TESTING (Perception Neuron)
How do you write for an interactive VR adventure? How do you write, including all the possibilities that can be explored, in 360? How do you format your script in a way, that it is accessible to others to read and to give feedback to? A traditional screenwriting software seems very inadequate. Enter Articy:draft!
Modo & Adobe Fuse
3D CHARACTER CREATION
SPEECH RECOGNITION & AI
Body & Face
ArchVizPRO Interior Vol.3, Mantle
6 MONTHS WITH FONDEN
What did we achieve?
-Motion Capture (Body & Face)
-3D Character Creation based on real people (Modo & Fuse)
-Locomotion system (Arm Swinger)
-Magic System (Pitch & Movement)
Making VR Characters in Modo
Prototype of Lund
-Speech Recognition & Artificial Intelligence (IBM Watson)
-VR Set (ArchVizPRO Interior Vol.3, Mantle, BuildR)
-Binaural Audio (DearVR)
-Crowd Building (Tutorials, Kulturnatten)
Tutorials & Kulturnatten
The Main Set
You are welcome to click through the "script" below. It is still very much in a draft state. There are bugs, and it doesn't even have an ending, but now its faults can be easily judged and commented on by everyone. So finally we have tools and the workflow in place to make the script actually good. (if you get 404 error, refresh the page & that should do it)
VR surprises you. Things that you think should be easy, are not. In fact, nothing is easy in VR. But it is SO exciting. Our plans have changed, and then changed again. We have realised that we cannot approach VR as we would making a game. We cannot approach VR as we would making a movie. We have learned that VR is life. So how do you write and model life in an exciting and entertaining way?
We have had to focus solely on the VR side of the project. There are so many nuts to crack. During the first stage of the "Songs of Magic" project, we have managed to crack the following: (and now feel like we can progress to stage two, actual VR adventure prototyping)
Life is a series of interactions with other human beings. If we now approach VR as we approach life, we have to be able to interact with virtual beings. And speech is one of our main tools to do just that. So the Holy Grail for me is to find a way to speak to characters in VR, and by so doing influence the events that unfold around me.
I was so happy to bump into the Jeopardy world champion, AI extraordinaire, a fellow Unity user: IBM Watson!
We are becoming fast friends...
The set is crucial to any story. Perhaps even more so in VR. Below are some examples on how we are trying to speed up the process of making immersive sets for Songs of Magic.
So, you've built an amazing world. How do you then explore it, when movement in VR can actually make you feel physically ill? Here is our solution:
Articy:Draft to Unity
Well, if you are going to call your VR adventure Songs of Magic, you'd better have a way to do magic in VR. Here is what we have done so far:
How do we make interesting and realistic characters in VR? Perhaps we can start by making them look like the actor that plays them. Check out how we are doing just that below:
You can't only look the part. You got to act the part as well. This is how we are going to make the characters move and grove:
PRODUCTION (Brekel ProFace2)
Immersive audio plays a HUGE part in VR. This is the solution we have opted to use:
Funding, sales, marketing... Success here lies in crowd building. And the work needs to happen from the very beginning of the project. It takes time to build a following. The night before launching a KickStarter campaign is painfully too late.
During Kulturnatten 2016, I offered the good people of Lund the chance to come and try the HTC Vive. Around 60 people passed by that night and tried VR, most for the first time. Many left their contact details behind, and I've begun to weave these individuals into the project (testers, designers, project managers, comic story tellers, etc.)
I've also begun making a tutorial series called "VR Dev 4 Non-Coders" to start building a worldwide online following. The response has been very positive so far.
I've had to make the decision to focus solely on VR during the last months. I feel quite urgently, that Pengu Studios needs to be established in the VR space before the chasm of luck and connections grows too wide.
So, in one way, this transmedia project has failed. However, when it comes to VR, I feel we have made great strides, and laid a foundation for something potentially groundbreaking when it comes to storytelling and human interaction in Virtual Reality.
I feel we now can truly roll up our sleeves and get to work.
And yes. There will be a Songs of Magic web series... and a live show. But I'm betting my money on VR being the one enabling (and funding) the other two.
IBM Watson & Unity