A while ago we finished quite an ambitious project. Considering the “I’ve-never-done-anything-like-this-before” factor, the size of our team and the amount of time we had to pull this off, it was a success. The owner of the project, Loft Cafe, an innovative restaurant business located at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, was willing to take the shot and to invest in something totally new: a half an hour long christmas story to be experienced sitting in a cozy VR lounge armchair!
For me as someone who has been working mostly games, and not so much on linear stories, it was completely something different. It was also a big and novel challenge, as I was the head of the whole development, the rest of the team consisting of seven other people in total. Almost all the cumulated experience in service and game design, software development, music, sound design and producing media projects was put to a good test.
The final result is a VR app running on Meta (previously Oculus) Quest and Quest 2 devices. These devices have their limitations in terms of rendering power, so the graphical style of the experience was designed to fit those limitations, which resulted in colourful and cartoony visuals.
The story runs for about half an hour, and contains some moments, where you can play and do things like fly Santa’s sleigh over the rooftops of a sleeping town in the middle of the night.
For now, the only way to experience it is to come to the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, step into Loft Cafe and order up a session in the VR lounge. Maybe someday we will have the experience released in an online store for people to enjoy it at home..
Check out a video showcasing some parts of the story below.