OTE is a project created in 2020 by Elijah Alvarez and Matthew Li. OTE is a video game created in p5.js that tells the story of OTE, an alien who lives alone on planet Earf. The user interacts with the video game via their webcam and the ml5 Handpose model. The model tracks the users hand, which they use to control a hand that floats above OTE. The objective is for the user to use the floating sky hand to protect OTE from bad weather. 

The aesthetic of the video game is inspired by lo-fi, early 1980s video games. This aesthetic was achieved by creating pixel art visual assets, running the game with a low pixel density, and using vintage video game inspired sound effects. 

OTE is a project created in 2020 by Elijah Alvarez and Matthew Li. OTE is a video game created in p5.js that tells the story of OTE, an alien who lives alone on planet Earf. The user interacts with the video game via their webcam and the ml5 Handpose model. The model tracks the users hand, which they use to control a hand that floats above OTE. The objective is for the user to use the floating sky hand to protect OTE from bad weather. 

The aesthetic of the video game is inspired by lo-fi, early 1980s video games. This aesthetic was achieved by creating pixel art visual assets, running the game with a low pixel density, and using vintage video game inspired sound effects. 

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The concept for OTE came from our idea to do a reverse take on the choose your own adventure form of storytelling. Instead of controlling a character in an external world, we decided to have the user control the external world which affects a character with free will. After learning the backstory of OTE, with enough empathy, the user should feel some responsibility to protect OTE as long as possible. 

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Early OTE concepts and testing:

We were originally hoping to have the game progress over multiple days, in which OTE faced various weather from rain to asteroids to boxes falling from the sky. However, due to time constraints and the limitations of using an online code editor, we were not able to build this into the game. We also decided not to use the pixel art assets we created for text. Instead, we used p5 to render text so that it could be interactive.

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The game was developed piece by piece. we used several p5 sketches to test different mechanics like the rotate() function for the hand, and using Perlin noise to generate smooth random movement for OTE. 

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Unfortunately, OTE does not run well on varying set-ups for unknown reasons. Through user testing, we realized that different computer set ups caused problems related to the web cam that sometimes made the game unplayable. Here is a beta version where you can use your mouse to control the hand instead of your webcam:

In the long run, we would like to develop the story into multiple days on planet Earf with varying threats to protect OTE from. We have also thought about using a different engine to run OTE, since p5 is fairly limited in terms of creating a game. As for hardware, we are considering moving to a joystick or a more reliable Handpose-like interface, like the Leap Motion Controller. 

credits:

Created by Elijah Alvarez & Matthew Li

SFX from "ESSENTIAL RETRO VIDEO GAME SFX COLLECTION (512 HQ WAV FILES)" by reddit user u/ctrlpluszeyn. 

Soundtrack by Matthew Li & Archie Barnes

Hand tracking software from ml5js.org