CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2021
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Auto-Owners Insurance is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Lansing, Michigan with over 48,000 licensed insurance agents. Auto-Owners provides automotive, home, life, and business insurance to nearly 3 million placeholders in 26 states.

As an insurance company, it is important for Auto-Owners agents to be able to gather and analyze data regarding causes for claims. This helps them better anticipate which clients could be at risk of property damage and may need to submit a claim in the future.

Our Yard Wars: Weathering the Storm project is a virtual reality application where storms are simulated on virtual residences. Any damage caused by the storms is viewable in real time and in first person. This data is gathered, stored and displayed on an external website for analysis.

Users start by selecting the difficulty for the simulation, which changes the severity of the weather and number of trees that can be placed. Then, the user is tasked with placing trees around the property in order to replicate an existing or planned residence. Once they have finished placing trees, the storm simulation begins.

As the storm progresses, trees can fall and possibly cause damage to the home. Data about the simulation, including fallen trees and any damage caused, is sent to an external database for viewing and analysis on the website by Auto-Owners agents.

Our Yard Wars is an engaging game that provides Auto-Owners agents with useful information, assisting them with providing high quality service.

Our virtual reality software is developed in Unity and written in C#. We use a MySQL database to manage the data from the simulation, and it is communicated using PHP to the website, which is hosted on the same server.