Nick's Project 1 Reflection


  • I chose to use Unreal Engine for the first project because of the graphical and performance capabilities of UE4.

  • Creating a UE4 project from scratch in this timeframe was unrealistic for me, so I needed a template to start from.

  • Templates provided by CityEngine looked attractive, but were exceedingly difficult to set up, did not offer any straightforward way for customization, and did not support collaboration over WAN.

  • Feedback from the first project showed that users valued both ease of set up and collaborative features above graphical features and technical features.

Feedback Analysis

Most people found the teleportation locomotion controls to be intuitive, with an average score of 3.75/5 given. One responder recommended adding snap turning, a movement control that was not present in the demo.

Though some people found the table manipulation controls to be intuitive, some people found that the controls could use some improvement to make them more intuitive. This may result from the fact that all table interactions made use of the controller trigger, whereas it may have been more natural to split the controls across the trigger and the grip button, especially since grabbing the table with the grip button makes more sense. One responder pointed out that the zoom controls could use more explanation and were confusing until figuring them out. The average score given was 3.25/5.

Responders thought that the most effective ways to improve the displaying of tabular data on city maps would be through coloring each individual building according to a color key (i.e., red = hot, blue = cold), scatter chart with many dots scattered across the map visible from above (i.e., each dot = a crime event), and pointing at a particular building or area displays summary statistics in text on an overhead menu (i.e., hover over district -> displays population or avg temperature).

One responder recommended adding a compass to show cardinal direction and help with orientation. Another responder suggested adding the ability to teleport into the model for a street view. This street view teleport functionality is supported by the CityEngine template that I used – I just was unable to get it running in time for the demo.