Papyrate’s Island

Credit: Ars Electronica Futurelab

A multi-user interactive narrative on the Deep Space platform, where objects and creatures are drawn on virtual paper by a painter, who has the role of world creator. Participants can navigate the island and involve themselves in the creation process by making drawings on real paper, which are then transferred to the virtual reality world.

“Papyrate’s Island” is a multi-user interactive narrative on the Deep Space platform that was developed in collaboration with the Media Interaction Lab in Hagenberg. Technically speaking, “Papyrate’s Island” is a cross between a VR environment and a nonlinear animation film. In terms of content, it is first of all an edutainment application for children that provides them with a playful hands-on approach to Virtual Reality. Embedded in a permanent feedback loop, “Papyrate’s Island” is used as prototypic interactive story for experiments in the field of multi-user interaction and interactive dramaturgy.

“Papyrate’s Island” is an interactive narrative based on the notion of the replication of the property’s characteristic of paper in terms of VR. Two-dimensional paper objects are transferred to three-dimensional space and brought to life by animation. The specially programmed iPod Touch VR control enables to move around freely in the space provided as different scenes unfold around them. The participants using interactive tools – in this case: digital pens and paper – in order to impact on the virtual story. They find themselves on a virtual island that has been drawn on a sheet of paper by a painter. The painter plays the role as the protagonist in this story and takes it upon himself to fill the island with more and more living creatures by drawing diverse characters. These characters assume different parts as the story unfolds. The villain, a pirate drawn by the painter, discovers the destructive potential of fire and is fascinated by what it does to paper. It is obvious that fire will eventually engulf the whole virtual paper island unless the narrator and the participants in the adventure intervene.

A series of creative approaches are open to both the mediator and the participants to stem the spread of the fire. The metaphor of two-dimensional drawing in a 3D world becomes the medium for interaction: the participants assume the role of the painter. They are given pen and drawing block and can now create objects and living creatures who will help them bring the fire under control.

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Idea and Concept: Gerfried Stocker, Daniela Kuka, Pascal Maresch
Project management: Daniela Kuka
Development and Implementation: Andreas Jalsovec, Michael Mayr, Ronald Martins, Oliver Elias, Timm Wilks, Leonhard Immervoll, Wolfgang Hauer
Music: Herwig Burghard. Sound: Design www.tonburg.at