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Continuum: VR lessons about Renaissance and Baroque

Client — “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.

The goal of this institution is to promote the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship — a place of extraordinary historical, cultural, recreational, and tourism-related qualities, able to compete against many other beloved European regions.

Challenge

“Światowid” EMC was looking for an educational application about the Renaissance and Baroque eras in Europe, dedicated to mobile devices with the Android operating system and the possibility of using in both: standard mode without goggles (“magic window” solution), as well as with goggle mode (cardboard type).

What seemed very interesting right from the beginning was that storytelling was meant to be one of the essential parts of this immersive experience. The main idea was to create a diary-like narrative, mostly expressed through the pre-recorded audio monologues. We aimed to create the entire shape of this app, inviting users to visit the main character’s memories presented verbally and visually.

The product was meant to be released in Google Play Store. The primary purpose of publishing the application was to enable users to easily access it during school activities in educational institutions, with the possibility for students to use it also after class.

Solution

The first stage of our work for “Światowid” EMC was establishing technical specifications and the main mechanics of the application.

To make it easier for students to use VR in schools, the Giant Lazer team of developers and designers has created an easy-to-access and intuitive educational application presenting Renaissance and Baroque times in Europe. It is build of four different spaces.

1. Admiring the panorama of Elbląg
This section serves as a lesson covering the city parts typical for Renaissance/Baroque era. The user is meant to point to the distinct areas described by the lector.
2. Preparing a feast
The user’s challenge here is to help the cook prepare specific era-related dishes using exotic spices and new vegetables brought to Poland during the epoch and setting the table. This section is divided into two mini-games: catching ingredients challenge and searching for tableware elements described by a cook.
3. Preparing for a ball
With brief instruction, the user is set to complete the task of dressing the character appropriately for the given occasion, using available pieces of clothing scattered around the location. Through this challenge, we aimed to familiarize the user with Renaissance and Baroque fashion.
4. Postcards from the trip
This part is a quick overlook of three animated locations on the map – the most influential European cultural centers, which the user can locate on the map with the narrator’s help.

Having all the scenarios, our team of developers and 3D artists was able to execute the project’s assumptions and test the software on dedicated mobile devices before handing the product to the client in its final form.

Effects

What have we accomplished during the process? We’re glad to say that our team was able to work with specific historical sources, such as maps, drawings, exhibits, etc. Every piece of age-defining work had to be approved or reviewed by our clients, reaching for authenticity and the best educational value. Happily, we met those expectations, proving that immersive software can be:

  • accessible
  • well optimized
  • working smoothly
  • interesting and creative
  • attractive for cultural institutions

“Światowid” EMC is now ready to introduce the software to its visitors, especially students interested in history and European culture. The application, working both in a cardboard VR setting and in regular mode, allows users to immerse into an extraordinary lesson about living in a different but still – colorful and intriguing era.

Do you feel inspired by the case? Are you looking for an educational VR solution? Contact us.