Colosse demonstrates the power of storytelling in VR. In this preview version, you meet one of the Great Spirits known as the Colosse. To balance immersion with story engagement, this short uses gaze to ensure events happen at times that make sense for you. Seamless and beautiful, we can’t wait to see where this goes next.
‘COLOSSE’ is a real-time VR storytelling experience, with a stylized, character-focused visual narrative. The viewer’s gaze – the things they pay most attention to – will direct the experience around them, giving them a subtle control over events as they unfold.
There is no character dialogue, however there is a voice over running concurrent as events unfold. This is narrated by an older village member telling the tale of the long lost Great Spirits known as the COLOSSE, the story exploring themes of fear, power and respect.
We’ve set out to create a visually powerful, art-driven style, that will immerse the viewer in a highly stylized environment. The art design is both extremely engaging, and the characters appealing, but also seeks to maximize the aesthetic potential of mobile hardware. We are taking an originally 2D style our artists have created and developing it into a 3D, real-time VR world around the viewer. The approach is one that we feel creates a unique environment for a viewer to experience.
VR storytelling is no easy feat. We want to create an experience that requires no direct input from the viewer and yet allows them to experience a story crafted for the strengths that real-time VR can offer. Certainly this is quite the challenge within the time-frame we have and key will be ensuring events of the scene – animation, audio design, ‘set’ design – direct the viewer’s attention to the important story elements. But this alone would not be enough to ensure the viewer is able to appreciate the story as we intend.
We intend to use ‘gaze’ driven mechanics to control the pacing and action, ensuring that story beats and important moments are carefully played out to best tell the story. This goes beyond simply waiting for the viewer to ‘trigger’ events by looking at them, and will pay attention to the duration and periphery of the things they are viewing. Additionally we can change the events themselves to best suit the viewer – moving events to where the viewer is looking, rather than having to ensure the viewer looks the ‘correct’ way.
Sound design and music will create and build the atmosphere of the experience, working in tandem with the viewer driven direction to draw attention to the important story elements. There are challenges with the music as the audio will need to carefully mix at the appropriate times to best suit the action.
We’re really excited by the project, the possibilities of VR storytelling and can’t wait to create a world and characters that people will love.