Senior Creates Virtual Reality Game for Capstone

By Nadine Herman

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Alexandria Heston, a CEWiT Web Design Intern, is creating a Virtual Reality game for her Informatics capstone project. Heston, a senior in the School of Informatics and Computing, wanted to create something different than a website for her capstone.

Heston’s Virtual Reality game is a puzzle game called MNPUL8R that allows one to interact with the surrounding environment through hand detection software. Heston is the User Experience Designer and Head Modeler of the game and has learned about time management and continuous development through the creation of her project. The finished project plans to have a fully functioning menu system, tutorial system and three different levels that a user can interact through both visuals and audio.

The Media School has a Virtual Reality lab that Heston often utilizes in order to work on her project. She finds the atmosphere encouraging and helpful in creating projects.

“I love that Indiana University has the resources and cares enough about its students to provide them with some of the most innovative technologies on the market,” said Heston. “Everyone there is incredibly helpful whenever I come across a problem, and often there are conversations floating around about geek culture and the latest trends in the tech industry.”

a female student interacts with the MNPUL8R virtual reality game

Virtual Reality interests Heston because it combines her passion for technology and design. She loves that the technology allows her to manipulate the world around us. Heston believes that technology affects everyone in society and isn’t as complicated to understand as people may think.

“Technology can and should be taught to everyone, because it isn’t just one of the largest growing industries in the world - it is a revolution that is filtering through every aspect of our daily lives,” said Heston. “I use it because it allows me to create and imagine in ways I never knew I could before.”

Heston sees a limitless future for VR. She points to virtual museums, educational applications and documentaries that demonstrate the power of the technology within society.

For women who are interested in technology, Heston believes in pursuing a path that sparks interest.

“Know that you are not the only one. Know that many before you have started not knowing where to begin,” said Heston. “Start with where your passion lies and never stop wondering or learning.”

After graduation, Heston plans to move to Chicago and work as a UX Designer.