Meta Quest (2): In this VR movie you talk to the characters
Luna is an interactive VR movie that lets you talk to the characters and make decisions that affect the story.
Luna takes place after an AI apocalypse. Robots have taken over humanity and seek its extinction.
You experience the story from the perspective of a harmless droid who decides to assist the survivors. You see the world through the eyes of a machine that scans the environment and identifies objects mechanically.
Soon you meet a little girl named Luna, whose life you save. As you search for her parents, you accompany her through the ruins of her city.
Speaking to Luna with your own voice
You can talk to Luna by repeating the dialogue options that appear. For example, you can ask the girl her name or age.
"It may seem like you're reading off the text, but in VR it feels like you're actually talking to the characters, especially when they respond," says VR filmmaker Charuvit Wannissorn in a post on the Oculus developer blog. Luna was financially supported by Meta.
Later on, the questions and answers offered by the VR movie will present you with choices. When Luna encounters a casualty of war, you can respond emotionally or cynically. "What you say affects how the characters think and feel - and how the story is told," Wannisorn says. How you act affects how the VR movie ends.
Luna: free demo in the App Lab
Luna belongs to a new genre of VR film that thrives on interaction with virtual beings. This refers to characters that are brought to life, as it were, through various AI techniques. Through almost realistic interactions, a stronger emotional bond is supposed to be created between the viewers and the characters than was previously possible with traditional narrative means. This kind of VR experience became known through Wolves in the Walls.
You can download a short free demo of the first episode at the App Lab. It's worth the download: the main character Luna is animated with a lot of emotion and the environments look high quality and beautifully designed with Meta Quest 2.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything about when the full episode will be released. What I've seen so far definitely makes me want more.