The Night Cafe is an immersive VR environment that allows you to explore the world of Vincent van Gogh first hand. Take a moment to enjoy his iconic sunflowers in 3 dimensions or walk around the chair he painted in his bedroom to see it from another angle. Step into the vivid colors straight from his palette.
Controls: I wanted something very simple and intuitive so I went with a minimalist control scheme with just tap to move forward and swipe up or down to crouch or stand. I experimented with touchpad rotation but it seemed to take away from the immersion factor because you no longer had to actually turn your head to look around. I also wanted to keep some kind of height change ability with crouching because it enables the visitor to get different vantage points -- one example is when you crouch down near the window to get a better view of the swirling stars.
Mechanics: Because this is an environmental experience and not a game there are no "mechanics" so to speak. Just wander around at your leisure and enjoy :)
Innovation: My main goal with this project was to see what kinds of stylized 3D rendering could be experienced through VR. I have always been drawn to the paintings of Van Gogh and I imagined it would be amazing to be inside one of these colorful worlds. While the GearVR offered certain challenges with its technical limitations compared with a PC, it forced me to prioritize and really define what makes a Van Gogh painting unique.
While creating the environments of these paintings in 3D space I've had to expand on areas that can't be seen; rooms behind doors, objects hidden from view, people turned away from the viewer. It's been an interesting process in using reference material from Van Gogh and other expressionist painters but also imagining what might have been there, just off the edges of the canvas.