Berlin Wall VR · Virtual Reality Experiment in Empathy

VR Experience for the journalistic museum, Newseum in Washington, DC. An attempt to recreate the emotions felt by people living in Berlin post-World War II with the Berlin Wall constraining their freedom. This project has been featured on The Washington Post and will be featured during the Big Ten Conference 2017


Project Goal · Develop an interactive Virtual Reality experience to allow museum visitors to empathize with the life of the people living during the existence of the Berlin Wall
Client · Newseum
Role · Virtual Reality User Experience Designer and Developer
Result · Featured on The Washington Post & Big Ten Conference 2017






Environment/ Interaction Design
3D/2D Assets
· Downloaded 3D models from Unity Asset Store and TurboSquid
· Used 3DS Max to pre-process the 3D models reducing their polygon counts
· Made use of photos and images from the huge archive at Newseum, Washinton DC

Interaction Design
· Direct Manipulation using handheld controller
· Visual Cues - Lighting in the scene
· Environment Design - Fog, Night time, Dark alleys
· Navigation between different scenes was done by pressing the trigger in version 1 and by pressing a 3D button in version 2

Scene 3 was a room with puzzle elements leading to the secret tunnel
Scene 2 includes buildings and the death strip of the Berlin Wall with Guard Tower in view (Notice the dark and gloomy feel of the environment)
Scene 1 includes a 4D video of a reporter explaining how the events unfolded at the Berlin Wall
User Testing
A museum visitor trying out the finished Berlin Wall VR experience at the Newseum VR meet
Conclusions
· Room scale experiences need to change with room size
· Users love exploring the environment and interacting with objects
· Reduce polygon counts of meshes
· Use level of detail to maintain high frame rates
Results · Featured in Media
Project was featured on The Washington Post
Berlin Wall VR experience will be featured during the Big Ten Conference 2017

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