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Continuum: Renaissance and Baroque culture in a VR app

An interactive mobile application devoted to the cuisine, customs and fashion of the Renaissance and Baroque, containing mini-games to consolidate students’ knowledge

“Światowid” European Meeting Center in Elbląg

 

A cultural institution reporting to the Marshal of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, the “Światowid” Center handles animation of social life, undertaking cultural, informational, and educational activities. For ten years, thanks to the work of the Regional Digitization Laboratory, “Światowid” has also been fulfilling the task of protecting the cultural heritage of the region.

Challenge

Mobile application with Magic Window and VR modes

  • The “Światowid” Center developed the assumptions of an educational application about the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe, dedicated to mobile devices with the Android operating system and the possibility of using the program both in a standard mode without goggles (“magic window” solution) and in VR mode (cardboard type) goggles).
  • What seemed very interesting right from the start is that this storytelling was supposed to be one of the essential parts of this immersive experience. The main idea of ​​the project was to create a diary-like narrative, the subsequent parts of which are transmitted mainly through previously recorded audio monologues.
  • According to the plan, the final place of distribution of the product was to be Google Play. This is due to the assumption that the primary purpose of publishing an application is to enable users to easily access it during school activities in educational institutions, and the ability to use by students also after school.

Our goal was to invite users to visit the vivid memories of the main character presented through the audiovisual setting of the application.

Solution

An engaging lesson in culture and history, available to everyone

  • The first stage of our work for the “Światowid” Center was to establish the technical specifications and main mechanics of the application.
  • The main part of the work was to create a diary-like narrative and translate the story into a 3D image and original interactions.
  • To make it easier for students to use VR technology in the “Światowid” Center, the Giant Lazer team of programmers and designers created an easily accessible and intuitive educational application for smartphones. This is a step towards popularizing knowledge.

Process

Gathering project assumptions

Defining user journey

Designing the gameplay

3D graphics creation
and programming

Adaptation to target devices

Our application includes mini-games with mechanics such as catching objects, picking and choosing wardrobe pieces, as well as reading interactive information tables.

1. Admiring the panorama of Elbląg
This section serves as a lesson illustrating specific parts of the city typical of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The user’s task is to point to various urban areas described by the teacher.

2. Preparing a feast
The challenge that awaits the user in this section is to help the chef prepare specific dishes from the era, using exotic spices and new vegetables brought to Poland at that time.

3. Preparations for the prom
Thanks to a short instruction, the user is ready to perform the task of choosing the character’s clothing for a given occasion, using the available garments scattered throughout the location. Through this challenge, we wanted to introduce the user to the Renaissance and Baroque fashion.

4. Postcards from the expedition
The last part of the application gives the user a chance to take a closer look at the three most influential cultural centers in Europe at the time and locate them on the map with the help of the narrator.

Technology

Mobile devices

Samsung Gear VR or similar headsets

Effect

  • Success #1 | Back to the source

Thanks to the cooperation with the “Światowid” Center, our team has developed the skills of working with historical sources such as maps, drawings, exhibits, etc. Each work of our developers and designers affecting the credibility of the time frame had to be approved or reviewed by specialists on the part of clients.

  • Success #2 | Accessibility and smooth operation

We made sure that when reaching for the product, the recipient had a sense of the value of experience and access to an innovative educational formula. We have met these expectations, proving that immersive software can be easily accessible, well optimized, smooth, interesting and creative, and also attractive to cultural institutions.

  • Success #3 | Attraction for visitors

The “Światowid” Center is now ready to present the software to its visitors, especially students interested in European history and culture. The application, available in the Android store, allows you to quickly plunge into an extraordinary lesson showing life in a different, but still colorful and intriguing era.

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