Welcome to the world of Immersive Storytelling in VR
Have you seen a video, experience, movie, game in 360 degrees while you are using a Google cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC vive, PlayStation VR or another device? Well, congratulations you have sampled the future of story telling. Except it’s not exactly clear what are the standards of this new medium and what should be called a VR experience at all.
After searching the Google search engine for days, I found hundreds of VR movies, 360 videos available to the public and I have to say the industry is going crazy about VR. Not just mentally but technically, creatively and probably in every way possible. Everyone wants to have a slice of this new big pie called “VR”.
Here are few very different VR experiences that share a common similarity — they are more immersive than ever because of the technical medium.
The Simpsons: Planet of the Couches
While watching the story don’t forget to look around you to explore the environment thoroughly. Did you see Moe? Everyone knows Simpsons, and now you can see them in VR with a simple cardboard through your iOS or Android phone.
Return to Chernobyl
30 years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, FRONTLINE and New York University present “Return to Chernobyl.” This VR doc takes you on a haunting 360° journey inside the ruins, guided by Aleksandr who was just 9 years old when he survived Chernobyl. Today, Aleksandr is a tour guide bringing throngs of visitors through his notorious hometown — despite still dangerous levels of radiation.
Everyone heard or could easily find out about Chernobyl accident, and now we can see how it is doing after 30 years. Certainly, I would love the thrill of going there and experiencing it first hand, then again the nuclear wastage is not going away anytime soon, so this VR experience certainly gives a nice opportunity!
You can watch it on Facebook and again by using a simple cardboard.
Miyubi is a 40-minute virtual reality comedy about a Japanese toy robot — inhabited by you, the viewer — gifted to a young boy on his birthday in 1982 suburban America. Over the course of a year, as the boy’s family fractures apart, you experience love and your inevitable obsolescence in an intimate, hilarious and endearing interactive story.
Most VR movies are short compared to the movies we are used to seeing in the cinema. Most VR movies are in between the range of 3 to 15 minutes. MIYUBI is 40 minutes length VR movie. What is going on here? Well, no one said a VR movie cannot be that long it’s just easier and cheaper to produce short movies, and there is the possibility the technology is not here to comfort us for 40 minutes without hurting our eyes.
Unfortunately it’s not available to the public yet it was shown at the Sundance Festival. Rumours are saying it’s going to be released in Oculus store in 2017!
Ghost in the Shell VR experience
Created in collaboration with Paramount and Oculus Studios, the Ghost in the Shell VR experience allows viewers a glimpse into Major’s journey — punctuated with glitches, action and acrobatic intrigue — to find her ghost. Built from the ground up with Unreal Engine 4 and Unity real-time rendering engines, this interactive experience brings the audience inside the newly reimagined virtual world of Ghost in the Shell.
Now if you are a fan of Ghost in the Shell you will be disappointed by the experience, but you will still feel happy about it especially the great Major fall of the building — it gave me shivers. To try this experience you need either Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift. There is no cardboard experience and trust me the Oculus Rift provides much higher immersion into the experience.
The Drop A Wingsuit VR experience
Watch Graham Dickinson and Dario Zanan jumo from a helicopter and dive head first into the unknown.
You must watch this in cardboard; I mean VR mode. It’s an experience you will want to share with your friends and maybe try out it in real life, or maybe not.
As a soul transitioning into the afterlife, Senza Peso shepherds you on a spiritual journey through a beautifully dark world of lost souls and redemption.
You heard that right it is a mini opera turned into a VR experience, and I have to admit it was amazing trying it out for the first time on Oculus Rift. I recommend trying it to absolutely everyone even if the word “opera” scares you. You can watch the experience either on Oculus Rift and through SteamVR.
Gnomes & Goblins
In this preview, players meet and develop a personal relationship with an enigmatic resident of this interactive fantasy, taking a first step into the lucid dream of Gnomes & Goblins and its many realms and denizens.
Gnomes & Goblins is my favourite. It’s interactive story where you have the power alone to influence how the story proceeds. Gnomes & Goblins shows the most prominent future of VR storytelling. I wish I could tell you more on how to get through the experience faster, but I swear you will enjoy it much more by learning it yourself. To experience it you will need the best gear the market has to offer, and that is HTC Vive.
Did I mention you that most VR movies, experiences are free?
The industry is experimenting in whatever way they can and offering free content is one of them, but I’m sure that is not going to be forever like that so enjoy the free content while you can.
Different different but same.
The experiences are different and same at the same time. Like for example a video 360 is not the same as 6 degrees of freedom VR experience yet both can provide a similar level of immersion.
I showed you 7 random experiences out of hundreds
I’m convinced that VR movies are here to stay and they are changing the way we understand what is ‘Storytelling’ and experience them.
If you haven’t tried this magical device I would highly recommend trying it out, its awesome and you got plenty of options to choose from already.
P.s. What are your most favourite VR movies, 360 videos, experiences?