Interactive narrative R&D

Creations is a prototype interactive narrative that was produced as a research project into embedding the mobile devices features, characteristics and affordances into filmic interactive narratives. Therefore it embeds some of the unique features of the mobile device to progress the narrative. The project itself was produced over a period of approximately 2.5 months of which nearly all elements were produced by me.

This prototype narrative consists of seven chapters that guide the viewer through seven symbolic stages of a creative endeavor, from rise to fall, creation to destruction. Each of these chapters holds different environments, coupled with interactions that range from tapping and swiping, to location tracking and world-facing augmented reality. To produce the work, many of Unity’s features for mobile development were used in addition to extending the program with custom made C# components. This was needed to—for example—tie the users’ head movement to the characters’ face rig in an effort to combine real-time AR-tracking with pre-recorded motion capture data that takes care of all the characters’ movements. Additionally, a custom interactive video-player was coded to take care of interactive video-switching. This made it possible to generate many versions of pre-rendered video in HoudiniFX and insert desired outcomes by switching between ‘master’ and ‘insert’ video’s on designated switch-frames.

The final result balances between a game- and film- like experience which was purposefully stripped of many game-like elements like score systems and skillful interactions, in an effort to only focus the users’ attention to interactively progressing and interpreting the narrative.

Character design by Mikko Heiskanen
Sound design by Olli Ketonen

Additional assets generously made available by David O’Reilly

Software used:
– HoudiniFX
– Premiere Pro