Safewell is a semester-long client project at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU ETC). Developed for our client Reach Wireline, Safewell utilizes cutting-edge VR technology to provide an immersive and interactive safety training experience to fracking workers, and enhances their awareness of danger at work.

Platform: Unreal with Oculus Quest


Primary Roles: Designer, Programmer, Assistant Producer
  • Designed and iterated on the overall experience design as well as the interaction design for safety hazards in three fracking job scenarios.
  • Designed and implemented the transition flow between scenarios with Unreal Blueprints.
  • Recorded, edited, and integrated voice overs and sound effects for the experience
  • Optimized the program when switching platform from Oculus Rift S to Oculus Quest.
  • Laid out the fracking site environment and assembled scenarios with interactive objects
  • Facilitated meetings with clients for weekly progress update and content reviews.


Collaborated with:
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Making of Safewell

Site Visit

The project was kicked off with a site visit where our client took the whole team to one of the company’s fracking site located in Pittsburgh, PA. During the site visit, we photo-documented detailed job site environment, equipment and tools workers use, the correct and incorrect ways of operating tasks, what some safety hazards look like, etc., which provided a solid base for our later work of recreating safety hazards and the job site environment with Unreal game engine.


Evaluating Hazards and Control Scope

Once we compiled the photo/video documentation and notes we took during the site visit, we quickly evaluated a list of safety hazards we received from our client based on whether the hazard requires a unique environment set, how common or sever the hazard is, and how time-consuming it is to recreate the hazard. Based on the results, the team was able to prioritize 3 job scenarios over the rest, and to dedicate the whole semester working on it.

Due to the time and human resource constraint, the team had to reduce the scope of the project by reusing environment assets, reducing character animations, and implementing a simple IK system with Unreal, apart from cutting down the number of scenarios we had to build.


Playtesting and Content Review

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the second half of the project was completed with the whole team working remotely, which made it challenging for playtesting. The team was able to get the client to playtest on their own Oculus Quest headset while video-taping the entire process. We then coordinated with them to do a couple of content review over Zoom where we fixed details such as the safety message and statistics we integrated in the experience, the positioning of certain environment assets, etc.


For more info on the development process, please visit the Safewell project website.