Sony Pictures cannot let Ghostbusters go down in flames alone, they need to bring any and everyone else with them. While it hasn’t been enough to simply use major media outlets to defame and denigrate the core demographic who would have been willing to impart with their money to see the movie in theaters come July 15th, they’ve decided to take a different approach by teaming with tech innovators The Void and Unity Technologies for a holo-deck VR experience called Ghostbusters: Dimension.
Clive Downie, CMO Unity Technologies commented about the new VR experience powered by their graphics and gameplay engine, stating in the press release…
“This is precisely the kind of innovative use of VR that Unity is now powering with our 3D engine and platform,”
“With an untethered VR experience that allows people to roam freely and interact with a physical world that matches the digital one they are seeing, consumers will have whole new levels of delight as they lose themselves in another realm. It’s giving presence to interactive storytelling putting people into the Ghostbusters world with high definition, high frame rate high excitement action, powered in part by Unity.”
Yes, you read it right. This is a true and through VR experience. No tethers; no cords.
It’s a 15 minute demonstration that sees users walking through a New York City apartment building while they encounter ghosts. Users will put on physical gear and actually interact with the world using the physical gear. It sounds kind of crazy but it’s the real deal.
They let loose a 16 second teaser trailer that you can check out below.
That does absolutely nothing to describe or showcase what you can expect from the VR tour. However, they do link to some press images of the experience, and you can check out a couple of those images below.
Just a few quick notes about that image above… do you see that real-time directional lighting? It’s rendered using the physical based material properties in Unity, so you get a really nice, high-end rendering output on the light effects on certain environments. Notice how the sun being cast on the end of the television heightens the reflective highlight of the bloom on the television knob. That’s some prime-time, AAA-style graphical rendering at play right there.
Also the subtle use of ambient occlusion for the environmental objects and contrasts between soft and hard shadows based on the light sources really help bring that scene to life. In the larger version of the image the only downside is that the resolution isn’t all that hot, but hopefully at the actual event it’s a lot cleaner.
If you still have no idea how this all plays out, essentially it’s like a VR studio you step into, you strap on the gear and equip the gun and you walk around the small apartment where you fight ghosts and briefly interact with the environment. Imagine a VR version of Terminal reality’s 2009 Ghostbusters video game, only it’s in first-person and running on the Unity 3D game engine.
James Jensen, The chief visionary officer at The Void further explained how the whole thing works and what they’re aiming to achieve with this cross-promotional marketing stunt, saying in the press release…
“The Ghostbusters world is the perfect fit for THE VOID because you literally strap our RAPTURE gear on and it turns into your proton pack and proton gun,”
“One of the key components to powering this experience is a powerful 3D engine, and Unity was the obvious choice. Their VR platform allowed us to rapidly iterate on our ideas, while offering us an editor that lets us focus on storytelling instead of being bogged down in writing a lot of code.”
The Void is kind of cool insofar that it bridges augmented reality with virtual reality using props, sets and a large space to make it all happen. It’s the closest thing to a Star Trek Holodeck that we have at the moment.
The Ghostbusters: Dimension VR demo will be available at the Madame Tussauds New York museum.
I love the crossover promotion between Unity and The Void, and it’s cool that they’re taking the Ghostbusters property and slapping some VR on it, but the damage from the media has already been done. If Sony doesn’t want nerds or geeks to see the upcoming Ghostbusters flick by constantly pushing the cast and director to run to the media to call any and everyone even the least bit critical of the film, racist, sexist and misogynists (including women) that’s fine by me. It’s a ticket saved and a night in.
For more information on the Ghostbusters: Dimension event or to order tickets, feel free to visit the official website.