TF-CBT Triangle of Life: A Game to Help With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This is an academic research paper I wrote in conjunction with Eric Chang, Seungsuk Cho, Vivek Kotecha, Bing Liu, Hannah Turner, Yan Zhang, Michael G. Christel, and Scott M. Stevens at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University. It was published in CHI PLAY ’14: Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-human Interaction in Play.

Abstract:
Under direction of medical professionals associated with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a mobile game was developed for children ages 10-12 to teach the Cognitive Triangle concept of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. This triangle is an essential component of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). A storybook experience with minigames was quickly prototyped, but first playtests showed a lack of engagement with children. The game was revised to emphasize side- scroller platform advancement where success in a level was tied intrinsically to cognitive triangle classification. Children rated the game highly across a series of playtests. The game has potential to be used by clinicians delivering TF-CBT as an appealing exercise for children.

Full paper available in Association for Computing Machinery’s Digital Library.

Character Rig

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).

Timeframe: 8 hours

 
Given a full character model, I was tasked with rigging the head, mouth/jaw, arms, legs and feet.

FullRig_InProgress

Subsequently I skinned it and gave the legs IK handles. I also implemented reverse-foot rigging.

LegsRig_InProgress

Lastly, I completed the rig using weight painting to allow the jaw joint to control the mandible, i.e. move the mouth.

FinalRig

CMU ETC: TF-CBT Triangle of Life

Team Transcendence
Collaborators: Eric Chang, Seungsuk Cho, Vivek Kotecha, Bing Liu, Hannah Turner & Yan Zhang
Role: Creative Director
Timeframe: January – May 2014
Traumatic experiences often leave negative after-effects in children. This can cause recurring negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Our client, the Allegheny Singer Research Institute/Disruptive Health Technology Institute, takes these children through a program called TF-CBT, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to inform and help them recover.Team Transcendence assisted the TF-CBT treatment process by creating a game to augment the therapy. TF-CBT: Triangle of Life (formerly Project Savannah) is a mobile game that teaches traumatized children about the Cognitive Triangle of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as how to replace their negative thoughts with positive ones. For more information, please visit our website.
My contributions:
– Wrote the story and all game text/dialogue
– Composed original soundtrack
– Created and curated all sound effects
– Directed art style
– Wrote and published weekly newsletters
– Created all project videos
– Created and maintained project website

Studio

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).
Studio
Timeframe: 6 hours
 
Given 3 un-textured walls and 3 un-textured objects, I was assigned to define UVs and apply textures to all objects in the scene. Given my hobby of breakdancing, I decided to make a dance studio (and Photoshop the bboy image into the rendered image at the end). I used planar mapping to generate UVs for all of the faces, then cut and unfolded them as where needed (the back of the speakers for example). I also added various lights to the scene.

Ambient Occlusion

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).
AmbiCube

AmbiShadows
Timeframe: 2 hours

 
While being taught how to employ ambient occlusion using Mental Ray, we were given in-class tasks to generate shadows determined by ambient occlusion.

Textures/Colors

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).
 
Timeframe: 0.5 hrs each
 
Textured Apple
As a first texturing exercise I was given an apple model and a leaf texture. I was tasked with applying the leaf texture, coloring the stem, and applying a ramp texture to the apple itself.
 
Textured Barrel
As an in-class assignment I was tasked with creating a high-polygon barrel model and then creating a normal map of it to apply to a plain (i.e. low-polygon) cylinder of the same size. This is the high-poly model with a red color texture applied to it.

Terrain Map

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).
Terrain

Timeframe: 1 hour

 
As an in-class exercise I was tasked to create a terrain map using provided textures by creating an alpha map over a sculpted surface plane.

Adult Female Head

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).

Timeframe: February 2014 (1 week completion time)

The following was our second assignment (and my first ever 3D organic model): to pick a human(oid) head and build it in Maya. I used the following reference images for my model:

Model Perspectives

I started with a plane that I cut into 2 pieces, then pulled in the right vertex of the cutting edge to the cheekbone. Afterwards I modeled the face using proper edgeflow and mirrored it.

Face Beginning

I then extruded the face edges to sculpt out a three-dimensional skull, initially including allotted surface area for hair, and created eyes.

Face Middle

Finally I compressed the shape to reflect the skull as opposed to the original hair. I then created ears and filled the sockets I had left for them in the skull.

Face Final

1908 Ford Model T Cabriolet

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology curriculum, Introduction to Maya is an elective course where students learn and practice the fundamentals of three-dimensional modeling in Autodesk Maya (2014).

Timeframe: January 2014 (1 week completion time)

The following was our first assignment (and my first ever 3D model): to pick a Ford Model T and build it in Maya using less than 1000 triangles. I used the following schematic for my model:

Schematic

I sculpted the body first (starting from the carriage) and then did the sideskirts.

Model-T_Partway

I originally intended to use toruses for the wheels; however, one wheel alone was over the 1000 triangle limit so I settled on a 7-sided pipe for the most cost-effective, yet aesthetically satisfactory shape.

Model T Tire Test

The final product is shown below.

Model T Final

CMU ETC: Building Virtual Worlds – Trinity Tower Defense

As part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Entertainment Technology first-semester curriculum, Building Virtual Worlds is a course where students work in interdisciplinary teams to create interactive worlds every two to three weeks.

Collaborators: Jimit Bhalani, Gabriel Burgess, Prajwal Manjunath & Hannah Turner

Given 3 weeks and a 5-person team, we created a 3-player tower defense game that tasks guests with defending the portal to Heaven from the demons that have escaped from Hell by exorcising them. We created the game using the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment platform consisting of 3 screens forming an open box, and a pneumatic floor that could rise, fall, and tilt.

My contributions:
– Compiled and edited all SFX and VOX using Audacity and Adobe Audition
– Recorded narrations using Pro Tools, edited in Audacity
– Created opening and closing (win & loss cases) screens using Adobe Photoshop & Premiere

Timeframe: November – December 2013
– SFX completed over a period of 1.5 weeks
– NPC (non-player character) VOX completed over a period of 2 hours
– Narration VOX completed over a period of 2 hours
– Respective Title, Credits and Losing screens completed over a period of 1.5 hours