Megaverse has a deep rooted connection with theatre and storytelling and when Oculus released their DK1 headset we made the connection between immersive theatre and virtual reality. This set us on our path to discovering volumetric capture and we became encouraged by the liveness and immediate quality of our initial trial recordings. There was also something liberating about stepping onto the capture stage and performing without worrying about motion capture suits - it felt far more natural to perform this way.
In 2016 we received Arts Council funding to make our first ever virtual reality theatre performance.
The play was called New Template and was written by SciFi writer Michael Carlin. The piece was about an AI who kept getting reset in a ‘groundhog day’ scenario until it eventually became conscious and ultimately crashed the system it was being constrained by.
By experimenting with merging the physical set with the digital environment, we where able to increase the level of presence and immersion for the user. It was a room scale tracked piece using the HTC vive and also had positionally tracked 3D audio. There were basic levels of interaction where the user was guided by a Wheatley from Portal inspired character to stand in certain points of the space to activate the next scene. It was our first venture in to XR.
It was firstly shown in Sheffield at Access Space and later in London as part of Forge North.
Ben has produced multiple XR applications for clients in Sheffield/London, leading small teams of creatives and technologists to create unique digital experiences for the arts, marketing and healthcare sectors. Ben has a First Class (Hons) degree in Drama from Kingston University and is currently developing a new digital course for National Youth Theatre which will run later this year.