We are a team of creatives with a deep interest in the developing language of VR storytelling. We built a short experience with simple constraints in order to play with the possibilities for narrative immersion during the telling of a great story.
Controls - our experience is a passive storytelling experience. Users put on the headset and are transported into the world of Alexandre Dumas' classic adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. They find themselves inside Edmund Dantes’ prison cell inside the Château d'If fortress. The only control they have is the ability to look around as the chapter unfolds around them.
Mechanics - Users can expect to experience immersive sound design and a feeling of presence inside the same prison that Dantes is unjustly confined to in the novel.
Innovation - We imagined our experience as an audiobook adaptation to VR. We kept Dumas' clever third person interaction intact and added 3D character animation to fuse simple stage play and cinematic mechanics with the audio narrative. We were able to achieve an intimate engagement with our main character and a sense of presence inside the cell.
We selected this chapter as our first VR filmmaking project for several reasons:
1) The Count of Monte Cristo is timeless, classic adventure storytelling (and a public domain novel)
2) the chapter takes place in a single room over the course of several years -- since it's only in a single room, we could work within simple constraints
3) adapting a novel to VR could have legs beyond just a jam -- it could be a form VR users get interested in, or book publishers want to develop for
4) we wanted to learn how to tell great stories in VR, and already having a fantastic story to work with allowed us to focus on learning the rules of how to make the VR experience enhance and complement dramatic narrative
Unfortunately, we ran out of time and could not fulfill the entirety of our vision. We learned so much during this jam and are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on an experience and explore VR design together!
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