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TLDR Concept

I’m turning my family into a dungeon.

Introduction

When the ‘metaverse’ was first proposed, there was an incredible amount of capital poured into it. It was the future, a utopia built on the ruins of a thousand other crumbling utopias. An immaterial, inexhaustible new frontier built to radically maximize individuality and self expression. Through a series of state concessions to corporate pressure, a new form of financialized play replaced work for much of the disenfranchised classes. We filled our days grinding through repetitive tasks and watching advertisements. We decorated increasingly baroque imaginary rooms and crawled bottomless dungeons. At first there were just a few empty rooms left behind by people who had died, but it wasn’t long before the rooms of the dead vastly outnumbered the rooms of the living. After a while the only people who continued using it were mourners. I still visit the rooms of dead relatives and friends in it every day, like listening to an answering machine message over and over. At some point I wished there were also rooms for my grandparents, who never used it, and even my Czech great aunts who lived on a farm in Kurten, Texas (how the hell did they get there?). So I started building rooms for them. There’s more than 400 rooms that I’ve made here now, but I can only visit a few regularly, and some I wish I had never even built, but it’s hard to stop once you start.
These are cenotaphs for my maternal grandmother and her husband Bob. All Souls’ Day is a day to reflect on these lives, even in this empty place.

Terminology

Initial work for this project began on the Mud Room and Grotto pages. Going forward, overarching worldbuilding will continue on this page, underlying web application work will be tagged for the Grotto page, and solo show specific work will be tagged for the Mud Room page.

VR view

A first person VR view of a room in the larger maze where rituals of care can be carried out for the cenotaphs of the dead, and mementos in the form of text and multimedia can be viewed. We are free to look around and manipulate items but there is no player traversal around the room, all objects of interest should be within reach. Moving from room to room (if enabled) is done by targeting a door and activating it.

VR Stretch goal

I’d like to allow for embodied actions like kneeling, cleaning the floor, lighting candles. I imagined using tracked improvised inputs like a kneeling pad that registers as a button press. If it’s not possible to perform these actions they could be trigged by controllers.

World

The world is a constructed fantasy space with colors and architectural forms inspired by crypt architecture and 70’s Czech film. There is an additional 2D aesthetic that calls back to the graphics of the atari 2600 and pencil sketches. 2D animation and images exist as player facing billboards or surface textures (like frescoes or murals) within the 3d space.

Sound design is a combination of ambient soundscape and sounds created by an Atari 2600 chip emulator

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Videos:

Models:

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Column and Vault
Doorway
Bell
Interface

Posts:

iconic and specific

2d3d

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the ossuary- svankmajer

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vr view

a scratchbeam candle

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