Amazon Sumerian | Space Lava 5ever

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Blog

Space Lava 5ever, is a virtual reality, exploration experience.  The user is dropped into the center of a room with blue-tinted lava (aka space lava)  They’re facing 4 objects in front of them and a large light switch on the left.  

The objects, switch, and room vibe, in general, was designed with the main goal of self-guided interaction. (I’ve got a 100% completion rate on that so far, including boomers!)  Clicking a vase is representative of grabbing a vase. After a user clicks/grabbing the vase, a corresponding colored fire emits from the couch and cabinet.  This ideally leads to the user playing around with the various combination of objects and eventually flipping the ‘Space Lava Switch’ 

The haptics system is designed primarily for the vase interaction.  When a user’s hand or hands collide with a vase or the switch they will feel a soft pulse haptic and soft sizzle sound.  Then as they grab the vase a slightly stronger haptic begins to pulse rapidly along with a louder cracking sound encouraging the behavior until it stops when the flame erupts with a whoosh sound.  Repeating the process on the same vase will activate the same haptics and extinguish the fire with an extinguishing sound.    

  • Causality- the main attraction of Space Lava 5ever is the switch and the magic objects on the pedestals. The small haptic and enticing vibrations when they touch the pedestal objects entices them to continue the grab while the short switch pulse haptic and switch sound implies that all there is to the switch is the lights. 
  • Harmony – while grabbing/clicking a vase isn’t how you start a fire, doing so brings an identical harmony of audiovisuals and haptics. The same goes with the switch. If you were to close your eyes and grab the vase it would feel and sound like striking starting a real fire.
  • Utility – This is a self-guided, exploration VR experience.  So the value is that the user can complete that exploration by simply grazing a single object. This lets them know that they can do the same action with similar objects. The user can only reach two objects at once so it could be possible to start two fires at once, but we see this as a fun feature, not a tiresome bug 😅

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