Roller Coaster Simulator
My Role: UX Designer, 3D Artist
Smaug's Table is an immersive restaurant concept based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The dining room is located deep within lonely mountain in the lair of the dragon Smaug. Our team was tasked with creating the preshow experience for this restaurant, starting from the moment guests walk through the door up until they enter the dining room.
Roller Coaster Development
This real-time rendered roller coaster simulator which was projected on an 270º screen takes guests on a journey from their first steps inside the mountain to the entrance of the dining room (Dragon's Lair). I designed the immersive riding experience and built all the 3D assets.
Software: Unity 3D/Maya/Zbrush/Quixel Suite | Develop Time: 14 weeks
Co-Designer: Wen Hsin Lin | Music Composer/SFX: Seth Glickman | Physical Programmer (Motion floor): Ankit Patel
Prop Artist (Rock Wall, Ride Seat): Trent Taylor | DMX Lighting Designer: Zara Bucci | Concept: Michael James
By creating guest's journey flow, I designed different experience states for each scene based on timeline. However, it's not enough to analyse how would guests behave on the ride. Therefore, I transformed the journey flow to animated storyboards that mapped to the cave environment, and helped me to figure out how to guide guest's vision, what is the best experience length with playtests.
I shortened the length of the experience based on some playtest results. In order to make guest feel comfortable sitting on the ride, I removed the 360˚ spin and decreased sharp turns to decrease the chance of motion sickness. Our team constantly iterated guests to optimise camera's animation curve and motion floor's intensity in Unity 3D to create the best experience.
Smaug emerges from the cave is the moment that made guests say "Wow". In order to build this grand scene, I created a variety of visual effects: fire tornado, smoke, reflection, and designed the cinematic lighting which were triggered when guests reach this position.
The art is inspired by scenes from the movie Lord of the Rings like Smaug, lonely mountain and treasure room. Our team decided to create a realistic riding experience which built emotional bond with guests efficiently. Therefore, I sculpted models to create normal / displacement maps and used Quixel to finalise textures which looks decent with Unity 3D.