Australian virtual reality (VR) studio, Start VR has launched a new experience across VR platforms that takes its inspiration from the classic film noir era. Simply called VR Noir is a live action, cinematic experience for Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Viewers are placed in the role of Veronica Coltrane, a former cop-turned private investigator, struggling to make ends meet whilst juggling a child support battle. When a woman walks into Veronica’s office asking for help locating her husband, the viewer is faced with a difficult decision. Is the client a woman in grief, or could something far more sinister be happening?
Conceived by Start VR Executive Producer Nathan Anderson, he explained “We wanted to explore how film and gaming VR experiences could live together. Can you have a cinematic experience that also allows you to have some agency in the outcome? My career quest is to find the convergence of storytelling, game design and interactivity.”
While Start VR’s VR Supervisor Martin Taylor said: “Detective stories are a familiar genre. We started from a familiar place where all the tropes are well known – a lonesome main character, a femme fatale, a mystery to solve. Then we placed it in the unfamiliar medium of VR.”
“Crime drama works really well because there’s a natural inclination for the audience to want to work out what’s happened,” adds Anderson. “If you’re reading a mystery book, you’re trying to find out who did it and stay one step ahead of the detective. Crime is an easy access point to figuring out how to generate interactivity in VR while still focusing on the story.”
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