Grandpa's Lost Legacy

Instructor:Jesse Schell, David Culyba

Duration:2 weeks

Platform: Vive + Tracker

Team Member:Ruochen Li, Yanyu Tong, Parker, Ruoxi Li

My Role: Artist, UX/UI Designer, Prop Maker, Sound Designer, Game Designer



Background Story

Your grandpa is the greatest explorer in the world but nobody believes his story. If you can get to the bottom of all the mysterious letters he left behind, you can improve to everyone. Now your mission is to prove your grandfather’s story is true by decoding the puzzles on the old stones.


Game Mechanics

Grandpa's Lost Legacy is a VR game based on the Vive platform. Players (Guests) need to use their magic wand to unlock puzzles on old stones.


Design Objective:Create the Feeling of Freedom for Naive Guest

Our assignment (objective) is to create a consistent, highly interactive, and engaging brief experience that let naive guests feel like they have a lot of freedom in the choices they make. We can not give guests any instructions in the game. Despite this feeling of freedom, we must also ensure they have a very enjoyable time in the brief experience. 



Design Process


We try to create an amazing world and provide meaningful choices with our guests (players) in a VR world. In the process, we emphasize guest testings which give us meaningful feedback to improve our design for iterations. Also, we focus on improving the interaction map which plays an important role in guests' experience.


Guest Testing
Play testing
feedback analysis
Interaction Map
Finally Presentation
Refining & Iteration
Refine game design

1. Ideation


Brainstorming - Using indirect control

Without instructions, using indirect control is a useful way for us to guide naive guests in the VR world. We think using light and sound is a good choice.


Brainstorming - Providing the feeling of freedom

About the feeling of freedom, we think that provides our guests with a lot of choices can create freedom for them. If they have more than one choice in the game, they can decide what to do by themselves.

Game mechanics


After brainstorming, we decide our game mechanics: Like puzzle games, we want to provide our guests different stones in the game and let them decode the puzzles by using props they have to draw symbols on each stone. The prop is a staff of magic power that can attract fireflies and the fireflies as our medium for indirect control can lead guests in the VR world.


Interaction Map

Interaction map.png

2. Guest testing

10 Non-students Guests Testing


We invited 10 non-students guests and 4 student guests to try out our world and interviewed them after testing.


Feedback & Analysis



  • Fireflies do a good job of pulling attention. Fireflies telling me where I should be going

  • The world looks great and has a nice feeling

  • Small, confined space

  • Tracing was a simple, smooth interaction

  • Good feedback on completion of a stone



  • Freedom: 5-6/10. Not many things I could do

  • The end is too sudden

  • Not enough time to explore the ending scene


Room for Improvement:

  • Tracing could've used some polish to be more consistent

  • Fireflies could've flown between ALL unlit stones

  • The story could've used more explanation/clarity

  • Obstacles could've been more intuitive


Interview with one of our guests after playtesting


3. Refining & Iteration


After playtesting, we find our design of indirect control works very well. Guests can follow the interaction map well and finish our game in a short time. According to the feedback we received, we need to make more interesting interactions for guests to improve the game's interest curve and create more freedom for guests.



Using light and sound as indirect control

Refine game design


We polish the design by adding different interactions for each stone to improve the interest curve.

  • For the third stone, guests need to clear the spider net covering on the stone first, and then to decode the puzzle on stone.

  • For the fourth stone, guests need to use their hands to match the fingerprint on stone. Then the stone will rotate and show the puzzle. 

The third stone

The fourth stone

Build a story


According to the feedbacks, because of lacking a completed background story, we find that guests sometimes do not know why they need to do the things in the game and always lack strong desires for the interactions. We polish our background story at this stage. And according to our story, we design more scenes, refine visual effects and sound effects and record the dialogue for our game.





④ When guests finish decoding all puzzles, the stones will fly to the air and combine to a unity.

① Background story: Your grandpa is the greatest explorer in the world but nobody believes his story. If you can get to the bottom of all the mysterious letters he left behind, you can improve to everyone.


When entering the game, the guest will hold a map and can hear the dialogue about the background story.

② Guests come to ruins and need to get the magic staff and follow fireflies to approach to the stones.

③ Using the staff on hand, guests are expected to decode the puzzles on each stone.

⑥ Guests come back to his grandpa‘s study room and can see a newspaper on the table. The headline is the report of the rebuilding of ruins. In the end, guests prove all the stories are true to people.

⑤ The magic power of the unity stone will rebuild the ruins and discover the old civilization.

Art design

Ruins & Stones

Rebuilding Scene

Grandpa's study room

Make prop

In order to improve guests' experience, I make a prop that stimulates the magic staff in our game.