Alongside our main project with them SpringboardVR also wanted a bespoke tutorial for their customers, one that went beyond the concepts shown in the default SteamVR tutorial to show the kinds of interactions the more popular games in VR Arcades such as Job Simulator and Space Pirate Trainer would use.
We devised a number of different concepts for the project across a variety of themes and narratives. The idea of a floating island with a talking tree stuck out due to its family-friendly manner - so that was the idea we built upon.
Developing a tutorial requires a great deal of thought, you have to build it to be informative but not patronise the player. We had to make sure we included as many VR concepts as possible without overloading the player with information, and wrap it all together in a narrative fitting of the theme.
And of course, the tree needed to talk.
A talking tree with a slightly overeager disposition, a pair of gardening gloves, a technologicially advanced watering can and a beanstalk. These made up the end-product of a totally new family-friendly VR tutorial that appeals to all ages.
The tutorial brings together some of the basic concepts of VR - including the buttons of the Vive Wand, picking up and interacting with objects, teleportation and interacting with held objects using the touch pad.
We take pride in giving great opportunities to upcoming artists, and so brought in the vocal talent of Rocket Ship Resort to give "The Tree" a voice. Through a combination of great voice acting and some very fluid animations from our design team we gave a quite literally faceless character a wide variety of expressions and an energetic personality.