Maliang and the Magic Brush VR

Maliang and the Magic Brush is a VR experiment designed for the HTC Vive and other room-scale VR devices. It was inspired by Google Tilt brush, a VR game that allows interactors to paint in an immersive 3D virtual space. Our team aims to take such experiences further allowing interactors not just to paint, but to instantiate and interact with the objects they create in virtual space. We believe such instantiated experience is a good fit for VR narrative, affording interactors the experience of dramatic agency.

Our narrative takes cues from an ancient Chinese traditional fairy tale “Magic Brush” about a kind little boy Maliang who has a magic brush that can turn anything he draws into a real world artifact. Some bad guys try to take the brush away from him, and Maliang avoids being caught by those bad guys by using his magic brush.  In our application the interactor is asked to instantiate wood to block a door, a ladder to climb up to the eaves, a skylight to escape to the roof, and a pair of wings to fly away.  The project poses the design challenge of scripting the interactor to have the appropriate expectations of their magical powers and to make the appropriate gestures to trigger the magic.

Students:  Phenix Tang, Hao Wu, Shengxi Wu