Once a year GiG runs a showcase event at their Malta office. It serves as an opportunity to take customers and gaming industry experts into the world of GiG, demonstrating new platform technology and celebrating the company’s growth. For the 2017 event, FX were asked to create a VR application to immerse delegates in the beautiful scenery of Malta, highlighting tourist sites and GiG’s history on the island.
We designed and built a 360° virtual reality application for the Samsung Gear. Displayed through Samsung Galaxy S8s, the application itself takes users on a journey through the sights of Malta.
Armed with footage from seven drone-mounted GoPros – supplied by 106 comms – the FX team stitched the sequences together and arranged them into a single 360° video.
Each shot was colour corrected for consistency within the experience, and to accentuate the natural beauty of the archipelago. By emphasising the Mediterranean weather and bringing out the highlights and richness of the sea we were able to add even more depth to the journey. Several cuts of footage were also created to show each of the main locations on the island.
Built in the popular game development platform, Unity, we were able to construct a high-quality virtual experience that would benefit from the versatility of the platform itself. Unity was also chosen for its ability to export to multiple formats, giving GiG the opportunity to offer a device-agnostic experience later in the project lifecycle.
By taking the composited 360° footage and mapping it onto the inside of a sphere we were able to place a VR camera rig inside the environment to represent the user’s point of view. This technique works well in creating immersive experiences using 360° footage, with users given complete freedom to look around and explore the scene .
In order for the experience to feel branded and complete we integrated several bespoke UI elements, going so far as to create a 3D interactive map stylised to match GiG’s neon colour pallet. And as we knew the application was going to be run at a busy event we crafted a simple control interface so as not to overwhelm users with multiple options that could potentially break the immersion. We opted for gaze controls, which enable the Samsung Gear to track the direction of a user’s neck and head, translating them into a virtual environment. It’s also one of the most natural control mechanics without the need to introduce any hand-held devices.
FX also created interactive hotspots inside the experience to allow users to discover more information about points of interest via text-based overlays.
The VR app was a great success. It became a key engagement driver for GiG throughout the event, drawing crowds of people while creating a great conversation piece between the business and its audience. The experience is now being rolled out at GiG’s forthcoming events and engagement levels continue to increase.
Looking to increase customer engagement through VR? Or want to find out more about immersive media and the best approach for your business? We’d love to have a chat.