VELUM: A 3D Puzzle/Exploration Game Designed Using Crowdsourced AI Facial Analysis

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Chaput, Nicholas Stephen
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Computer Science
artifact description
Velum is a first-person 3D puzzle/exploration game set in a timeless version of the Boston Public Garden. The project’s narrative framework and aesthetics are based on one of the Garden’s most prominent features, the Ether Monument, which commemorates the 1846 discovery of diethyl ether’s effectiveness as a medical anesthetic. A sequence of nine abstract challenges is rewarded by a progressive revelation of the player’s mysterious identity and purpose. The puzzle design was informed by the use of crowdsourced playtesting involving 300+ volunteers, combining standard data telemetry with AI-based facial image analysis capable of mapping player emotions to gameplay events.