A year ago, those of us at Oculus Story Studio were on different career paths working in computer animated films and story driven games. Like most creators and artists who have seen modern virtual reality, we knew this emerging platform was not just a new gaming device, but a powerful new medium. So we changed course, quit our jobs, and started down a path of using this medium to immerse the audience into fantastic worlds and deeply meaningful stories using realtime rendering. I left Pixar after 10 years, looking for the next step, the next evolution in story telling: when I saw Oculus’ internal prototype, I found what I was looking for. We all had similar moments when we were convinced and became believers.
Those of us story tellers venturing into VR sometimes feel like explorers cutting our way through a dense, overgrown, uncharted forest, and the deeper we get into the forest, the more profound of an experience we give our audience.
Being with Oculus, we are in a unique position: it is in our best interest to share our process as well as our end product. And so it is our mission to leave breadcrumbs behind as we progress through this forest, marking dead ends and sand traps, and saving our fellow explorers the time they could be using to help us all find new paths.
Here we are at Year Zero of modern VR, releasing our first realtime, interactive short experience called “Lost” in Park City, Utah during Sundance 2015, trying to tell stories in a medium new to story tellers. As much as we are proud of this first step, we know that it is just a beginning, and we’re excited by the journey ahead.
Like the stage directors and show men who converted to the first film makers, we find ourselves using a lot of the techniques and language that we bring with us from our previous lives. We often catch ourselves making the same type of mistake over and over again, assuming what we know in film and games will easily transfer to VR. It will be through serendipitous discovery and inventive mutations that Oculus Story Studio and the many VR story makers will start finding and sharing the narrative devices that will make VR story telling special.
These blog posts are written by the team members of Oculus Story Studio, discussing our failures and successes, our technology and our wishlists, our opinions and what excites us.
These blog posts will be our breadcrumbs.