In Dreams (Shipped Software)

Is an immersive art piece I created with Ira Birch. We wanted to explore dreams in a waking state. We created an immersive experience that inspired people to think more about the dreams they have. It’s a non linear experience film experience that takes the user through a series of dreams.

Role

Unity Engineer, Co-Creator

Team

Charles Pfaff, Ira Birch

Tools

Unity, C#, 360 camera, Adobe Premier

Directional Arrow

DISCOVERY

We talked to people about their dreams.

We talking to anyone who would talk to us about common dreams that they've had.

What we found was that most common dreams are unnerving to say the least.

People had some really interesting recurring dreams that weren't anything like what we found in research.

One thing that tied a lot of these dreams together was something negative or unsettling that underlined the dreams.

A list of common dreams Americans have

Falling 53.6%

Being chased 50.9%

Classes 37.9%

Flying 32.6%

Death 29.5%

Teeth 27.3%

Lost 27.1%

Slow Motion 25.8%

Being Late 25.5%

But how do you make dreams real?

This started out as a school assignment for two people with no coding or VR development experience. Inspired by movies like Stalker and the potential of VR for art we wanted to create something interactive.

Our first challenge was how do you create a non linear experience that’s still cohesive?

We started by researching dreams and speaking with people.

We collected those dreams and created this diamond shaped map of how the scenes would connect to each other.

To mimic the random shifting of dreams users would change from scene to scene.

A map of the nonlinear experience

We needed a little bit of help to get this project off the ground.

We asked people to help us out and they did. We were flooded by support exceeding our financial goal a month before we had expected to.

Thanks to friends, family and strangers we had what we needed to take our prototype and turn it into the real deal.

CREATION

Props

Some days sourcing props is easy. You buy a cows head from the local thrift store. Other days you spend hours making teeth out of clay or trying to bake a cake out of wax (turns out you can't.)

Shooting

We spent twelve hours a day for 2 weeks shooting, filming, directing & working with actors to shoot scenes.

Interactivity

We used Unity to create the experience. We had no experience with Unity or coding prior to this experience. We cobbled together knowledge from enough tutorials to create this experience.

USER TESTING

We worked with users to improve the experience.

We talked to people who had never used VR before and some who did to figure out if all our hard work paid off. What we found was that the buttons were too hard to find and people generally don't understand that ray casters changing color mean that you're pointing at something that is interactable.

Lessons from users:

1. Buttons need to be easier to find.

2. Ray casters need to be easier to see.

We released the final product to a warm reception.

Reflections

We released this project on Sidequest and Itch.io in December of 2021. We currently have nearly a 4/5 score on Sidequest. Overall I was pleased by the response that we had gotten on this project. There were moments that we were in over our heads. There were no tutorials for what we wanted to do. And neither of us had any experience in Unity or coding as a result it became a bit of an uphill battle at times.

Sidequest

Ratings 3.9/5

Downloads: 296 Downloads

Views: 2.3k

Reflections

The most important thing that I learned from this experience was learning how to learn. Learning requires clear objectives, a community of people who are also involved in what you're learning and scaffolded steps. Knowing this has helped me when it comes to learning new skills since this project.

CONTINUE?