Poyong is a VR narrative experience allowing players to embody Harun Zukifli, a youthful village leader struggling to locate his closest friend and defend his home from invaders. Players, as Harun, encounter and negotiate with a conspiring demon trapped within a family heirloom blade.
Unreal 4, Notion, Milanote, Blender, Figma, Adobe Creative Suite
Vertical-slice VR prototype with multiple endings
Constructed narrative premise, designing and advocating for all story-related elements of the game
Crafted narrative delivery systems
Wrote all dialogue
Designed scripted cinematics along the critical path
Advocated visual storytelling for a compelling and immersive experience in VR
Researched and highlighted standard VR storytelling best-practices
Found subtle ways to subvert those conventions
Worked closely with the development team to design and implement the dialogue system using behaviour trees
Implemented and balanced an underlying disposition system to the player's in-game choices and their corresponding dialogue
Poyong is a branching narrative with an underlying disposition system that responds to player decisions, making the course of the narrative contingent on player dialogue choices and in-game behaviour. Example: player continues to throw away their weapon—NPC dialogue dynamically responds and their disposition counter increases, inching the player towards a new branch of narrative. It was exciting to anticipate player behaviour and draft distinct paths to affect disposition—responding with both dialogue and in-game cinematics.
Using Unreal's Behaviour Trees, we were able to associate the dialogue codes shown below with a disposition value. This allowed player narrative choices to have a greater impact on the game outcome, even in a 15-minute vertical slice prototype.
Southeast Asian culture and history are relatively under explored in western media, especially in the VR space. With our team’s personal connections to Southeast Asia, and more specifically to Malaysia, we recognized an opportunity to construct a rich and immersive environment sampling and celebrating Malaysian and Indonesian culture and history.
I developed a reservoir of research regarding spiritualism and significant historical events in Malaysia and Indonesia to heighten the narrative, providing a more culturally embedded, immersive experience. Fortunately, I was also able to leverage the lived experiences of my teammates for basic cultural references as well.