Robert Fuentes

The Ooo Brothers in Uncanny Valley

Senior Project April 2015


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Florida Gulf Coast University
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Videogames have created a sense of adventure and wonder for generations of adults and children. Beginning with Pong and Oregon Trail to today’s Super Smash Bros. and Minecraft, videogames satisfy an inherent craving for exploration and competition. Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, the blockbuster Nintendo franchise; described the original concept for the videogame as originating from his childhood fascination with collecting bugs. Iconic game designer Shigeru Miyamoto similarly described his ideas for Legend of Zelda stemming from the feeling he had as a child wanting to explore the caves and forests near his house in rural Kyoto, Japan. For my exhibition, I used my own childhood experience of wonder in order to create a game that players could enjoy.

In the videogame I created for my senior project, The Ooo Brothers in Uncanny Valley, I focused on my childhood fascination for, and fear of, ghosts. As a child ghosts were any unexplainable sights or sounds. The slow creak of a door and the glimmer of light shooting across the wall were immediately associated with paranormal activity. I remember feeling helpless against these unseen horrors with my only safety being to hide under the covers. When I did muster up the courage to investigate the alleged ghost activities, I still felt helpless. What would I be able do if I did find a ghost behind the curtain or under the bed? I wanted a tool to be able to defend myself against the horrors of the night - or at the least, something I could give my brother to use to protect the two of us. I created the two main protagonists of the story based on the personalities of myself and my brother. Oscar is the older, hot tempered and fearless brother while Odie is the younger, timid, and tech savvy brother. The game itself is set in an abandoned amusement park that lies in a valley of a mountain range, which makes an interesting setting to investigate. The Ooo Brothers in Uncanny Valley embodies that desire in my childhood to discover and vanquish the horrors of the night with my fearless brother.

Using the Unity engine, a software program for making videogames I built the physical environment based on the concept of an abandoned amusement park. Various tools within the unity software were used to create the setting for the haunted mansion ride in a valley surrounded by mountains. Certain aesthetics, such as lights, wall and floor textures, furniture and appliances were added to further develop the setting. Background music and sound effects for ghosts, the camera, and the environment was chosen to compliment the setting and gameplay. Coding different functions in the software makes it possible for the player to use an Xbox controller, move along a determined path through the levels, and encounter and capture the ghosts. Creating the main menu, pause menu, and ending sequence were done through coding as well as using design aspects to make it fit with the setting and feel of the overall game.