Tender Claws continues to be one of the most innovative studios pushing forward what’s possible for immersive storytelling in VR by launching a Tempest, which is a live, immersive theater show within The Under Presents. It’s a show that blends the ambitions of live theater with the ambitions of gaming, with some embodied live action role playing in order to tell the story of Shakespeare’s Tempest.
The Under Presents has been employing live immersive theater actors since it’s original launch in November 2019, and they’re taking the lessons learned and putting on a 40-minute, one-man show for $14.99. It’s a unique fusion that seamlessly blends the affordances of theater and VR to create something truly unique that yields new innovations for the future of immersive storytelling.
I had a chance to talk with Tender Claws co-founder Samantha Gorman, who also wrote the Tempest, as well as Genevieve Flati who is one of the dozen immersive theater actors from The Under Presents who will also be taking on the role of Prospero in the Tempest. We talked about the lessons learned from The Under Presents, the process of fusing theater and gaming with inspirations from Journey, how to deal with different audience temperaments, how to make the audience feel seen and connected, and the three guidelines for adding in the “live” element of an experience of setting parameters and boundaries, engaging activity and responsiveness, and assigning roles and permissions.
The Tempest is one of the most innovative experiments of immersive storytelling that I’ve seen so far that starts to create unique group dynamics that will be different every time. Gorman expects to see quite a lot of different variations from performer to performer, and Flati expects that even from show to show that she plans on mixing it up quite a bit. (UPDATE: July 6, 2020, See the text below for more details on pricing.) If you’re interested in the future of immersive storytelling within XR, then this is must-see performance that will give you a really great idea for how to successfully blend together the ambitions of immersive theater and the affordances of VR.
- Tempest will be available for $14.99 (US) per ticket as an in-app purchase and includes permanent access to The Under multiplayer space.
- The Timeboat single player experience will be available as an in-app purchase for $11.99 (US) and also grants permanent access to The Under multiplayer space.
- The intro to The Under Presents (about 45 min of gameplay) will be free of charge as a demo of the experience.
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST
Here’s a teaser trailer for the experience:
Tickets to the Tempest show are an in-app purchase for Oculus platforms only (Quest or Rift), and Alex Coulombe walks through the process in this video:
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