Many developers are using the ongoing Oculus VR Mobile VR Jam to test out new ideas and experiments for virtual reality (VR) videogames. The Jam, split into both apps and videogame categories, tasks entrants with creating new content for the Gear VR smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD). Some studios are looking beyond gameplay, then, and diving into other areas. For example, a team of developers is currently working on an innovative storytelling experience for the HMD named COLOSSE.
COLOSSE is the result of a team-up between Nick Pittom, the creator of two popular VR adaptions of scenes from Studio Ghibli movies as well as the upcoming Echo Red and former Oculus VR employee and VRSE producer Joe Chen. The title also features art from Jasmin Lai, Kevin Dart and Eran Hilleli among others. Their influence can clearly be seen in the images above; COLOSSE boasts a captivating, colourful art style that’s bathed in blue. The title intends to take the 2D style laid out by the artists and developer this into a 3D, real-time VR world.
As for the actual experience, the story is directed by focusing on what the viewer is looking as, which is a technique Pittom has often talked about. The title tells the tale of ‘the long lost Great Spirits’, which are also known as the titular COLOSSE, which appear as intricately-designed giants. It features no character dialogue although narration will come from an elder telling this story.
“VR storytelling is no easy feat,” the developer writes in its Challenge Post page. “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.”
VRFocus will continue to follow COLOSSE and all other entries into the VR Jam, reporting back with the latest updates on them.