This project requires improvement and will be fully released in the next few months. But as for now. Here it is.
The GATE-D software being developed is a first person choose-your-own-adventure interactive narrative “Application/Experience” based classic cyberpunk novels and films from Japan and US. This collaboration is a “Team” effort between producers/programmers from Japan and visual artist/filmmakers from the US.
The concept is an abstract homage to film-noir cyberpunk history, a “mash-up” of pop cultural references with characters based on Ryu Murakami’s novel Coin Locker Babies, classic sci-fi anime AKIRA, Tetsuo the Ironman, underscored with quotes and themes from influential writers like William Burroughs, Jean Baudrillard, Philip K Dick, and other sci-fi writers.
The process is to film the narrative using live action 360-degree video with Japanese actors (dubbed in English) within the backdrop of surrealistic modern Japan. “Unity Engine” will be used to develop the software for interactive capabilities, to "choose your own adventure" and compositing visual effects using Adobe After Effects. Some of the characters are played by professional cosplay actors.
CONTROLS: This software uses 360 degree multi-directional audio to guide the users attention with multi-stream narrative choice control using crosshair tracker(eye raycast) to “choose your own path”, indicated by flash light particles in the direction of the portal. It is recommened that viewers use headphones for better sound experience.
MECHANICS: Inspired by Japanese cyberpunk genre, American film-noir movies, sci-fiction writers, and contemporary art. GATE-D is a first-person perspective interactive experience story of KIKU, a High-Tech, Low-Life Salary Man who visits DREAM LAB, a underground virtual reality space to escape the mundane reality of everyday in modern Japan. KIKU meets MASTER D, a mad scientist who attaches a VR HMD on KIKU and journey begins. MASTER D presents KIKU with a mission to find DATURA, a chemical compound that can ease suffering and pain or destroy the world. Along the way, KIKU finds himself in compromising situations, and meets mystical characters that give guidance and advice. He is presented with various choices along his journey. It is up to you to decide the outcome of his destiny.
INNOVATION: This VR experience is filmed in 360Video and placed into Unity to take the user on a interactive "choose your own path" adventure enhanced with Adobe AfterEffects VFX. The method of production, storytelling techniques, and some of the visual effects are innovative and experimental.
THE COLLABORATION: This collaborative project was filmed in Los Angeles, USA and Nagoya, Japan. Produced by Mike Saijo/Jimmie Rhee, (creative directors) supported by voice over actors, and visual effects artists from Los Angeles. From Japan, Takashi Horinouchi (producer) and Makoto Kani (technical director) was supported by a team of programmers, actors, makeup, sound engineer and visual effects artists from Nagoya, Japan. The original musical soundtrack composed by DJ Philippe Autuori and Qu Izz in Berlin, Germany.