Animated VR Experience Gets Premiere At A MAZE Festival

A virtual reality (VR) experience called Museum of Symmetry, directed and animated by Paloma Dawkins and produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will be getting its world premiere at the A MAZE Festival in Berlin.

A MAZE is the 7th International Games and Playful Media festival, and is due to take place from 25th-29th April, 2018. Attendees at the event will be able to try out Museum of Symmetry by donning a VR headset.

Museum of Symmetry takes a non-traditional approach to storytelling. Though set up like a VR videogame, there are no time limits, no dead ends and no combat. Instead, the user is led through a series of areas that explore the ideas of earth, air, fire and water.

The experience was originally developed as a 2D desktop videogame, which used hand-drawn animation to take the player on a journey inspired by the symmetry and patterns found in nature. As the experience took shape, it began to become clear to the creative team that Museum of Symmetry would be better realised as a VR experience.

The NFB teamed up with VR content creation start-up Casa Rara, who had experience with crafting AAA videogames and who expressed an interest in expanding into more unusual and immersive experiences. The core concept was moved to the HTC Vive using the Unity engine, which allowed the player to take in the environment at their own pace.

In the official synopsis, Museum of Symmetry is described thusly: “An absurdist mind-and-body romp through the highest clouds to the ocean deep, Museum of Symmetry is the explosive feel-good alter-universe of cartoonist and animator Paloma Dawkins—a room-scale VR experience with 2D animation in a 3D playground.”

Museum of Symmetry will also feature at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on 11th-16th June, 2018. VRFocus will continue to report on new and upcoming VR experiences and events.