St. Roch Wheelhouse

The St. Roch Wheelhouse exhibit is an interactive ship simulator at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.  It allows visitors to experience navigating the museum’s historic vessel, the RCMP St. Roch, through the Northwest Passage.  Set in a recreation of the real St. Roch’s wheelhouse, the simulator includes 3D-animated arctic creatures, realistic sound, and an ice-breaking sequence.


The exhibit was built in the Unity game engine, and is displayed on five screens (three forward and two side) to provide a 180-degree view out the windows of the actual ship’s wheelhouse.  The physical installation includes a real ship’s wheel and and telegraph, salvaged from historical vessels.



The Wheelhouse Experience was an industry project at Centre for Digital Media.  Part of a larger project that also included an interactive touch table, I initially functioned as product manager of the Wheelhouse, focusing on hardware and physical aspects, and also overseeing design and user experience.  Following the academic term, I took over all aspects of production, including significantly upgrading the Wheelhouse to include the side screens and higher-fidelity visuals, programming modifications to improve usability of both the Wheelhouse and touch table, and installation of both exhibits in the museum.