Our early prototype of Life Hutch VR is up and running. Above is a video capture taken directly from an Oculus Rift. It is remarkable to be transported from my office into this sci-fi world that feels so real and completely believable. Looking around the virtual world, I can feel the power of this story and the potential to tell it with VR. From our robot antagonist ELLIS tending to the hutch, to the point of view of the battered Captain Terrence, I am inside the story, seeing it the way I envisioned it as a kid. This is especially gratifying after spending the last eight months reaching out to the author Harlan Ellison and his agent Marty Shapiro, securing the rights, writing the script and beginning design.
The tools we have today have opened the doors for a new generation of writers and directors and will undoubtedly lead to a renaissance in telling stories. We are using the incredibly powerful (and free) Unity game engine to build the app, which has empowered us to quickly and inexpensively start to build and bring it to life. This remarkable platform handles lighting, physics, rendering, and game logic in a simple and unified way, and can make a game developer out of anyone. The community of developers and designers have also created a wonderful ecosystem of assets to jump-start a project. Our prototype uses a SciFi Laboratory Pack from Velkin Labs and a cute little Robot Voda I by vicdesign33. The proliferation of affordable computers and tools, along with the interconnectivity of the Internet, has created a digital democracy where a small team or individual can make and distribute everything from code modules and 3D models to entire virtual worlds. It is this phenomenon that will allow us to create Life Hutch VR with incredible production value at a fraction of the cost. I imagine this ragtag band of makers and artists from around the world coming together to help us make something extraordinary.
Next week: The inspiring production designs of Mark Bloom.