VR adventure happens in Japanese night market where being ruined by evil monsters

The story happens in a night market of the Japanese Firework Festival held by the YoKai (fairies) that existed in the Japanese stories. The player is the visitors outside of the town and participates as the Onmyoji (monster hunter).


Design an interesting and engaging experience for playing in our ETC annual festival

Design challenge



4 weeks



3D models, 2D graphics design, UX design, Production

Design tools

Maya, Unity, Photoshop, Illustrator

Team members

Muzi(Programmer), Chonghui(Programmer), Sitong(Artist), Xinran(Artist), Aubreey(Sound designer)

Players need to expel evil monsters who ruin the event with his/her magic of throwing a magic sign to make demons visible by pressing the left hand's trigger and using fire to burn them by pressing the right hand's trigger. Players will interact with YoKais that are selling stuff to gain their skills.

Game mechanism

Design concept

Our story happens in a Japanese night market so we take lots of Japanese cartoons and pictures as references. Basically, we want to build an environment just like a real night market but with unreal fantastic creatures to enhance the legendary atmosphere.


Scenes display

Interaction map - First edition

This interaction map is based on our first story. Basically, players will learn three magic hand gestures, which is drawing different direction lines to create magic in order to help the people in the night market. And we change and iterate a lot after several playtests.

3D Models

I am responsible for the whole environment creating. In the meanwhile, I cut the UV map of these 3D models.

Environment models


We had our first prototype playtest on the second week. Our teacher, Jesse and Dave as well as classmates left the following cons to be improved. And we worked out the solutions to the problems occurred.

Problems                     &                      Solutions

* Arrangement of the night market is too large

* The hand gestures are tricky and the interactive experience with it should be mainly focused on 

* Learning different hand gestures can be hard to remember. A cheat on left hand saying how to cast spells?

* Think about what u want guests to feel and think? A puzzle solve game or a boss fighting game

* Make the boss sequence moment fun and think hard how to defeat the boss

* Hard to see the left hand on the screen. Make all the interaction on one hand?

* Change to a square-ish market with 2 stands on each side instead of a long road

* Totally change the drawing-line movement into simply pressing the triggers

* Pressing right-hand trigger will display an animation of the right hand showing fire spread out in the palm, and pressing left-hand trigger will emerge an animation of the left hand doing the action of throwing a charm

* keep the puzzles to learn skills but reduce the weight of boss fighting

* Monsters go to smash the food stands. If all the stands are destroyed, they will lose. If all the monsters are killed, the player will win. Make an animation for the food stall that is gradually broken. As long as monsters are destroying, the animation will not be suspended. 

* Two-hand playing brings more fun

Interaction map-final

As the mechanics and story changes, our interaction during the game changes a lot compared to the first edition of interaction map. The biggest change is the hand gestures: we no longer use tricky drawing magic, instead, we chose the way magic can come out by simply pressing the trigger. Also, we deleted interaction with other food stallers because players tend to follow Maru rather than wavering around. The boss fight in the end needs more elegant design. If it is designed as current PC fight game, it 's too hard. So we switched to small amounts of demons fight.

Playtester journey map

Below is the journey map of one of the playtesters, Jesse. I recorded his saying and feeling when playing to better understand the problems in our game.

As you can see from the journey map that the moments when he felt confused or frustrated is mostly because 1/3 parts of the game are incomplete or had coding bugs. The majority of them are some tiny little problems, like the position of UI and no ending UI. However, Those details will lead to apparent unclarity. So for the next week before the festival chosen day, we improved the details and make the game complete successfully.

2D Art

I made these UI tutorial above at first. But then I found there is a reading issue of distinguishing it is left hand or right hand. That's why I changed to the side angle.

Hand gestures tutorial

Fail ending UI

Success ending UI


Festival theme decoration

Our ETC Festival took place on Dec 6th, which is an annual biggest celebration in our department. Ten-ish games out of forty-ish games made in this semester would be chosen to show in the festival. We paid a lot of effort to our theme decoration for better displaying our game, such as hanging up paper lanterns, sakura trees made with cardboards and a big food stall like the ones in our game.

xinranzh@andrew.cmu.edu | Tel: 86-18038161913    +1-4125834745

©2019 by Zhan Xinran. All rights reserved.