Fractus is a VR experience that explores the repetition of history through a powerful audioscape inside a wonderous, infinite fractal universe.
What R&D can teach you
When you pitch a project it’s perfect – in that small paragraph vagueries are glossed over, and ideas sound pithy, streamlined and even…easy.
It’s only when you start to unpack an idea, when you begin to drill down into the nuts and bolts, that you realise you’ve actually built a house out of cheese and only brought spaghetti for a hammer.
And that’s OK.
Because more often than not (once you’ve stopped panicking), after you’ve taken some time to explore how this baby idea may actually grow into a concrete piece of art, you end up discovering and learning all sorts of things about yourself, your artistic process and your idea that you never knew before.
So what have we discovered through our R&D so far?
- Fractals are hard to code. If you want to learn more, check out Simon’s blog series.
- Fractals are SO beautiful – people want to look at them and are genuinely excited to play with them in a VR space.
With both these things in mind, and a realisation that we are time limited on this project, it seemed much smarter to concentrate on the fractals rather than add additional illustration and animation requirements to the project. To this end we have refined our brief:
A new brief
Fractus is a VR experience that immerses the viewer in an ever mutable universe of thought, colour, noise and passion. Exploring how our heritage shapes us and how we in turn mould the future.
Viewers are invited to don a VR headset in a curated space and enter Fractus.
The experience is presented as a navigable abstract, fractal world. Viewers can hear a steady soundscape which they can tune like a radio by making gestures in the air.
As they tune and change the soundscape, the fractals themselves react, shifting and dancing in sync with the audio, voices then begin to subtly drift into audibility at certain “frequencies”.
These voices come from many times and places throughout history and they speak candidly about their experiences and feelings towards others and the great events of their day.
As the viewer tunes into more of these voices, they discover similar themes that play-out through the epochs, tying our own experiences to our predecessors in ever-repeating patterns just like the fractals that roll off into infinity around them.
At the end of the experience viewers should feel a sense of wonder at the beauty and scale of the fractal landscape and intimacy with the voices who spoke to them. From a cognitive rather than an emotional view, they should find in equal parts that there is hope in the future, as well as warnings to be drawn from the past