Oculus Story Studio, the film-focused division of virtual reality (VR) specialist, Oculus VR, was set up with the simple goal of finding the very best practises in VR filmmaking. So far the team has revealed 2 projects with which it has searched for the best techniques to engage Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) owners in a narrative. One of these projects is the animated short, Henry. In fact, Oculus Story Studio recently admitted that some members of its team still thinking that some of the decisions it made with the movie weren’t the right ones.
The group explained as much in a recent blog post: “The inclusion of Henry’s “look at” behaviour (Henry glancing over and locking eyes with you during emotional moments) wound up being one of the more popular aspects of the experience. It showed us that, despite our hypothesis, many people didn’t need to have their identity in the world explained. Lots of people are just happy to be there and to take part in the experience. “
Of course, Henry‘s story revolves around the titular character, a cartoon hedgehog, feeling lonely on his birthday. Thus, some members of the Oculus Story Studio team felt that having the viewer as an actual presence in this world detracted from the story. “Despite this, there was still contention among team members of whether the “look at” behavior was the right move to make,” the team continued. “There was still a dissonance between presence and story: why is Henry so lonely if I’m sitting right here with him? For this reason, many members of the team still consider Henry a flawed narrative.”
Henry is expected to launch alongside the Oculus Rift itself in Q1 2016. VRFocus will continue to follow the title closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.