Santa's Workshop Whirlwind

It's Christmas Eve and none of the presents are done! Millions of children will wake up presentless if nothing is done about it!

Roles on Project: Lead Designer, Programmer & Artist

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About Santa's Workshop Whirlwind

 Santa's Workshop Whirlwind is a VR game designed for the Meta Quest 2 Headset. Players play as an elf who has found that they along with the rest of the elves have been put to sleep for the whole year by the antagonist of the game, Krampus. 

As one of the elves, it is up to you to grab toys children request off of conveyor belts, pack them into gift boxes and then throw them down chutes. Complete all the gift requests before time runs out in order to save Christmas! Be wary, as Krampus is still up to his mischief and will try to corrupt fellow elves to try and stop you from completing your goal...

Game Screenshots

Work I Did On This Project

This project was originally developed as part of the IGB388 – Design & Development of Immersive Environments unit at QUT. In this unit, we were tasked with first individually conceptualising and designing a VR experience, making a prototype of that VR experience, and then working in a group to fully develop one of the three prototype VR experiences we had worked on previously.

When coming up with our ideas, we were advised to keep our ideas simple and novel, ensure that it made uses of the affordances of VR, and to do research by playing existing VR experiences to get a sense of what was possible with the platform. After playing through various VR experiences, I found just the idea of being able to grab and throw stuff to be very novel and fun, and so I wanted to base the VR experience around these two simple interactions.

My first idea was to have the player work in a factory where they would have to pack orders for customers by grabbing items they had ordered off of conveyor belts into boxes. I felt that the context of this idea, however, was a little bleak. I felt the core of the idea was still quite good, so I decided to spin the idea a bit to make it more appealing, making it so that the player is instead playing as an elf in Santa’s Workshop who is packing toys for children to receive on Christmas. With this initial idea, I got to designing Santa’s Workshop Whirlwind. Here is some of the original concept art and design artefacts I made for the game's design document.

After completing the design document, I put together a prototype to showcase the core mechanics and basic gameplay loop of the game.

After completing and submitting the prototype, we were to work in groups to further develop one of VR experiences. Santa's Workshop Whirlwind was not originally chosen as it was deemed too developed to allow other members of my team to equally contribute to the project. I felt that there was still a lot that could be done with this project, and so I proposed a roadmap detailing all the tasks that could be completed by each of the team members should the project be reconsidered for selection.

After presenting this roadmap, the decision for which of the projects our team was to work on was left up to the members themselves. As a group, we discussed each project, evaluating which project would best fit our development skills and assessment schedules. As a team, we decided to continue working on Santa's Workshop Whirlwind to make it a full VR experience. My teammates Carlin and Hue would assume the roles of Lead Artist and Lead Programmer respectively, while I would assume the position of Lead Designer. I also assumed the role of Programmer and Artist, as I would help Hue develop the systems of the game, while I would assist with some modelling tasks with Carlin.

Over the second half of the semester, my team and I worked on further developing Santa's Workshop Whirlwind. Each week we added more features and systems to the game, fixes to the existing systems in the game, and revamped the art. Here are some videos showcasing snapshot builds of the game.

By the end of semester we had created a VR experience very similar to what had been described in the original design document. There have been changes over the course of development as we did playtesting which is to be expected, which have allowed the game to improve and go beyond the original design. Here is a video showcasing gameplay from a build of the game exhibited at the QUT Reality Labs Networking & Exhibition Event.


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