Report – Presentation 2: Realtime VR Storytelling – Heading for the Holodeck

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 2:19pm by Tom Jordan

Nick PittomSpeaker: Nick Pittom, Fire Panda

Takeaway: VR presents challenges to storytelling – but also a virtual world of opportunities to try something different and create your own rules.

Nick gave a whirlwind beginner’s guide to some of the technology used in virtual reality creation, and introduced some of the pros and cons of both Realtime VR and 360 VR platforms.

He said there are still limitations to both, including time, man hours, cost, technology restrictions and even motion sickness, but the technology keeps advancing, which is exciting.

Nick highlighted things to consider in terms of how storytelling differs in VR. On traditional platforms, the story takes place in a box or on a screen, but in VR the user is inside a whole world and so storytellers need to think how users would feel being inside the story with the characters, rather than having a traditional ‘from the outside’ perspective.

Storytellers should factor in that viewers are likely to feel a greater empathy for the virtual characters – for example, if one gets hurt while the user is standing next to it, it has a strong impact. Depth, spatial awareness and consistency throughout the world are also important.

Despite these differences, he said that, like in any platform, it is important that the story is still strong and the character is still powerful – developers shouldn’t become over-consumed with the technology and the platform.

vr-nick-pittomHe concluded by saying that VR is still developing compared with traditional film, so makers need to experiment: try new things, make their own rules, tear them up and start again.

Nick’s presentation in full here

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Tom Jordan

About the author

Tom Jordan

Freelance, CMC Content Manager & Writer, Editor, Project Manager

Tom Jordan is a freelance writer, editor and project manager based in Sheffield. As well as being the Content Manager and Blogging Editor for this year's CMC, he is the author of the voice of the John Keats at Guy's Hospital in London, part of the international Talking Statues project,… Read more