When building the virtual lobby, we wanted to develop an experience that allowed the audience to feel as if they were spending an evening at the theatre, recreating the same buzz and atmosphere theatregoers would expect if they were viewing a performance in person. To enhance the experience, we created a top-down forest journey with interactive tooltips mapped around the forest, which guide the user through what they are about to experience. Not only does this enhance the user experience, but it also provides key information to help the user understand how to interact with the live environment.
The lobby area needed to host two different streams, as users have the option to purchase an interactive ticket or a passive ticket (a free ticket option to ensure everyone can enjoy the performance). This involved complex scenario handling to ensure different versions of the lobby – based on the type of ticket and the type of performance – would display for the users.
The lobby area sets the scene, provides background information on the performance, show run times, introduces the audience to the characters on-stage and gently guides them to prepare for the show, getting them to settle down, turn the lights off and prepare for the unique experience that awaits them. This area also includes an audience counter, so the user gets the feeling of the collective, as they would in a real lobby at the theatre.