Raving Rabbids Party Crash is part of an educational program, it is a collaboration between NHTV and Ubisoft. We we’re asked to experiment with VR using the Raving Rabbids IP. The task was to prove to ubisoft that VR is a good and fun platform for a herding game. The game is inspired by lemmings and Rube Goldberg machines.
- NHTV – Best Game Year 3
- NHTV – Best Art Year 3
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
|Role(s)||Concept Design, System Design, Technical Design|
|Time||September 2016 – July 2017 ~ 1 year|
|Hardware||HTC VIVE, PSVR|
I was part of this project since the start. I did concept design and system design. I also implemented a lot of the features.
- Concept Design
- Creating interact-able objects
- Checkpoint system
- Lure system
- Ai system
- Animation implementation
If you are interested in seeing some design documentation or want more info on this project please do feel free to contact me.
I created several concepts for this game. The biggest challenge was to combine herding with the chaotic nature of rabbids. Several of my concepts were reviewed by Ubisoft and Ubisoft then chose the best ones.
I was assigned to concept a herding game that allowed some kind of environment manipulation using VR and the Raving Rabbids IP. First we had a really cool mechanic that allowed the player to sculpt enviroment. The player would then shape paths for the rabbids to walk on. I continued testing this idea and it ended up into object driven pathcreation. I came up with a trap design where traps would be obstacles but could also be used to propel rabbids forward. Later these became several different objects that allowed for cool obstacle traversal and puzzle gameplay.
I designed and developed a ton of the objects that made in into the game. I also prototyped and tried out several others. I scrapped a lot of ideas because they had overlapping functions.
Rabbids are chaotic in the TV show and other games. Raving Rabbids Party Crash is kind of like 3D VR lemmings. A chaotic AI that does whatever they want does not work very well in such a concept. To solve this I designed the chaos to be controlled and predictable. Rabbids are very easily distracted. It makes sense to have the main obstacles be distractions. This way the rabbids are still chaotic and controllable. The way the player would guide the rabbids is by using a bigger distraction. At first this distraction was the boom box.
How do you guide the rabbids in the game? Just like most intractable objects in the game there was a boom box that the rabbids would run to and dance when nearby. The player can grab this boom box and place it to get the rabbids to move to that location.
This turned out to be a horrible gameplay experience. It was a very tedious execution process of going back and forth with grabbing this boom box. The boom box took away from the actual puzzle gameplay that is important. The luring was very important and the player did this all the time. To solve this issue I designed a different system for luring. A luring system in the controller. By simply pressing a button a disco ball would pop out and the rabbids would be instantly attracted to this. It made it much easier to control the rabbids while it still fit their character.
I continued developing this system. At first it was a pointer and the disco ball would spawn at the place pointed at. But that would allow the player to control rabbids from very far away almost being unable to see what they were up to. I changed this system to a fishing rod system with a clear range limit. This also solved the issue of the player sometimes pointing it at the sky and nothing happening. I continued tweaking this a lot so that the game feel of this mechanic was very good, adding little movement delays and visual effects.
I did a lot of prototyping on this project testing out different items the player can use and give to the rabbids in VR. Here are some examples of things I’ve prototyped. Most of these were also designed by myself. A lot of the mechanics I continued developing and are now in the final game.
- Disco Ball
Disco ball is a luring mechanic that is used mainly in the game. Lots of tweaking went into this to make it feel good.
- Fireworks box
Shaking this box while its upside down make fireworks fall out of it. The fireworks can then can be given to the rabbids to blow up stuff.
A fun idea was to have an underwater section. I prototyped this stealth section with camera like underwater whales that would suck up a rabbids when they see one.
Water rises after a delay, allowing for interesting level design. Where parts of lands become available for a short time.