spawn on a platform in the sky,

overlooking a simple obstacle course that

leads to another floating island.

There, they undergo a quick but clear

onboarding to learn the key motions and

motives of the space.

When they reach the Main Island, they equip a

toolbelt that’ll carry the prizes they’ll find and a

‘Clear Roadmap’ to help navigate the world.

showcase island

The central hub is designed to give a clear

understanding in a short time for those clients

on a time crunch.

It houses six showcase zones highlighting

past Subvrsive projects.

Every spot is marked by a glowing sign, a brief

description, and a looping gif that shows off

the experience.

bridge-the-gap

When players have fully explored the world,

they put their learning to the test on Squid-

Game inspired steps.

On every landing, they face a question. They

then choose between two platforms, each with

a different answer.

Jumping on the right response means solid

ground: the wrong one sends them falling

through the sky, then respawns them at the

question.

mini-game milestones

Once they’ve crossed the bridge, players

unlock the first tool for their belt: a pair of

‘Relevancy Shades’.

Donning their reward reveals the rest of the

world!

Each new island features a mini-game

representative of another stage of the design

process (just as the first did the ‘Discovery

Phase’).

Players herd cats, navigate thick fog and

bouncy clouds, and slice through vines,

finding new tools as they go.

npcs

Don’t worry, they’re not alone in their journey!

Characters representing real people at

Subvrsive are there to provide encouragement

and advice on the way.

When the player has unlocked their full toolkit,

the CEO Anthony awards them the ‘Subvrsive

Special Sauce’.

click to play

behind-the-scenes

internal research

-----

We began by studying previous Subvrsive projects to identify our

favorites, observe platform options, and form our own definitions of

‘the metaverse’.

The results of this stage guided our choices of projects to highlight in-world.

See some of our favorites below!

industry research

-----

We looked to competitors, articles, and leading voices in the field to

see how others explain the metaverse.

Most wordy references alluded to digital identities, and similar companies opted for

examples rather than written out explanations. For example:

roblox research

-----

Our task was to build the product in Roblox, both for accessibility and

to document methods for the company.

Therefore, we dove into the platform itself, checking out successful games and noting fun

designs and game mechanics.

user interviews

-----

In addition to consulting widely available web resources, we also

chatted with client-facing staff at Subvrsive about their typical

explanation process.

With their help, we identified helpful tips as well as pain points, including the following:

  • Clients have a hard time understanding “simple dev phrases.”

  • “One of the biggest obstacles is splitting it up into two phases [discovery and

    development] to estimate the budget allocation.”

  • It helps to “provide example outputs.”

user personas &

journeys

-----

Based on the intel from interviews, we charted out personas and

journeys for digital marketing directors, agency representatives, and c-

suite executives.

c-suite

agency

marketing

pov & hmw

-----

brainstorming

-----

After some Crazy 8s, Google-style, I sketched up some milestones and

gameflow ideas.

Throughout this stage, I referenced the Bartle Test to attempt to appeal to a broad range

of users.

game design

-----

In light of this prep, I designed the below gameflow to introduce users

to the metaverse with Subvrsive’s projects as the primary teaching

method.

We managed to complete all first and second priority goals, and finished the assets for

the third priority for hand-off!

The Discover Stage is the primary marketing material for Subvrsive. It introduces the concept of and options in the

metaverse while also implying the importance of research.)

This would be designed as an experience that is more direct and brief than the game overall, as most clients need to

see demonstrated success as ‘proof of concept’ in a short time

The gamification beyond this exists to:

  • in greater detail, explain the processes and considerations at hand in such an experience

  • further demonstrate Subvrsive’s effectiveness in these processes

  • fully showcase the capacities of Roblox, as an example of the space, in activity and gamification.

    be entertaining, and to engage users (both client and otherwise)

Note:

P1

P2

P3

Intro Island

Lobby/Intro

Spawn in and cross on obstacle course bridge

to the main island.

Learn about Roblox mechanics (i.e. how to move,

jump, pick things up, speak to NPCs).

Pick up the toolbelt.

Unlock the main island (discovery).

Main Island

Discovery

Explore a large island with lookout points

highlighting different Subvrsive projects and

explaining other platforms.

Learn about the discovery stage of the design

process.

---

Unlock the quiz bridge.

Quiz Bridge

Teaching Trial

Cross a bridge made up of ‘question landings’

and ‘answer platforms’ by jumping on the

correct answer.

Learn about popular metaverse definitions.

Pick up the Relevancy Shades. All other islands

spawn.

Unlock the Fog and the Clouds (competitive and

business analysis).

The Deep Woods

Business Analysis

Make your way through a maze-like jungle,

weaving through dense flora.

---

Pick up the Machete (Clear Through The

Nonsense). You can cut through the vines for

a direct path back.

Unlock the Clouds.

The Clouds

User Journey

Cut through vines at the entrance to reach

the Clouds, a tall path of bouncy clouds and

roaring winds.

---

Pick up the Noise-Canceling Earmuffs. The

winds fade out and beautiful piano fades in.

Trail to Austin

Subvrsive Support

Reunite with your NPC guides, who

congratulate you on your success and open

up the road to Austin!

---

Pick up Subvrsive’s Special Sauce, which spawns

the path to the distant skyline of Austin, TX.

The Fog

Competitive Analysis

Navigate swirling fog on a crumbling

pathway to reach a stone cliff. Watch your

step!

---

Pick up the Anti-Cringe Spray. You can use the

spray to dissipate the fog as you go back.

Unlock the Cat Den.

The Cat Den

User Personas

Spray away fog blocking the steps and visit

the Cat Den where you’ll herd cats! Approach

them and guide them into a paddock. If you

use the Anti-Cringe Spray, they’re especially

drawn to you.

---

Pick up the book (Understanding Cat Culture).

level design

-----

I mapped out and set up all models in the scene to form the

environment: a central showcase island with room to explore, with

smaller islands branching off.

The primary world serves as an informational hub for clients with minimal time, while

the smaller islands feature games and achievements loosely representing the design

process.

The physical and unlocking order aligns chronologically with the steps of a typical

design flow.

assets

-----

To supplement the environmental assets, I built all UI assets and new

interactives.

These achievements, icons, and game characters mesh well with the clean, stylized

aesthetic of the game and the poly-count constraints of the platform itself.

tech art &

challenges

-----

The biggest challenge on this project was the platform itself— we had

an ambitious concept, and Roblox had a lot of constraints.

This required a lot of 'hacky' coding: for example, I implemented systems to play

videos and simulate fog from scratch.

Not everything had a solution— I designed a full inventory UI that ultimately didn't work

with the default system, and as Roblox prohibits URLs and QR codes, we couldn't link extra

project info.

thank you for reading!

like what you read and want to hear more? please get in touch below.

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