#187: Jason Ochoa on developing interactive VR narratives with Innerspace VR

Jason-OchoaInnerspace VR is made up of a group of people who met in art school, and have been experimenting with VR since 2011. Jason Ochoa was at SVVRCon, and shared a little bit about what types of cinematic VR experiences they’re creating.

Innerspace VR was showing a trailer for the first episode of The Fifth Sleep, which is an interactive story within a story where man who is in a coma shows you his fantastical imaginal world. Jason says that it’s like a cross between Inception and Fantastic Voyage.

They’re planning on creating a series of episodes that have branching narratives, and they’re going to be gathering feedback as the story progresses in order to get more iterative feedback for their development process. They’re planning a total runtime of around 90 minutes, but with all of the branching narratives then it could be as much as three times that length.

Innerspace VR originally started developing with the Crytek CryEngine, but have since migrated over to using Unreal Engine 4. They were also originally fairly skeptical about developing for mobile due to their graphics requirements for doing interactive cinematic VR, but they’re planning on creating some pre-rendered sequences that are output as video files, but still perhaps have some interactive elements to them.

Innerspace VR has also been busy in creating a variety of different VR experiences. Beyond The Fifth Sleep, they’ve created a couple of Gear VR experiences including DMZ: Demilitarized Zone VR documentary & the Playhead game. They’re also creating a room-scale HTC Vive experience called Firebird where you perform as a ballerina in front of an audience. A couple of other VR experiences they’ve created include The Cave and The Forbidden City virtual tour.

Finally, Jason is looking forward to more immersive experiences that allow you to make decisions, but also has a high replay-ability factor that makes you want to experience everything that’s possible. He also sees a lot of potential of adding in a social component in going on different quests and accomplishing tasks with his friends.

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