Tasks: Artificial Intelligence, game programming, stylized shading
Bot Band Jazz is an immersive VR game that lets players interact with various objects and participate in mini-games set inside a bustling theater, culminating in a thrilling musical performance. Showcased at the Dutch Game Garden (located at the Hengelo Heim Museum), the game has garnered significant praise, earning a public vote award.
My role in the development of Bot Band Jazz involved implementing a friendly cleaning robot as an AI-controlled NPC. To achieve this, I utilized a finite state machine-based approach. The robot was designed to patrol the theater and tidy up scattered objects. It was also programmed to respond to player input – for example, reacting when objects were thrown at it or when players dropped items on the ground.
In addition to my work on the cleaning robot, I also implemented several mini-games that added to the overall immersive experience of Bot Band Jazz. These included:
An interactive popcorn machine that allowed players to press a button in VR to create popcorn, which they could then scoop out of the machine using a virtual scoop.
And a cotton candy machine that allowed players to create their own virtual cotton candy by holding sticks inside the machine.
To enhance the game’s aesthetic, I developed a custom cell shading technique that included an outline post-processing effect and a stylized material. To achieve the desired look, I modified Unity’s BRDF lighting function, and implemented both depth and normal-based edge detection. This approach allowed me to distinguish outlines inside and outside of objects separately, creating the unique visual style that the project team envisioned.